The Wild Atlantic Way is the world's longest defined coastal touring route. It's inspiring, renewing, relaxing and invigorating. It's yours to experience however you choose.
The Wild Atlantic Way is a touring route that takes you along the entire west coast of Ireland. It totals around 1,500 miles without straying from the coastline.
The Wild Atlantic Way features a variety of sightseeing locations, as well as opportunities for guided tours, venues, viewing points, music and excellent food along the way.
Here are some especially gorgeous points of interest on the North West portion of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Rugged yet inviting, Donegal’s Malin Head is steeped in history and offers activities such as walking, fishing, swimming and bird-watching. Here, north of Trawbreaga Bay, you can view Five Finger Strand, home to some of Europe’s largest sand dunes. At low tide, you can even spot the wreckage of the “Twilight,” which sank in 1889 while sailing to Derry.
For more history, follow the coast road. You’ll pass the old radio station, built in 1910, and The Tower, a derelict signal station located on Banba’s Crown, the most northerly point in Ireland. It’s the perfect place to relax with a picnic, as the stunning panorama includes Inistrahull and Tory Island, as well as the Scottish hills on a clear day.
If treasure hunting is more your speed, head east to Ballyhillion beach, which dates back to the ice age and is known for its many semi-precious stones.
SLIEVE LEAGUE CLIFFS
Slieve League Cliffs (or Sliabh Liag in Gaelic), situated on the southwest coast of Donegal, are said to be the among the highest and finest marine cliffs in Europe. To fully enjoy the spectacle of Sliabh League it is best to leave your car at the car park and walk the few miles to the cliffs so as not to miss the exciting scenery of the area.
There are terrific views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay as you walk towards the terrifyingly high top of Sliabh League, where the cliff face of Bunglas rises over 600 meters above the raging ocean. Experienced walkers only should venture beyond the viewing point onto One Man's Pass which loops around onto the Pilgrim's Path.
This is a sacred mountain. For over 1,000 years there was a Christian pilgrimage, no doubt Sliabh League was a sacred mountain before the Christians arrived here. There's much to know about Sliabh League, like the monks who went to Iceland or the eagle and the baby.
The village of Mullaghmore in Sligo is a favorite holiday destination boasting great surf and dominated by the monolithic shape of majestic Ben Bulben Mountain. Known as the Great Summit, Mullaghmore is a popular seaside resort regarded as one of the best surfing destinations in the world.
The magnificent waves are generated by a complex weather system nicknamed “The Viking Storm,” and in 2012 surfers from all over the world rode waves up to 15 meters (49 feet) high off Mullaghmore Head.
Mullaghmore beach stretches as far as the eye can see and is safe for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts.
The local Classieblawn Castle, a baronial style house standing on the peninsula dominates the landscape, is steeped in history and the local stories still fascinate.
You won’t get fresher food than the local seafood dishes on offer in Mullaghmore. Straight from the harbor to kitchen in a matter of minutes, the flavors flow!
You'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to great golf on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Ballyliffin Golf Club has two outstanding championship links on the north Atlantic coast. It is Ireland's most northerly golf complex and situated on the Inishowen Peninsula in north Donegal. The 36 hole complex at Ballyliffin is ranked among the very finest links courses in the world and boasts the warmest welcome in golf. The old links and Glashedy links offer contrasting challenges of the very highest quality.
The Rosapenna Golf Resort in Donegal offers two stunning, championship links courses. The Old Tom Morris Links was designed by Old Tom Morris of St. Andrews in 1893. The course has remained essentially unchanged for the past century, a standing tribute to the superb design work of those old masters. The Sandy Hills links course was designed by Pat Ruddy and opened for play in June 2003.
The Strandhill Golf Club in Co. Sligo was founded in 1931 and had a nine-hole course open for play in 1940. Play on the current 18 holes commenced in 1973. The clubhouse has been updated on a number of occasions and is now regarded as one of the best in the west.
The 6,000 yards of undulating fairways and unforgiving short cuts make it a course to remember. With Knocknarea mountain in the background, it has stunning views of the course, the rolling Atlantic and the setting sun.