In June of 2014 Fáilte Ireland launched a new campaign to encourage everyone planning a trip to Ireland or living there to discover the wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way. The route stretches from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal in the Northwest to Kinsale in Cork on the Southwest coast. “The 2,500 km (1,553 mile) route passes through nine counties and three provinces encompassing 157 discovery points, 1,000 attractions and more than 2,500 activities.” The route itself is free with many sites along the the way that also have not entry cost, but there are places where to get the best views such as the Cliffs of Moher you will pay a parking and entry fee.
From start to finish the outstanding natural beauty of this drive is jaw dropping. From cliff side to seaside the scenery is incredible and the views unlike anywhere else in the world. The power of the ocean with its crashing, unrestrained tides and storms has been changing the face of the coast of Ireland for centuries. From towering cliffs to immense bays and beaches the terrain is always shifting.
Mystical islands appear in sun washed bays, and crashing waves hit just below where sheep and cattle graze. This landscape is constantly altered but so in touch with its past. Small fishing villages and farms ladder the countryside. Ancients traditions and words are upheld in the Gaeltachts where everyone can speak Irish. Mystical ruins, abbeys and run down cottages are set in scenery that is second to none.
Sites like the Burren which is a desolate, moonscape vision that holds a curious beauty intertwine with the Cliffs of Moher which stand proud against the ravages of the sea. Birds whirling overhead clash with the crows that seek out the tourists to scavenge for dropped food in some of these heavily touristed areas. Stupid tourist kids hang off escarpments and bits of cliff daring the do not enter signs attempting to get their selfies. In the Burren the ground cracks lead down to crashing waves and teenagers dare their friends to jump the cracks. Check out this video blog from Danielle as she camps and cycles from Spanish Point to Derry along the Wild Atlantic Way.
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