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Stunning West Coast Of Ireland – The Wild Atlantic Way

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Ireland's Stunning West Coast - The Wild Atlantic WayThe very first time I set foot in Ireland, something caught my heart instantly, I cannot quite put my finger on it. There is an essence and spirit inherent here, that is like no other, a mysticism and tender beauty, a rare softness that will just take your breath away. When you go on to have your first pint of Guinness in one of the local pubs and are charmed by some friendly local who will tell you a silly joke, you lose your footing and you fall in love with this tiny little country stuck way out in the Atlantic Ocean.

One sure way of being blown away by the green island is to journey along the Wild Atlantic Way along the West Coast of Ireland. Actually, the route starts on the north coast on the Inishowen Peninsula and finishes in the quaint little town of Kinsale on the south coast. The Wild Atlantic Way is 1600 miles in length and features piles of natural wonder, countless beautiful towns and villages, world class waves, stunning cliffs and a wildness and freedom you will never forget. Unlike most of Europe, Ireland has lots of open spaces, uninhabited mountains and valleys, charmingly bad roads and a heap of sleepy towns with one shop, a church, and a pub.

Ireland's Stunning West Coast - The Wild Atlantic Way
Small Hill in County Donegal in Ireland

Starting off on the northern coast, you will stumble upon the remote and untouched beauty of County Donegal, a place considered so far off into the Atlantic Ocean that even Irish people rarely venture there. But when you do, you will find gorgeous beaches, endless open spaces and forty shades of green.

Traveling a little south, make sure to take a few days on Achill Island which is in fact, a peninsula accessible by car across a bridge. The stunning cliffs and mountains are topped off with one of the greatest surfing beaches in the world at Keel.

Ireland's Stunning West Coast - The Wild Atlantic Way
Galway, Ireland

At the approximate half point along your route, you will hit Galway, a small city of just 70’000, nicknamed “the graveyard of ambition”, simply because so many have found themselves never wanting to leave and casting away all of their life ambitions just to be able to stay in this great little city. Galway is vibrant and world renowned for its arts, culture, and horse racing festivals and the pedestrianized center of this little city is packed with great pubs and nice shops. A ten-minute walk from the city center will bring you out to Salthill where you can go for a swim and soak up the sun on a stunning blue flag beach.

If you manage to tear yourself away and venture on, you will hit County Clare next and be blown away by the lunar landscape of the Burren Mountains and the amazing Cliffs of Moher. More great beaches, towns and a plethora of Irish music and dancing, fine food and buckets of Guinness.

Further down, in the southwest, the Wild Atlantic Way brings you to County Kerry, a place of rugged mountains, cliffs and wild waves, gorgeous towns and that breath-taking Irish spirit and smart wit.

Ireland's Stunning West Coast - The Wild Atlantic Way
Bay of Kinsale in Ireland

Heading on East you will end your journey in Kinsale unable to grasps the beauty and natural wonder you’ve just been immersed in and you vow to return again and again and leave a little part of your heart.

Have you been thinking of visiting Ireland?  Don’t hesitate, once you visit you will certainly head back for another visit?

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32 Comments

  1. robin masshole mommy says

    I have always wanted to go to Ireland. I am hoping to get there next year.

  2. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    I love Ireland so much. We’ve been there about half a dozen times, and we have no intention of stopping any time soon. It’s SO beautiful there.

  3. Jen Rattie says

    Holy Moly. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been… encouraging… my husband to say yes to a trip to Ireland, and I think this post will help the cause. He cannot resist my will!

  4. Karen says

    What gorgeous pictures! My grandmothers side of the family is Irish, and we’d LOVE to take a trip eventually to explore 🙂

  5. Carol Speake says

    I have spent a great deal of time in England but have never made it to Ireland. The scenery looks amazing.

  6. Jeanette says

    Ireland is at the very top of my list of places I need to visit. These pictures make me want to just throw down everything and go there right now.

  7. Doria says

    So beautiful! They don’t call it the emerald isle for nothing. 😉 My husband loves Ireland and wants us all to go so it’s officially on the list.

  8. lisa says

    I have always wanted to go to Ireland. The pictures are breathtaking and it is definitely on my bucket list!

  9. Chrishelle Ebner says

    I would love to travel to Ireland one day. The west coast is a must see. The little coastal cities are so quaint and charming. It’s on my bucket list.

  10. Jenn says

    Wow, these photos are just beautiful. I bet the scenery is even nicer in person too. I would love to travel there one day.

  11. Tammy says

    I have never been to that part of the world but it looks just beautiful. I know a couple of people who have been there and loved it.

  12. Pam Wattenbarger says

    I have always wanted to go to Ireland. I have friends who have been there and the pictures they took are beautiful.

  13. Emily says

    This is stunning! My friends just honeymooned in Ireland and they loved it. So many great little places to relax. I have been to Scotland, France and England, and I hope to get to see Ireland one day too!

  14. Katie Kinsley says

    Those are gorgeous photos. Ireland is on my list of places to visit at some point. I think I want to wait to enjoy their summer!

  15. Meagan says

    I have always wanted to visit Ireland. Everything I see makes me want to go more.

  16. Terri Beavers says

    I’ve never been to Ireland but my dad spent a month there and loved it. I can’t wait to go myself but your photos will have to hold me over for now.

  17. Claudia Krusch says

    I have been saving to take a trip to Ireland one day. It is so beautiful there. Hopefully in the next few years we can go.

  18. Amanda Simkin says

    What a beautiful coastline! I am proud of my Irish heritage and want so badly to visit one day. It is such a breathtaking country with wonderful people and culture.

  19. Anosa says

    I loved Ireland when I visited last July and can not wait go back and maybe next time I will check out the west costal area

  20. Seattle Travel Blogger says

    We were wondering about a visit to Ireland. Some of our family went and they enjoyed it.
    Your article really makes us want to up this destination on our list!

  21. Toni | Boulder Locavore says

    This is really stunning! Sounds like Ireland’s West Coast is such a great place for our next trip! Thanks for sharing your pics!

  22. Rebecca Swenor says

    These look like beautiful destinations in Ireland. I have heard nothing but good from those visiting Ireland and would love to go there some day. Thanks for sharing the information and these gorgeous photos.

  23. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says

    I have friends who live in Ireland and have been wanting to visit one day. It’s on top of my to-do list this year. Ireland is so beautiful!

  24. Reesa Lewandowski says

    My husband went to Ireland years ago and it sounded so beautiful! I want to go! How beautiful!

  25. Chrystal | Nevermore Lane says

    Love, love, love. Ireland is my dream vacation. I have a map from when my grandmother went when she was 18. She drew a long to follow her path. I want to do that same path.

  26. Bonnie G says

    I can’t wait to travel hopefully someday. Ireland looks so pretty.

  27. Jeanine says

    Wow this is incredible. Stunning is so the right word, this would be a sight to see. I would love to visit Ireland.

  28. Crystal says

    So, so gorgeous! I was lucky enough to be able to tour Ireland as a teenager, but that was half a lifetime ago. I’d love to go back.

  29. ricci says

    Oh wow! Your photos are stunning! I have always wanted to go to Ireland.

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