5 Ways to Explore the Wild Atlantic Way

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is an outstanding 2500km stretch of coastline passing through nine counties and three provinces. The route combines some of Ireland’s most charming towns and cities with hidden beaches, staggering cliffs and stunning bays. With over 30 unique routes, there are different ways one can travel the Wild Atlantic Way.


Travelling the Wild Atlantic Way by car is the most popular choice because it’s also the most flexible option, especially if it’s self-drive. Remember, there are so many routes to take along the Wild Atlantic Way. By driving, you can choose your own route and have the freedom to take a detour if you wish. This way, you’re more likely to discover some hidden spots as you’re not restricted to where you can go. 

Travelling the Wild Atlantic Way by car.


At 2500km long, it’s of course impossible to walk the entire Wild Atlantic Way, just like it would be impossible to drive it all in the one trip. Thankfully, there are several walking and hiking routes suitable to all levels of ability that allows walkers and hikers to experience the Wild Atlantic Way from a different perspective – from the clifftops! There are 179 walking and hiking trails to choose from, these routes can be found on the Wild Atlantic Way official website.  Walking routes pass through lots of different towns and villages, making it easy to stop off and rest for the night.


For those who aren’t too keen on the idea of taking on the Wild Atlantic Way by foot or aren’t very confident about driving, don’t worry, there are various cycling routes too. The cycle routes are just as navigable by bicycle as by car and are incredibly leisurely too. The Great Western Greenway, Ireland’s longest off-road cycling route at 42km, is one trail that is included in the route. It circles Mayo’s Clew Bay along the Westport to Achill railway line. There are plenty of bike rental options for visitors who can go self-guided or as part of a group. 


As a coastal route, there’s of course lots of water-based options too. Whether it’s a sailboat or ferry, numerous companies offer unique boat trips to and from different parts of the route. Several ferry’s sail to Galway’s Aran Islands or the Blasket of Skellig Islands in County Kerry. And there’s even plenty of stop off points for some water sports too. The Surf Coast which leads from Donegal Town through Sligo to Erris in Mayo is renowned for surfing, attracting surfers and swimmers from all across the world.

Public Transport 

The Wild Atlantic Way has excellent public transport connections including bus and rail, making it accessible to literally anybody. If travelling to locations along the route by rail, trains depart from cities in Ireland such as Dublin and Cork. Some parts of the Wild Atlantic Way are only accessible via road, however. Luckily, public buses travel to these parts. Ireland’s national bus network, Bus Eireann, provides hundreds of daily routes, including Expressway lines and regional, rural and town-to-town services throughout the regions.

Wild Atlantic Way by public transport

Hopefully there is an option of transport to suit you if you plan on exploring the fantastic Wild Atlantic Way.

Best of Scotland Holidays can arrange your Wild Atlantic Way adventure. We’ll organize your accommodation and hire of a self-drive car if required. You can check out our Wild Atlantic Way tour package here or contact us today if you’d like to speak to one of our travel experts. 

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