The Wild Atlantic Way - Highlights Part Two

Posted by Niamh Allabyrne on the 22nd of May 2014 at 09:41:26

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Having looked at the Wild Atlantic’s Way highlights from Donegal to Mayo last week, this week we are moving further south along the coast and taking in some of my top recommendations from the counties of Galway, Clare, Kerry and Cork. So without further ado – lets get going!
Aran Islands, County Galway – situated off the coast of Galway lie the islands of Inishmore/Inis Mór, Inishmann/Inis Meáin and Inisheer/Inis Oírr. Sitting on the precipices of Europe these stunning islands have an abundance of history, heritage and traditions and just some of the most beautiful scenery you will find in Ireland. Between winding country roads where you can cycle freely– to standing on the cliffs at the pre-historic site of Dún Aonghasa with the Atlantic whipping your hair, to listening to the locals speaking Irish while the songs and rhythms of old are played– the whole experience is magical and authentic. Go there!!
Inishmann, Aran Islands, County Galway
Dungaire Castle, County Galway – for 500 years this 16th century tower-house has dominated the shoreline of Galway Bay. It has a long and exciting history where visitors can enjoy tours of this gorgeous castle– one of the most photographed in Ireland. Top of a visit to Dungaire with their castle banquet and a night of great food and wine, traditional song, dance and storytelling!
Dunguaire Castle, County Galway
Doolin, County Clare – this charming seaside town has a stellar reputation for traditional Irish music and a “session” can be found every night in this bustling town. It has a most wonderful location with the sea on one side and Burren’s karst like landscape surrounding it on the others. Overnight in this town and explore the nearby Cliffs of Moher by day and in the evening enjoy a pub crawl soaking up the raucous and friendly atmosphere!
Doolin, County Clare
Loop Head, County Clare – this peninsula may be small but it has a big personality – packed full of things to see and do! Enjoy some of the best seafood around in Keane’s Oyster Bar or Naughton’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant. Go dolphin or bird watching or hire a bike or trek along the part of the peninsula and relax after with a seaweed bath! Visit Loop Lighthouse dating to 1854 (although there were earlier structures dating to 1670) and just soak up the most dramatic scenic eye candy whichperfectly encapsulates the wild and rugged beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Loop Head, County Clare
Skellig Islands, County Kerry –this 1,300 year monastery carved out of the cliffs of the Iveragh Peninsula is a UNESCO wold Heritage Site and a wonder of both man’s determination in the face of the wild Atlantic and nature’s ability to create something so amazing from it. A visit to this island is weather dependent and it can be a little rocky going over, but when you see the site first hand, you breath catches and you know it was worth it!
Skellig Islands, County Galway
Dingle Town, County Kerry – I am so biased when it comes to Dingle but I don’t really care as for me it represents all that is great about Ireland. Full of charm and character, lose yourself in its winding streets, discovering its many shops, pubs and restaurants. The people are friendly and welcoming – love to chat and to recommend where to go for a pint, a good dinner or what to see in the vicinity. Bustling and engaging this is one fun town!
Dingle Town, County Kerry
Dursey Island, County Cork – lying just off the Cork coast on the Beara Peninsula, there is only one way to access this tiny island - by Ireland’s only cable car. For 10 minutes, enjoy the wonderful coastal views as you soar over the Atlantic Ocean, watching the waves crashing against the rocks below. The treacherous waters below, make crossing by boast impossible – and yet despite the access to the island, there are several families living on the island – thriving in difficult conditions. When you visit the island, make sure to bring your own food and water as there are shops, restaurants or pubs on the island. Remote yet beautiful – it epitomises the isolated and natural beauty of the south-western seaboard.
Dursey Island, County Cork
Mizen Head, County Cork – this is Ireland’s most southerly point and is captivating in any weather. The award visitor center is accessed by walking down 99 steps and across the arched bridge. Not something for the faint hearted and something which I doubted I would be able to do – but once I did I was so glad. The scenery is just amazing and I was literally lost for words! Look out for dolphins and whales and a whole medley of bird life and check out the light-house keeper’s quarters too! Wow!!
Mizen Head, County Cork
So, have I tempted you with these amazing places? The Wild Atlantic Way has many treasures along its 2500km but you can just cherry-pick what ones you would like to see and it something which you will return to again and gain on future visits to the Emerald Isle.
We have lots of tours which feature part of the enthralling route from our Best of Ireland 8 Day Self-Drive Tour to our Journey through the West 11 Day Self-Drive Tour.
Inquire with us today and start planning your Wild Atlantic Way Tour!

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