Wild Atlantic way Ireland

Atlantic road in Ireland

About the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way remains Ireland’s most popular touring route, the customer survey revealed to Car Rental Ireland that 42% would drive the Wild Atlantic Way again in the future.


The Atlantic way covers over 2500 kilometers of countryside and the coastal cliff tops that follows along Ireland’s majestic Atlantic shores. This driving route features over 157 discovery points, and over 3500 attractions and activities.


Explorers of this route usually begin their hiking trails, from Kinsale, Co. Cork, and follow the route that takes them around the spectacular coastal cliff-tops along Atlantic edge.


When you are heading into Kerry with your Rental Car, you’ll encounter Dingle, the Ring of Kerry and the North Kerry Head peninsulas, these regions are considered to be Ireland’s most outstanding countryside. Take the cable car to Dursey Island as the night draws in and you can experience 'Europe’s last sunset'.


If you are arriving into Shannon, from here you can head into Co. Clare, where you could visit the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, River Shannon, Loop Head Lighthouse and all these spots bring in visitors from all over the world, regardless of the weather or the time of year.


Galway City is also a lively city that awaits you. Close to Galway is Connemara and beaches where you will be able to visit.


Your journey then goes into Co. Mayo, where you will be able to see the remarkable Croagh Patrick Mountain which looms over the surrounding countryside, and you can make your way through the road bridge to Achill Island and visit the deserted village where the remaining locals mainly speak the Irish language, though you will still get to meet some locals that speak English.


Aran Islands are a venue for the Red Bull Cliff Diving, numerous pristine isolated beaches, thousands of intricate stonewalls which capture the imagination. The home of the famous Aran Sweater, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, a centre for pilgrimage, and host to numerous quirky festivals. The Aran Islands represent a total release from the hustle and bustle of the mainland Ireland. Aran Island is also the Sligo seaside town is famous for its seafood and surfing, thanks to the waves off Mullaghmore Head.


Going to the northern part of the country, brings you to County Donegal. This is where you will find Europe’s highest sea cliffs, known as Sliabh Laig, the Tory Island, and the Five Finger Strand beach on the Irishtown peninsula. With the right weather, Donegal is a fantastic setting to experience the aurora borealis which will make you realise the car rental experience was truly worth it.


If you are planning to visit the Wild Atlantic Way, Cliffs of Moher and places outside main cities, hiring a car is recommended by those visited. You can pick up a car hire at our Shannon Airport office where you will be able to access into the wild west of Ireland quickly.


Places to see on the Wild Atlantic Way


Cliffs of Moher


One of Ireland’s most popular and picturesque tourist destinations, you should not consider thinking you have visited the Wild Atlantic Way without a visit to the Cliffs. The cliffs are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction and on a good day you see Aran Islands, Galway Bay, Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Kerry. If you can only visit the Cliffs of Moher for a few hours, try do so as the sun is setting, as this is one of the most spectacular views you will see anywhere in Ireland.



Wild Atlantic Way Itinerary


The Wild Atlantic Way is divided in seven different routes; this is to help ease the need to cover too much on one trip and helps you plan your day accordingly. The route has the Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal routes, with maps for each of them due to the long road and it also helps you pick out the route you wish to explore.


This is really ideal for those driving a rental car as you can spend time to explore fascinating locations long the routes. There are several apps available for guiding you through all the activities; if you are a hiker or you’re into walking, the ACTIVEME App would be ideal for both the Android and iOS.

For information on accommodation options for Cork.


Organizing a tour?


Alternatively you could go with a company that organizes tours instead of a self drive option; Discover Ireland Tours are an Irish destination management company and has the local knowledge to provide the best experience possible.