Ireland. The enchanted isle in the Atlantic has captured the curiosity of visitors for centuries. Its beauty has sent location scouts in search of perfect film locations for the likes of Star Wars and Game of Thrones. Not to mention it being a photographer’s dream, with picture-perfect vistas to photograph (complete with rainbows).
It’s also an idea place to road trip on the wild Atlantic Way, one of the most beautiful coastal routes in the world.
1. The Wild Atlantic Way is the longest coastal route in the world
Over 1,500 miles long, the Wild Atlantic Way was coined ‘Irelands Route 66’ by Conde Nast Traveler. Stretching the entire Western coast of Ireland, this continuous stretch of roadway encompasses some truly stunning sights and cultural experiences.
2. Feel the Force
Skellig Micheal, an otherworldly island 7 miles off the southwest coast, recently featured in Star Wars: The Force movie. A UNESCO world heritage site that holds the remains of a sixth century monastery, Skellig Micheal and its smaller sister island are strikingly spectacular.
3. Go Celtic in Connemara
For many people, the wild West coast is the ‘real Ireland’; particularly Connemara, in County Galway. The largest Irish speaking area in the country has a wild rugged landscape of bogs, mountains and ruggedly beautiful coastline.
4. Taste the Burren
At first glance, the Burren- a karst region of glacial era rock formations stretching towards the Atlantic Ocean- may not seem the most likely area to become a European Destination of Excellence for Gastronomy. But it’s home to a dazzling array of local food producers- from chocolate factories to goats cheese farms- all bound by a commitment to maximise the use of local produce as much as possible. Explore the best of Irish produce in this beautiful setting.
5. Revel in the Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is the Ireland of your dreams, featuring lush green mountains and valleys, quaint villages and historic ruins. A narrow, winding 179 km route encircling the Iveragh Peninsula takes you through this often misty landscape- but the weather only adds to the atmosphere!
6. Galway City
Everyone’s favourite Irish city, Galway is a pretty harbour town famed for its arts, culture and craic. Vibrant and fun filled, Galway is the only Irish city you’re likely to come across Irish being spoken in every day life.
7. Get a Second Passport
The Wild Atlantic Way Passport allows you to collect a stamp for each discovery point along the way and serves as a unique reminder of your epic trip. Each passport has a unique number so is completely individual to you and each of the 188 discovery points along the route has its own separate stamp!
8. Spend the night in a lighthouse
There are seven different lighthouses you can stay overnight stretching along the Wild Atlantic Way, from Donegal right down to Cork. While some are self-catering, Clare Island Lighthouse in County Mayo is a luxury B&B which serves a 6 course dinner.
For more Road Trip Ireland information.
Follow our writer: Louise Hogan