Did you know that one of the world’s greatest road trips is in Ireland and that you can drive it in your own car?
Take the ferry across to Ireland and you will soon be scenting the fresh salty air of the incredible Wild Atlantic Way, which runs north to south along the rugged west coast.
Prefer to get there even quicker? Then book a short flight to one of half-a-dozen convenient airports and pick up a hire car. The Wild Atlantic Way is one of Europe’s great undiscovered secrets, even though it runs for 1,500 spectacular miles from Donegal to Cork.
Along the way, there is just about every coastal feature you could imagine – lofty cliffs alive with seabirds, great sweeps of golden sand, lushly green peninsulas, rocky islands sprinkled across a shining sea and deep bays protected by silent mountains.
Spread among the natural spectacles are traditional villages with welcoming accommodation, pubs and restaurants serving super-fresh food. You can also add romantic castles, ancient historical sites and glorious gardens – and you’re never far from a scenic golf course.
No road trip is complete without plenty of stops to embrace the surroundings and Ireland offers outstanding hiking, horse-riding, foraging for shellfish, boat trips and even surfing. In the very likely event that you find yourself warming to Ireland, then engaging with the local characters will enhance your joyful immersion. They’ll tell you the facts and the myths – often the two are inseparable – and help you to discover the magic of the west coast.
You can take as long as you want to explore and experience the Wild Atlantic Way, and for starters have a look at itinerary ideas on ireland.com. Each section has a selection of signature experiences, so have a browse and see which area most appeals – though you may have trouble making a decision…