Ireland

A ride along the Wild Atlantic Way

West coast of ireland

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A ride along the Wild Atlantic Way
Inserted: 08.07.2018
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Along the entire west coast of Ireland, there is a serpentine winding route called the Wild Atlantic Way. Whether you drive through it all or stop at selected parts, it is definitely worth seeing. The wild waves of the Atlantic Ocean whip endless beaches, breaking on some of Europe's highest cliffs, and a never-ending wind bends all vegetation in its direction. The character of the landscape of this end of Europe is really dramatic, the weather is changeable, the views are innumerable as well as the experiences you will have.

The beginning of the Wild Atlantic way

From north to south

The whole route could take a car even with stops for a whole week, thanks to the narrow paths winding between the pastures and avoiding sheep on the road. We always drove the individual parts of the route piece by piece, got tired of the views and again the next trip we continued the route where we were not yet. Undoubtedly, it is good to wait for better weather than most of the year. Then the impressions are unforgettable and the colors of this region shine in their original saturation.

Ballymastrocker beach

There are many scattered islets and peninsulas in the county of Donegal in the north of Ireland. At the foot of one such peninsula – Fanad – is this magical beach Ballymastocker Beach. The scenic path, which runs along the entire coast, climbs the hill above the beach, providing views of this breathtaking location, which is otherwise only given to seagulls.

Ballymastrocker beach
Author: Krásná pláž v Donegalu © gigaplaces.com

Pollet Great Arch

Few people probably know about one of the unique rocks in this area, such as the rock arch – Pollet Great Arch, created by persistently crashing waves. Unfortunately, there have been recent reports that the access road has been inherited by someone from America and has banned the public from following it. Perhaps the situation will soon become clearer and tourists and locals will once again have the opportunity to enjoy the view of the arch but also walk along the adjacent beach. Unfortunately, the view from the parking lot to the bay and the surrounding pastures had to suffice.

Pollet Great Arch
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com
Fanad head
Author: maják na severu Irska v Donegalu © gigaplaces.com

Fanad head

Lighthouses have been used since time immemorial to navigate sailors at sea. One such – the Fanad Head Lighthouse – can be found in the north of Ireland in the county of Donegal, which undoubtedly continues to function today. It is located on the so-called Wild Atlantic Way, which stretches along the west coast of Ireland and is crippled by the wild waves of the open Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, the entrance to the lighthouse is charged, but the view of it, as it rises on a cliff by the ocean, is definitely worth a visit.

Island Roy view

There are several scattered islets and peninsulas in County Donegal in the very north of Ireland. Some are accessible thanks to modern bridges, but some are still accessible only by ferry. On the way to the Fanad Peninsula, which in the south is connected to the mainland only by a modern arch bridge, we have a picturesque view of the bay and the island of Roy, which is accessible only by boat.

Island Roy view
Author: Výhled na ostrov Roy © gigaplaces.com

Doe castle

Doe Castle is a 16th-century medieval castle in County Donegal in the very north of Ireland, set on the shores of the bay of the Fanad Head Peninsula. The castle is accessible free of charge, yet it has its opening hours. From the back, you will have a view of the picturesque bay and the ubiquitous green pastures of Ireland.

Doe castle
Author: Středověký hrad v Donegalu © gigaplaces.com

Killahoey Beach

In the north of Ireland, in the county of Donegal on the Horn Head peninsula, you will find the magical Killahoey Beach, perfect for long walks and nice weather, which is always a rain in Ireland.

Killahoey Beach
Author: Kouzelná pláž v Donegalu © gigaplaces.com

Horn head

One of the many peninsulas that make up the diverse west coast of Ireland is Horn Head in the north. This small protrusion of the mainland is ideal for a short drive along its entire perimeter, where it leads a scenic path with many views of the often turbulent Atlantic Ocean. This route is also part of the popular tourist route along the entire west coast of Ireland, known as the Wild Atlantic Way.

Horn head
Author: Krásný poloostrov v Donegalu © gigaplaces.com

The Silver strand

On the westernmost tip of the Irish region of Donegal, you will not find the village of Malin beg, which consists of only a few houses and surrounding pastures. But why it pays to visit this part of the world is The Silver Strand, which is in the shape of a horse's hoof and lies deep below a cliff, from where you have to descend a few dozen steps to take a bath or just walk along the beach. However, the view from the top of the entire width of the beach is definitely worth it.

The Silver strand
Author: pláž ve vesničce Malin beg © gigaplaces.com

Slieve League

At this western tip of the county of Donegal, you will find a unique world in the form of the highest cliffs in Europe, named after its highest point in the Slieve League. They reach a height of 601 m above sea level, which makes them 3 times higher than their more well-known tourist colleagues Cliff of Moher. If you have enough strength, time and luck for the weather, you can boldly set off along their edge for a walk up from the viewpoint to the very top of the cliffs. Alternatively, you can enjoy the view of the cliffs from Bunglass Point or watch the fearless sheep balancing on the grassy slabs at the edge of the cliffs.

