Happy Birthday Wild Atlantic Way!

Last updated on May 15, 2024

The Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland has just turned 10 years old and we’re celebrating with a dedicated article…

At Fanad Head Lighthouse
At Fanad Head Lighthouse (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

What is the Wild Atlantic Way?

At just over 2500 kilometres in length, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest continuous coastal route in Ireland, Europe and possibly even the world.

It stretches from Malin Head on the north coast of Ireland to Kinsale on the south coast of Ireland. It therefore follows the coastline along the west coast of Ireland.

It’s debatable where the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Ireland are because there are so many, but most of them are certainly along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Kinsale harbour
Kinsale harbour (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

The launch of the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way was officially opened on 1st of April 2014, marking its 10th birthday in 2024. We are definitely celebrating, because it was a really brilliant idea and initiative!

The Wild Atlantic Way is not a single road at all, but the connection of many existing coastal roads into a coherent work of art. Additional connecting roads were certainly built and poor roads were improved, but as I said, large parts of the WAW were already there.

Motorcycle and rider at the southern coast of Beara
Motorcycle and rider at the southern coast of Beara (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

The introduction and marketing of the Wild Atlantic Way has also boosted Irish tourism, with several million more visitors coming to the island each year than before.

However, this is not a mass event, as Ireland places great emphasis on sustainable tourism and the protection of the environment and cultural heritage.

The rural west coast of Ireland has traditionally been structurally weak and now relies heavily on tourism.

Five Finger Strand
Five Finger Strand (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

Special features of the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is marked throughout by its own road signs, which show a stylised white wave on a blue background and the direction of travel north or south.

There are 188 Discovery Points, 1000 attractions and sights and over 2500 activities along the route.

Despite this, the WAW is not over-marketed, as the numbers seem like a lot at first, but it should not be forgotten that it is all well spread out over 2600 kilometres.

Discovery points are particularly beautiful vantage points where car parks have been created and information boards erected.

Wild Atlantic Way near Ceide Fields
Wild Atlantic Way near Ceide Fields (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

What you can expect from travelling the Wild Atlantic Way

The wild Atlantic coast of Ireland is breathtakingly beautiful. There are cliffs that rise several hundred metres above the surf, white sandy beaches and clear, azure waters.

You will see colourful, cosy villages, small winding roads, fluffy sheep everywhere (even on the roads), cosy pubs and beautiful mountains in the hinterland.

As the Irish are very child-friendly (Ireland has one of the highest birth rates and one of the youngest populations in Europe), there are always fun parks and activities of all kinds for families.

Surfers at Inch Beach
Surfers at Inch Beach (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

In practically every major town you will find at least one Celtic-Irish castle and several churches that you can visit. There are dolmens, portal tombs and ring forts all over the island, as well as Norman castles, English manor houses with incredible gardens and the ruins of medieval abbeys. There is a lot of history in Ireland and there is much to visit and discover.

There are flights to Dublin from many airports in Europe. You can drive the Wild Atlantic Way in a hire car, or hire a motorbike from us.

Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours
Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours

We are originally from Germany, but have lived in Ireland for several years (second home), where we run our motorbike rental business (https://www.easycruiser.tours) and also offer guest rooms during the summer months.

We have had many guests over the years and most of them have set off on their tour stressed and jet-lagged and come back completely relaxed and with a smile on their face.

West coast of Beara
West coast of Beara (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

They felt the same way we have for years: travelling in Ireland is not cheap, because Ireland has a North-West European price level.

But travelling through Ireland slows you down immensely. This is due to the leisurely traffic on the small roads where you can’t rush, the stunningly beautiful landscapes that nobody would have expected beforehand and the friendly, relaxed Irish people who make it easy for you to feel at home as a guest in Ireland.

Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours
Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours

I can therefore highly recommend travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way!

Happy Birthday Wild Atlantic Way!

More information about the Wild Atlantic Way

The Irish Tourism Board has made a very nice, short video about the Wild Atlantic Way. You can find it here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/A17nvJwQ6-M?si=AFfoWV_gDAzbmzqd.

The official website of the Irish Tourist Board with lots of information about the Wild Atlantic Way can be found here: https://www.ireland.com/en/destinations/experiences/wild-atlantic-way/.

I have already written a series of articles about the Wild Atlantic Way. The first article can be found here: https://ireland-insider.com/irelands-wild-atlantic-way-part-1-an-introduction-to-the-worlds-longest-coastal-road/.

Colourful houses near Eyeries
Colourful houses near Eyeries (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg

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Picture credits cover picture: O Briens Tower at the Cliffs of Moher, photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg (www.easycruiser.tourswww.irland-insider.dewww.ireland-insider.com

Uli Written by:

Hello and welcome to my blog. Originating from Germany, my family and I now live in Ireland (at least part time). We have travelled this amazing isle many times and know many parts of it very well. In this blog, I would like to share valuabe tips and information for your next trip to Ireland with you. Enjoy the content, yours, Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg