In association with: Tourism Ireland
Celebrate 10 years of the Wild Atlantic Way with 10 essential experiences that showcase the best of Ireland’s west coast
From the towering cliffs of County Donegal in the north to the winding coastline of County Cork in the south, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way makes for an unforgettable holiday. The coastal route, which winds for 1,600 miles, combines lively towns and breathtaking landscapes with a famously warm welcome.
As the route gears up to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2024, here are 10 must-do experiences to add to your clients’ next Ireland itineraries.
1. Explore the iconic sea cliffs at Slieve League
Found along the coastline of County Donegal, the Slieve League Cliffs boast unmatched views of the roaring Atlantic Ocean. A host of trails traverse these cliffs, rewarding hikers with breathtaking views of the rugged landscapes and surrounding nature.
2. Sample local tipples at the Crolly Distillery
Nestled between the Atlantic coast and the towering Mount Errigal in County Donegal, the Crolly Distillery captures the true essence of local whiskey‑making. Visitors can embark on a tour to learn about the invention of this spirit, all with the help of friendly local guides.
3. Take to the water in County Sligo
With Strandhill’s National Surf Centre, the outdoor activity season isn’t just limited to the summer months. Located in County Sligo, a hotspot for outdoor adventure, the centre is situated right on the waterfront and offers surf training and demonstrations, as well as three surf schools for visitors to get to grips with the sport.
4. Stargaze at Mayo Dark Sky Park
Relax under a blanket of twinkling stars in Ireland’s first International Dark Sky Park. Within the Wild Nephin National Park, the Mayo Dark Sky Park offers three viewing sites, from which it’s easy to see thousands of stars. Lucky visitors might even catch a glimpse of a meteor shower.
5. Get a taste of Ireland on a Galway food tour
There’s an abundance of tours for every type of foodie in the harbour city of Galway. From walking tours that serve up local cheeses and freshly harvested oysters to indulging at the city’s finest dessert spots, a tour is the perfect way to sample the best of Ireland’s gastronomy.
6. Hop between the Aran Islands
Thirty miles off the coast of Galway Bay, the trio of Aran Islands – Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr – are the perfect places to experience traditional Irish life. Defined by rugged landscapes, dramatic cliffs and deserted beaches, the Aran Islands allow visitors to connect with rural Ireland. They’re easily accessible by sea or air and, once there, renting a bike is the best way to explore.
7. Uncover the unique geology of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher
Surrounded by County Clare’s countryside, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher form a Unesco‑registered Global Geopark, famed for its distinctive landscapes and history. The Burren is a vast area of limestone hills, with unique rock formations, caves and fossils, while the Cliffs of Moher tower over the coast, offering sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and Aran Islands.
8. Celebrate rugby legends in County Limerick
The International Rugby Experience tells the story of the game, from entry level to the elite sport. It’s a fully immersive experience that celebrates iconic rugby moments and is a must‑visit for avid fans and newbies alike.
9. Explore the coastline in County Cork
For a different way to take in the island of Ireland’s dramatic coastline, hire a kayak in County Cork. Visitors can explore the natural beauty of the cliffs, caves and rock formations dotted along the Atlantic, or opt for a night tour to enjoy stunning views of the stars and the bioluminescence in the water.
10. Go dolphin spotting in Dingle
Dingle, a small port town in County Kerry that gets its name from the peninsula it’s situated on, is a great place for spotting dolphins. As you cruise along the coastline on a boat tour, marvel at the scenery back on the shore and the majestic dolphins beneath the water’s surface.
Plenty of sea and air routes connect the island of Ireland with Great Britain, making it easy for your clients to visit the Wild Atlantic Way. Plus, the Common Travel Area means that British citizens can travel to Ireland without a passport or visa restrictions (subject to ID requirements from the travel provider).
For more information and inspiration, visit trade.ireland.com
PICTURES: Tourism Ireland/Christopher Hill; Crolly Distillery; Mayo Dark Sky Park; Brian Morrison; firstname.lastname@example.org; Kim Leuenberger