WHERE ICE AGE LANDSCAPES MEET WEST COAST WARMTH AND WHERE MUSIC IS A WAY OF LIFE!
The Wild Atlantic Way, the longest defined coastal touring route in the world stretching 2,500km from Inishowen in Donegal to Kinsale in West Cork, leads you through one of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.
A frontier on the very edge of Europe, the WAW is a place like no other, where one can view the raw, rugged beauty of the highest sea cliffs in Europe and experience Northern lights dancing in winter skies.
Here you’ll find Medieval Church’s, Castles and the vibrant Galway City.
The WAW route skims south around several huge bays. The largest of these – Clew Bay – is said to have 365 Islets and Islands.
(‘An Caoláire Rua’ in Irish), in the heart of Connemara, is one of Ireland’s three fjords and forms a spectacular natural divide between counties Galway and neighboring Mayo. Here, you will find some of the most dramatic scenery in Ireland. From the northern shore rises Mweelrea, the highest mountain in Connacht at 2671 feet and to the south you can see the Maumturk Mountains and the Twelve Bens.
INIS BIGIL (INISHBIGGLE)
Located between the Mayo mainland and Achill Island and accessible across the Bullmouth Channel, one of the strongest currents in Europe. Inis Bigil is a unique Island which to this day has a traditional community where small farming and fishing are time-worn traditions. It has stunning panoramic views of west Mayo.
This island is Ireland’s largest offshore island and one of the few to be accessible by road. The island boasts of spectacular sea cliffs, awesome scenery, stunning drives, walks and cycle routes and beautiful beaches (many of them Blue Flag Beaches) catering for all types of angling and water sports. Keem Bay on Achill Island, nestles at the head of a valley between Benmore cliffs and Croaghaun Mountain. In the past, this area was a key location for the Achill Basking Shark Fishery, which operated in the 1950s and 60s. During that period, spotters were stationed at Moyteoge Head, which borders the beach, to identify the sharks and direct hunting boats to them. The sharks were targeted for oil which was used as a lubricant in the aerospace industry.
This island guards the entrance to Clew Bay and in former times was the home of the pirate queen Grace O’Malley (Granuaile). The island has a network of looped walks… climb to the peak of Knockmore, where you’ll be enthralled by the panoramic views of Clew Bay and its islands, seabirds, the Blue Flag Harbour Beach and Croagh Patrick on the mainland.
(Island of the Wild Boar) is a scenic little island off the west coast between Inishbofin and Clare Island. Its just a short boat journey from Roonagh Pier to Inishturk. The island has an array of archaeological sites and is an environmentalist’s paradise with wonderful bird life and unique flora.
Located off the west coast of Connemara and is renowned for its impromptu music sessions featuring wonderful local and visiting musicians. Visitors here are captivated by the island’s allure and magnificent scenery. Inishbofin is an ecologist’s joy with its array of flora and fauna and boasts excellent loop walks, two Green Coast beaches and crystal clear waters ideal for scuba diving enthusiasts. The island’s stunning natural harbour makes it an ideal sailing base.
CEANTAR NA NOILEÁN
A group of islands situated between Kilkerrin Bay and Greatmans Bay, 56km West of Galway City. The main islands are Eanach Mheain, Leitir Moir, Garumna and Leitir Meallain and access is by a chain of bridges and causeways. This scenic area of South Connemara is part of the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area).
AND OF COURSE, THE 3 ARAN ISLANDS
- INIS OÍRR
Meaning “south island”, is the smallest of the three islands. small enough to see entirely on foot. Ancient monuments worth a visit include the ruins of Teampall Chaomhain (St. Kevin’s Church), O’Brien’s Castle – a 15th Century tower house which stands within a stone fort, St. Gobnait’s Church and the Holy Well of St. Enda. At Áras Éanna Arts Centre.
- INIS MEÁIN
Meaning ‘middle island’, is the least visited of the three Aran Islands. The unique and traditional Inis Meáin Knitwear is produced here. Inis Meáin too has many sites of historical interest, e.g. Church of the King’s Seven Sons, a number of holy wells and the prehistoric stone fort of Dún Chonchúir.
- INIS MÓR
Inis Mór, the biggest of the Aran Islands, home of the Dún Aonghasa prehistoric Hill Fort, remnants of 12th Century high crosses & churches and where you can still see the Aran Jumper being knitted.