There are few places in Ireland that are as visually stunning as the Wild Atlantic Way driving route. Away from packed shops and bustling neighborhoods, this is a trail that gives you unobstructed views and up-close experiences with the natural beauty of Ireland’s west coast. Stretching along the Celtic Sea Coast and passing through nine different counties, there are many stops that will keep anyone eager to see what’s next. Some of the most admired of these stops include:
1. Mullaghmore Head
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With sandy beaches that lend to wonderful afternoons of soaking up the sun, this small fishing village is not to be missed. While here you can take a walk along the seacliffs (don’t miss the views of Sliabh Liag Cliffs or Classiebawn Castle), swim, windsurf or even take a quick trip to Inishmurray Island.
2. Downpatrick Head
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The views of the Atlantic here are unlike any other, with wide open spaces and beautiful fields to walk through as well. One of the most exciting parts of visiting this area is seeing the Dun Briste Seastack, which is a broken-off piece of mainland that stands alone in the water.
3. The Burren
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If you’re up for a walk, then strolling along The Burren Way is a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s situated along the Cliffs of Moher and offers views of a very unique rocky yet green landscape. The trail starts in Lahinch and ends in Corofin, and has a lot of historical sites along the way.
4. Cliffs of Moher
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There’s a reason the Cliffs of Moher are one of the best views in Ireland. They do stretch for a total of 5 miles, but you don’t have to walk that entire length to appreciate the beauty that they offer. If you’re interested in seeing the “Hags Head”, which is a rocky formation that resembles a woman who is seated, then visit the southern end of the cliffs. If you want to see An Branan Mor Sea Stack or Aran Islands, then go to the North; here you’ll also be able to see the South Cliffs and the Aill Na Searrach surfing wave. There’s also a visitor center midway, which can teach you a lot about how the cliffs are protected and which viewing points offer unique sights.
5. Skellig Islands
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Tranquility and peace can be found on this UNESCO World Heritage-listed rocky outpost, along with breathtaking views that you’ll never forget. If you want an up-close view of the islands, then a boat tour is highly recommended. Another place to make sure to visit is the Skellig Experience Centre, which will teach you about the rich history of the island.