By Niamh Wallace
The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s greatest adventure. It boasts some amazing coastal scenery, and the majesty of the Atlantic Ocean offers an escape for walkers, hikers and cyclists. Whether you are planning a weekend walk or a coastal road-trip, these are our best picks from the Wild Atlantic Way from top to toe.
The Rougey Walk - Bundoran, Co. Donegal
The Rougey Walk is a great place to get a stamp on your Wild Atlantic Way passport. Accessible from the Bundoran tourist office, you can take the path along the promenade at Tullan Strand and go from there, walking along the amazing views of the headland with the Atlantic Ocean roaring below. See the “fairy bridges”, natural bridges carved out of the cliff with a history of fairy stories among locals. Blow off some cobwebs in the brisk coastal air of the Rougey Walk.
Mullaghmore Head Walk - Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo
Mullaghmore means “the Great Summit” , and at Mullaghmore you get two for one views of the coastal Donegal Bay and the cliffside of Slieve League. Begin at Bunduff Strand and walk around Mullaghmore Head to see the spectacle of the sea, and get a blast of sea air to clear your mind. This area is also great for surfing, fishing and bird watching.
Salthill Promenade and Beach - Co. Galway
Salthill promenade is perfect for city dwellers to get a change of pace. The promenade is popular with walkers and runners, and offers a mixture of sandy and pebble beaches for you to explore. If you are brave enough they have diving boards for use in warmer weather, and rock pools to explore wildlife.
Brandon Point - Brandon, Co. Kerry
Brandon Point is a coastal viewing deck for magical views of Brandon Bay. This gem on the Wild Atlantic Way is where the coast meets the mountains, and offers a coastal hike for those who are seeking an adventure. There are various form of skua birds and sheep here who are unaware that they have some of the best views of Dingle Peninsula. If you are lucky, you may spot a dolphin or a whale off the coast. The views here will be well earned, and offer plenty of steps to keep your FitBit happy!
The Sheep’s Head Way - Kilcrohane , Co. Cork
The Sheep’s Head Way is the perfect end to any Wild Atlantic Way trip. These coastal walks can be altered to any fitness level, with walks from 1 to 7 hours long on varied terrain. It has a focus on responsible tourism to preserve its natural biodiversity. They offer an insight to the area’s history, with stone circles and the pilgrim trail of St Finbarr’s Way. End your trip on a high, and head into the nearby towns to sample some locally sourced seafood.
These coastal walks along the Wild Atlantic Way are sure to send you home with a new mindset and appreciation for the beauty of Ireland’s natural landscape.