backBack to articles

Get the most out of the Wild Atlantic Way

Discover the 2,500 kilometers of breathtaking coastline, white sands, sparkling waves, breath-taking vistas and local history. From Co Donegal down to Co Cork, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest defined coastal route in the world.

Wild Atlantic Way

What is the Wild Atlantic Way?

The Wild Atlantic Way is a driving route of unprecedented length, tracing 2,500 km of Ireland’s western seaboard.

The project aims to take tourists on a journey of discovery through the Irish countryside, through hidden places. It cuts through the heart of Ireland’s Gaeltacht, where strongholds of traditional culture persist. In these areas, you can take a seat at a pub and hear locals conversing in the real Irish language. It’s a rare and authentic treat. The Way is punctuated by ‘Signature Experiences’ – discovery points that highlight impressive views or once-in-a-lifetime experiences. For example, you might have an opportunity to celebrate the summer solstice at Féile Grianán Áiligh in Donegal, ride a Connemara pony across the sands of Killary Harbour or meet the popularly elected King of Tory Island. It’s all in a day’s experience on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Many tourists will need to use a car hire service to plan the ultimate road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way.. has located dotted along the Wild Atlantic Way including airports, car rental Cork airport, Dublin airport, Shannon airportKnock airport and Kerry airport, as well as Galway, Cork and Sligo. And remember, we have a vehicle for every road trip, no matter the demands. For a road trip of this length, it is important to focus on comfort, and hire a car that you will enjoy spending time in, ideally with a fantastic music system.

The Wild Atlantic Way is blessed with some of the most scenic drives in Ireland and it is considered the single greatest way to experience western Ireland, so here are some highlights of road trips that certainly won’t disappoint.

  • Circle the far north at Malin Head

    Malin Head is Ireland’s northernmost peninsula features a stark seascape complete with a craggy coastline, windswept sand dunes and hints of Iron Age culture. A cycling tour introduces tourists to birdlife, geology and the history of the peninsula.

  • Forage for wild food along the Killala Shoreline

    At Downpatrick Head, a local tour operator takes visitors on a foraging tour of Killala Bay. You’ll cross mudflats, collect edible seaweed and capture cockles, mussels and clams. At the end of the tour, you’ll prepare and feast on the edibles you’ve collected.

  • Immerse yourself in the Burren

    The Burren is a rock garden, of sorts – a vast landscape of karst (limestone) outcroppings. It’s riddled with megalithic ruins, many of which are older than the Pyramids of Giza. Local tour guides are on hand to take tourists on informative walks along the limestone pavements.  

  • Ride a cable car to Europe’s last sunset

    The remote Beara Peninsula offers views of the distant Skellig Islands as well as the mountains of the interior. Land’s end is at Dursey Sound, and the waters are too rough for safe travel. From here, a cable car whisks tourists to Dursey Island – home to three farming families. On the island, you can appreciate castle ruins, prehistoric stone monoliths and one of the finest sunsets in all of Ireland.

Want to see more highlights and information about it? Click here.

Seen from the sky: The Wild Atlantic Way by a drone

Image ©Failte Ireland

Search Car Rentals

Related Articles

top family trips ireland

Top 10 family outings in Ireland

If you're organising a family trip to explore Ireland, have a look at the recommendations here before making travel plans.

Learn More
the wild atlantic way ireland

About the Wild Atlantic Way

Discover our top tips for Ireland's 2,500 kilometres of breathtaking coastline with white sands and sparkling waves along the Wild Atlantic Way path.

Learn More
top things to do in dublin

Top 10 things to do in Dublin

Whether you are looking for a day out, or more Dublin tourist information about what should be on your list of things to do, look no further!

Learn More
top things to do in cork

About car hire excess

Before you hit the road, it's crucial to understand car hire excess and how it works, especially when you're travelling in a foreign country.

Learn More
backBack to articles