Slieve League
Author: Nejvyšší útesy Evropy © gigaplaces.com

St. John´s Point

The long and narrow peninsula of Tullymore protrudes as if its tentacle deep into the ocean, hiding one treasure next to another at its very end. You will find a beautiful beach hidden in the bay, so you can swim comfortably. At the very tip of the peninsula you will find the majestic white lighthouse of St. John´s Point, which looks down on the giant white stones EIRE in front of it. This inscription has been here since World War II and carries a sad message. It was intended to inform the German bombers that their goal was not yet here, but that they were above Ireland and were to boldly continue further east. You can find countless such stone inscriptions all over the west coast of Ireland. This end of the peninsula is also unique in that, as elsewhere throughout Ireland, there are no fenced pastures. Many locals and tourists use it to camp in the wild.

St. John´s Point
Author: Maják, pláž a EIRE nápis © gigaplaces.com
Donegal
Author: Hlavní město hrabství © gigaplaces.com

Donegal

The town of Donegal, which gave its name to the whole county, is located on the river Eske, which flows through the town. The city is really tiny, so an hour or two is enough to explore it. Here you will find a castle or an old cemetery with the ruins of an abbey. Boats regularly leave the bay for a ride around the area, overseen by a statue of Irish King Hugh Roe O'Donnell, who in the 16th century earned Ireland's inde­pendence by fighting the English.

Bundoran beach

The Wild Atlantic Way lines the entire west coast of Ireland and offers the best and spectacular views of wild Irish nature and the untamed ocean whipping waves and winds of the coast incessantly. The town of Bundoran crosses this scenic route on the border between the capitals of County Donegal and Sligo. The center, however, is not the city center with the town hall, but the city beach, where you go to enjoy and walk not to go tourists but also locals who can not get enough of the view.

Bundoran beach
Author: Top pláž v hrabství Donegal © gigaplaces.com
Mulaghmore head
Author: Panství pod útesem © gigaplaces.com

Mulaghmore head

On the Wild Altantic Way, which runs along the entire west coast of Ireland, you will find breathtaking views of the wild stormy ocean whipping endless beaches or high cliffs overlooking the whole scenery. One such place that should not be missed is one promontory near the city of Sligo, the Mulaghmore Peninsula. Here you will find the Mullafhmore family estate, which is inaccessible but still provides a unique atmosphere for views along with Benbulbin Cliff in the background.

Benbulbin cliff

As you wander along the coast in County Sligo, you will be accompanied by the massive Benbulbin Cliff from above. It rises above the landscape at its height of almost 500 meters and thus gives the landscape an unmistakable character. More able tourists can revive a visit to the region and climb up the view, where they will get a view of the west coast of Ireland in the palm of their hand.

Benbulbin cliff
Author: dominanta pobřeží Sligo © gigaplaces.com

Streedagh Point

In the north-west of Ireland in County Sligo we find this wonderful natural phenomenon, which is Streedagh Point, which forms a sandy peninsula almost 5 km long, which is a paradise for surfers in all weathers. The only thing that can ruin a trip is the high tide. The peninsula is really only a few meters above the ground and if the tide rises or the sea gets a lot wild, it will flood the only driveway to this „endless“ beach.

Streedagh Point
Author: ráj surfařů © gigaplaces.com

Sligo

The town of Sligo gave its name to the surrounding region of Ireland and can be found on the midwest coast of the Garvoge River. The river flows through the whole city and meanders like a snake, over which there are picturesque bridges, so characteristic of this town.

Sligo
Author: hlavní město hrabství © gigaplaces.com

Enniscrone beach

Ireland is made up of green pastures dotted with sheep and an endless coastline that is surrounded by the sea or ocean around almost the entire perimeter of the country. And that's exactly why Ireland has so many picturesque beaches, because it has a lot to choose from. One heart-like beach, perfect for endless walks, is located in the west of Ireland in the town of Enniscrone, which lies on the Wild Atlantic Way, a scenic path along the entire west coast.

Enniscrone beach
Author: Procházková pláž na západě Irska © gigaplaces.com

Continuation of the Wild Atlantic Way

Further south along the coast

The road continues further south and surrounds the west coast of Ireland. In a separate article, you will find other places that the Wild Atlantic Way should not miss, such as Connemara National Park, the capital of the Galway region, the random Burrenn plain, or the Cliffs of Moher. The Dingle circuit is also beautiful, as is the south-west jagged coastline. Whatever part of this scenic coastline line you choose, you will definitely not be disappointed.

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