The Wild Atlantic Way is a tourism trail on the west coast, and on parts of the north and south coasts, of the Republic of Ireland. The 2,500 km (1,553 mile) driving route passes through nine counties and three provinces, stretching from County Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula in Ulster to Kinsale, County Cork, in Munster, on the Celtic Sea coast. Along the route there are 157 discovery points, 1,000 attractions and more than 2,500 activities.
An Spidéal – Moycullen – Oughterard – Maam Cross – Maum – Leenane – Letterfrack – Clifden – Reccess – Maam Cross – Screeb – Casla – Indreabhán – An Spidéal.
This is a great tour as there is no right or wrong way to do it and there is very little back tracking on it! The tour can easily be done in reverse. (However, I prefer the view of Galway Bay and the Burren on the way down from Maam Cross to Casla than Moycullen to Spiddal.) With this tour there are four add-ons I would recommend doing if time permits.
Innagh Valley between Leenane and Letterfrack turn of the N59 onto the R334 towards Recess (this will bring you out again on the M59 below Clifden). The most spectacular part is along side Lough Innagh itself.
Sky Road starts at the northern edge of Clifden. The high road provides some fantastic views while travelling around the peninsular. This brings you back onto the N59 a few miles north of Clifden.
Just outside Lennane toward Clifden a road runs northwest toward Tully Cross. Most of the road runs along side Lough Fee and Lough Muck. Take the right hand road toward Rosroe Quay, this will give you magnificent views of Killary Harbour and Fjord and the Mweelrea mountains.
Delphi/Doo Lough just north of Leenan to Drummin is a fantastic drive through a series of valleys on the R335 after a kilometre or so it's worth a stop to look back! WOW! The rest of the scenery is just as impressive. After Drummin you come to Owenmore Bridge where you turn to bring you back onto the N59 which will bring you back towards Spiddal.
You would need to dedicate the full day to do this tour. However, if time is not permitted the bottom section (Spiddal – Moycullen – Maam Cross – Casla – Indreabhán – Spiddal) is easily doable.
Along the route there are plenty of places to stop and explore. A few personal favourite are Bridget's Gardens, Aunghure Castle, Glengowala mines, Kylemore Abbey and Allcock and Brown Museum.
An Spidéal – Indreabhán – Casla – Scribe – Rosmuc – Cill Chiarain – Carna – Caiseal – Tuaim Beola – Roundstone – Ballyconneely – Clifden – Recess – Maam Cross – Oughterard – Moycullen – An Spidéal
This drive will bring you through the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht leading you on to Clifden the "capital" of Connemara. This tour can also features a detour; at Casla continue on to Carraroe (An Ceathru Rua) home of the famed Coral Beach. Head on to Beal an Daingin which leads you Ceantair na Oileáin, Leitir Móir, Gorumna Island and Leitir Mellain via a series of bridges and causeway. On return on the R374 this will bring you straight back to Casla where you can rejoin the R336.
A few places of interest on this tour are Padraic Pearse cottage in Rosmuc, MacDara Island (Holy Island) off Carna to magnificent beaches Gurteen and Dogs Bay outside Roundstone. Ballyconneely is the home of connemara championship golf links.
COPYRIGHT © THE PARK LODGE HOTEL