The Wild Atlantic Way – Introduction
It is no surprise to many of my friends that my favorite place in the world is Ireland. I first visited there almost twenty years ago and each visit since always finds me planning my next return. It was on that first trip that I was treated to the natural beauty of the south western coast – Tralee, the Ring of Kerry, Killarney, and the Dingle Peninsula.
It was only upon a trip to Shannon two years ago that I discovered that I had already explored and driven parts of one of the most scenic and historical driving routes in the world – Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. The Wild Atlantic Way stretches for 2,500 kilometers (about 1,500 miles) along Ireland’s western seaboard. From the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork, and winding through the regions of Connemara, Galway Bay, Kerry, Limerick and Clare… it is the longest defined coastal drive in the world. I have made it a goal to drive the entire 2500 kilometer route – even if I have to do it in bits and pieces.
I have just returned from a week of doing just that. Flying into Dublin and meeting a friend who flew in from San Francisco, we rented a car and off we went. I have been driving on the left for over twenty years so that was not an issue at all. And I know she was glad to be along for the ride….and we ended up clocking about 1500 kilometers in all. Her last trip to Ireland was over thirty years ago and I think that seeing a side of Ireland other than Dublin opened her eyes to a side of the country she had never experienced. I have nothing against visiting Dublin, but as with so many capital cities, once you have ‘been there and done that’…. well, it is pretty much done.
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about and sharing photos from our drive along the Wild Atlantic Way. Our journey took us from the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare through Connemary and Sligo to Slieve Leag Cliffs (Irish: Sliabh Liag) in county Donegal with many stops in between. From double rainbows and majestic bens to white faced sheep feeding along the roads, it was a memorable week.
I hope you will join me, get away from the City, and discover just what a phenomenal destination vacation spot Ireland can be.