What comes to mind when you think of an Ireland trip? Verdant landscapes, friendly locals, and picturesque villages? You’ll find all of this and so much more along the Wild Atlantic Way. This coastal route stretches for 1,550 miles along the western edge of Ireland, and boasts some of its most spectacular scenery. (These dreamy shots on the Wild Atlantic Way Instagram feed have us ready to pack our bags right now!) Here are five can’t-miss spots on this rugged seaside route.
1. Fanad Head
You’ll find an escape from everyday hustle and bustle on this quiet peninsula at the northern tip of Ireland. Watch as green landscapes give way to impressive blue seascapes as you travel to the Fanad Head Lighthouse. This structure at the edge of the peninsula has been a guiding light to sailors for 200 years. Today, three small cottages on the property can be used as accommodations for a relaxing getaway.
2. Glenveagh National Park
Head inland for a visit to this stunning national park in County Donegal. Keep an eye out for red deer, which inhabit the over 40,000-acre park. A 19th-century castle situated within the park’s grounds—and its surrounding gardens—are worth strolling through, too.
3. Slieve League cliffs
These towering cliffs in the Northern Headlands, known as Sliabh Liag in Irish, are some of the tallest in all of Europe at nearly 2,000 feet above sea level. The unparalleled views they offer are not to be missed on a journey along the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s not just about the scenery here though, the Slieve League has been visited by many Christian pilgrims, and its history as a sacred site dates back to ancient times.
4. Achill Island
This offshore island is known for its unique terrain: it’s covered in blanket bogs, made of peat. Travel across its unique landscape and along Keem Bay to uncover the remains of ancient stone forts and settlements.
5. Cliffs of Moher
There’s a reason this remarkable site in County Clare is a traveler favorite, drawing visitors from far and wide each year. As I discovered on my Ireland tour, the natural beauty of these cliffs simply can’t be put into words. You just have to go and see them for yourself!