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Discover the natural beauty of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Discover Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is one of the longest defined coastal routes in the world, winding for 2,500km down the entire west coast of Ireland. A road trip in Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way is a must for anyone who wants to explore the rugged, picturesque landscapes that make this region so special. Here are just some of the highlights from guest author Joe Shaw, who shares all that the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer.

Cliffs of Moher at Sunset Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Cliffs of Moher at Sunset Wild Atlantic Way Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most visited attractions, and it’s easy to see why. The impressive cliffs jut out into the Atlantic Ocean, with powerful waves crashing below. There are several viewing platforms, each offering a different perspective to observe the cliffs in all their glory.

From the visitor centre at the highest, most popular point on the cliffs, head south to Hag’s Head. You will be rewarded with dramatic panoramic views and if you are feeling adventurous, you can hike the full 14km route from Doolin to Hag’s Head.

We spent an entire afternoon at the cliffs to make the most of our visit. We were able to admire the cliffs in broad daylight, and then again with the sunset casting a stunning orange glow in the sky.

Looking for a tour? These Ireland tours include the Cliffs of Moher

Poulnabrone Dolmen Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Poulnabrone Dolmen Wild Atlantic Way Ireland

The Burren and Poulnabrone Dolmen

The Burren National Park is a designated UNESCO site located in County Clare. The word Burren actually comes from the Irish word “Boíreann”, meaning a rocky place after the exposed limestone rocks that cover the entire area. Spend some time driving along the winding road to survey the unique landscape.

In the Burren you will find Poulnabrone Dolmen, an ancient neolithic portal tomb. It is estimated that the tomb was built between 4200BC and 2900BC. Nobody knows how the people of the time were able to move the massive stones into position, but the fact that it remains standing over 5,000 years later is a testament to their skill.

Looking for a tour? Check out this 2 day tour of The Wild Atlantic Way

Excavations in the 1980s discovered the remains of 16 adults and children around the tomb, buried with other artefacts such as weapons, tools, and pottery. Some of these artefacts are now on display at the National Museum in Dublin.

Stay at: Cullinan’s Guesthouse, Doolin. Cullinan’s Guesthouse is a charming, 4-star accommodation in the centre of Doolin overlooking the Aille River.

Doolin is ideally located for exploring the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. It’s also widely known as the home of traditional Irish music, and therefore the perfect place to spend an evening watching a live performance in an Irish pub!

Kilkee Cliff Walk Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Kilkee Cliff Walk, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Kilkee Cliff Walk on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Kilkee Cliff Walk is a hiking trail that begins and ends at the Diamond Rocks Cafe in Kilkee. The cafe is an excellent place to stop for a bite to eat, the fish and chips are delicious! You can choose to do the full 8km walk, or opt to take a shorter 5km route.

The Kilkee Cliffs are comparable to the Cliffs of Moher in terms of majesty and beauty, however they are far less touristy. They retain a sense of unspoilt wonder, and you can enjoy the gorgeous scenery without the crowds.

You may also enjoy: PS I Love You filming locations in Ireland – The beautiful Wicklow Mountains

Kilkee Beach Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Kilkee Beach, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Bridges of Ross on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Bridges of Ross historically refers to a trio of natural arches formed by the sea. Two of the bridges have since collapsed, however the plural name remains. The bridges are just a short walk from the road, and serve as an excellent reminder of the power of the ocean.

You may also enjoy: A driving guide to Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast

Ross Bay Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Ross Bay, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Bridges of Ross are located on the western side of a natural harbour known as Ross Bay. It is an excellent sea-watching spot. In the late summer and autumn Ross Bay becomes a birdwatcher’s paradise as thousands of rare seabirds pass close to the shore on their southbound migration.

Looking for a tour? Check out these tours of The Wild Atlantic Way

Bridges of Ross Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Bridges of Ross, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

It was wet and windy when we visited the Bridges of Ross, but that did not hamper our experience. It simply added a moody, dramatic feel to the atmosphere.

You may also enjoy: Irish tales and 50 shades of green on the Wild Wicklow tour

Bridges of Ross Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Bridges of Ross, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Stay at: Stella Maris Hotel, Kilkee

The Stella Maris Hotel is a family run hotel in Kilkee with bay views over the picturesque town and beach. It’s just a few minutes from the starting point of the Kilkee Cliff Walk, and a great base from which to explore the Bridges of Ross and the rest of the Loop Head Peninsula.

Slea Head Drive on the Wild Atlantic Way

Slea Head Drive is a circular route that loops around the Dingle Peninsula. There are several attractions along the way, and you can easily spend half a day or longer discovering everything it has to offer.

Breathtaking scenery lies around every corner. The Blasket Islands that sit at the tip of the peninsula, were previously inhabited, but abandoned in the 1950s when the community declined.

Visitors can still travel to the islands by ferry to explore the wild and remote location. You can also stop to explore some ancient beehive huts built of stone. They date back to the 12th century, when Normans forced the native Irish off the good land.

Looking for a tour? Check out these tours of Slea Head and The Dingle Peninsula

Slea Head Drive Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Slea Head Drive, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Conor Pass on the Wild Atlantic Way

Conor Pass is Ireland’s highest mountain pass. It winds precariously up Mount Brandon, with barely room for two cars to pass each other. It’s an exhilarating drive, with only a rickety fence between your car and the sheer drop off the side of the mountain. Upon reaching the top, you will find a scenic viewpoint that offers amazing panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges and lakes below.

You may also enjoy: The Croke Park Hotel Dublin – a review of our weekend in Dublin

Conor Pass View Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Conor Pass View Wild Atlantic Way Ireland

Conor Pass View Wild Atlantic Way Ireland Photo Joe Saw

Conor Pass View Wild Atlantic Way Ireland

Stay at: Tower View B&B, Dingle

As the start and end point for Slea Head Drive, Dingle is the obvious place to stay. We stayed at Tower View B&B and it was just lovely, with comfortable rooms and a delicious breakfast.

More on the Wild Atlantic Way

Wild Atlantic WayTo start planning your own road trip and to see an example itinerary for the perfect 7 day road trip, take a look at this Wild Atlantic Way travel guide.

You can also find more information to plan your trip on the Wild Atlantic Way Website.

Looking for a tour? Check out these tours of The Wild Atlantic Way

If you need a guidebook for The Wild Atlantic Way, we recommend Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Joe Saw headshotAbout the author: Joe Saw is a travel blogger at JKGO. He truly believes that travelling to new places and experiencing new cultures can change your life. JKGO’s goal is to inspire you to travel more and help you travel better.

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Discover Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

This article is a guest post* by Joe Saw

* More info on my policies page

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Zena's Suitcase
    March 19, 2019 at 8:08 am

    I really have not spent enough time in Ireland, and these places to visit on the Wild Atlantic Way have convinced me to change that. The coast line looks just incredible and the perfect escape for a city dweller like me
    Zena’s Suitcase´s last blog post ..Do Go Chasin’ Waterfalls: 7 Waterfalls Around the World Worth a Trip

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      March 20, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      @Zena Thanks, the West Coast of Ireland is really beautiful

  • Reply
    Blog voyage Irlande
    May 18, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    I am just back from a amazing trip to Ireland… I love this country… One of my favourites.
    Blog voyage Irlande´s last blog post ..Voyage en Irlande : Les lacs du Connemara

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