About

The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2500km (1600 mile) driving route that runs along the western seaboard of Ireland.

To drive the entire thing would take more than 2 weeks with barely a stop; you would need at least a month to do it justice. Most people choose a section, such as the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry or the remote coast of Donegal. Many tourists just find a sign, with its notable white wiggle on a blue background, and follow where it takes them.

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Official signpost for the WAW

The route is twisty, narrow, and hair-raising. To quote Sherry Otts, who drove the route in 2015, “not many tourism offices would decide to take the smallest, single-lane, dangerous roads in the country and market them out to the world to come and drive on them!” The weather is predictably unpredictable; you can get torrential rain storms in June and balmy sunshine in September. The landscape is ever-changing and stunningly gorgeous.

Between those sweeping hills and crashing waves, there are a multitude of stories. Myths of seals turned into women and children turned into swans. Tragedies of shipwreck and starvation. People struggling to earn a living from the rocky soil and the unforgiving sea. Adventurers who turned their hands to smuggling and piracy. Poets and filmmakers inspired by wild beauty.

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Connemara. Photo by P.J.McKenna

This blog will introduce a selection of those stories.

I followed the south-to-north route, starting in Kinsale and ending in Malin Head. Well, I didn’t actually travel that route in person (although I live in Galway and I have visited several of the other featured locations), but I virtually followed it through its stories.

Leave feedback in the comments, including ideas for future articles. Please explore – and perhaps be inspired to adventures of your own.