The Wild Atlantic Way is a exciting naturalistic way that winds along the west coast of Ireland. 2500 kilometers between cliffs overlooking the ocean, breathtaking panoramas and old villages. Here are the seven unmissable stages, from South to North, following St. Patrick footsteps.
First stop: a visit to Cork
Starting from the south, Cork is the first big city you will step in, and it is worth to pay a visit. This lively and dynamic Irish town offers many attractions, including beautiful streetart, the sixteenth Blackrock Castle, and St. Anne Church, where you can even take part in playing the church bells.
Second stop: the ghost village
When you will get in the Dingle Peninsula pay a visit to the Blasket Islands Centre, in its westernmost point. In the 1953 the last few inhabitants of this strip of land left the island: however, through a boat tour on the island, it is still possible to explore the abandoned old cottages and the green hills.
Third stop: the three sisters islands
The Aran islands are a group of three islands located in the Galway Bay. Inishmore, Inisheer and Inishman are three small still inhabited rock cliffs, where you can breath the atmosphere, see the traditions and witness the kindness of Irish coast population. Take a boat trip and the time to explore at least one of these three sisters.
Fourth stop: a break in Galway
Going up to the north you will reach the city of Galway: a young population, university students and a vibrant atmosphere will welcome you. This is the right place for a break from the solitude of the cliffs: our advice is to visit the colorful and lively Latin Quarter, where you can enjoy a cold beer and some Irish delicacies.
Fifth stop: wind and surf in Mullaghmore
When you arrive in Sligo County you will be enchanted by the beauty of the ocean and its cliffs, which here is wilder than anywhere else. And, if you are brave enough, get to Mullaghmore town, a real surfing paradise, where you can ride waves reaching 15 meters.
Sixth stop: a touch of history
Once in Grange, walk down the Spanish Armada Streedagh Walk, where in the sixtheen century the Spanish fleet, on the attempt to invade England, lost 25 ships sinking in a storm.
Seventh stop: a stone jewel
“Stone Palace of the Sun”: this, in the old Gaelic language, is the translation of “Grainan of Aileach”, the name of this ancient fort situated on a hilltop 800 meters above sea level, in the county of Donegal. You will get repayed for the effort by a strong wind and the stunning view of the ocean.
In short, this beautiful path into the Irish wild nature and ancient history is waiting for you. Once you get to the south of Ireland, starting from Cork, go up the beautiful coast passing through the green valleys of the counties of Galway, Mayo and Sligo up to the wild Donegal, in the north. You will go back home with your camera full of beautiful images and your memory full of the sounds and smells of the wildest and more authentic Ireland.