From the Cliffs of Moher to Donegal – The Wild Atlantic Way
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.
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 tourists to scavenge for food in some of these heavily visited 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 peaks and get that great shot.
In 2011 the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark gained Global Geopark status. Making up over 530 square kilometres the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark offers a diversity that is second to none. There is the natural beauty of the 200 metre high Cliffs with its eight kilometres of rugged coastline, and there is beauty in the vast array of flora, including Arctic and Alpine flowers that grow surprisingly alongside Mediterranean species. There is also the staggering amount of history in the Burren region with over 2,700 recorded monuments, some dating back over 6,000 years. This has led to the Burren being described as “one vast memorial to bygone cultures”.
Check out this video blog from Danielle as she camps and cycles from Spanish Point to Derry along the Wild Atlantic Way.
When touring this area we stayed at the fabulous Armada Hotel at Spanish Point – it is the perfect location for all the site on this part of the WAW. Fantastic food, very comfortable rooms and the view? Priceless.
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