Strap on your helmets and get on your runners – I’m going to give you a tour of the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW). This route is a designated path stretching the length of the country, from Donegal to Cork along the West coast. It is a must see to properly experience the beauty of the Irish coastline and the natural scenery Ireland has to offer. Along the route is the Great Western Greenway, the longest off road walking and cycling trail in Ireland. So for those of you who enjoy the outdoors, keep reading (even if you don’t, keep reading).
The cycle routes on the Greenway are family friendly, and can be as slow or fast paced as you desire. The towns you’ll meet along the Greenway are Achill, Mulranny, Newport and Westport.
There is a wide selection of places to stay in each of the towns, with plenty of activities to do at each stop. From fishing and surfing to visiting historic sites and a trip up Croagh Patrick, there is more to do than just cycling and walking on the Greenway.
Each step along the Wild Atlantic Way boasts its own unique feature – whether it’s the North Mayo Sculpture Trail or the seven arched viaduct crossing the Black Oak river. You also have the opportunity to dip into the Gaeltacht areas, where the native Irish language is the common tongue spoken. More experienced cyclists can also avail of the opportunity to cycle the length of the Wild Atlantic Way, starting at Kinsale and finishing in Derry. Electric bikes are an option (if your thighs aren’t up for the real deal). For more information on cycling visit this website http://irelandways.com/ways/the-wild-atlantic-way. The WAW can be experienced by foot also, whether you’re walking alone or part of a walking club. Five of the country’s six national parks are found along the WAW, giving you the opportunity to get out and enjoy the wildlife Ireland has to offer.
If you’re not the exercising type, just hop in your car and drive the Wild Atlantic Way! Stop off along your journey and visit places such as Books@one on Bridge St Louisburg, Co.Mayo. The community bookshop has plenty of new and second hand books, reading room and even a Harry Potter corner! So stop off, grab a coffee and snuggle up with a book.
Take a trip to the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, or ride a cable car to Dursey Island (it’s the only way to get out there!). Maybe pay a visit to Fungi, the resident dolphin in Dingle, Kerry.
The places to visit on the Wild Atlantic Way are endless. With each town you visit comes a plethora of activities, so keep your eyes open and check out this website and this one when planning your trip!