the wild Atlantic way Clare
The Wild Atlantic Way Clare
The Wild Atlantic Way route is one hell of a road trip, the whole route covers 2,500 kilometres. This tourism trail is full of things to see and do, the route is full of beaches, old castles, cool Irish pubs and beautiful scenery. The Wild Atlantic Way route is a great way to see Ireland, if you have rented a car and decided to travel along the route, this is one of the best ways to see Ireland’s beautiful landscape. If you are on a tour, this isn’t so bad either!!
We have included two routes from the Cliffs of Moher along the Wild Atlantic Way that finishes in County Clare. The area around the cliffs is full of things to do and see. We have included these three routes, and we hope you travel them and experience the Wild Atlantic Way in all its beauty.
Route 1 – Cliffs of Moher to Loop Head Lighthouse Kilbaha South, Co. Clare
Cliffs of Moher To Kilbaha Loop Head Lighthouse Route
This mini travel itinerary of the Wild Atlantic Way can take you half of a day or just a few hours depending on the amount of time you have. We have included a map of the Wild Atlantic Way route to help guide you on your way. It’s a beautiful drive especially if the weather is nice. This route has golf courses, fanatic beaches, old historic buildings, great food, and lots of coastal areas. There is a Lighthouse at the end of the driving route, Loop Head lighthouse.
Trump International Hotel and golf course is on the Wild Atlantic Way route if you fancy a round of golf. It’s hard to put a driving time on the route due to traffic and weather conditions and stopping along the way, but you wanted to do the route quite quickly it would take about 1 hour and 30 minutes from the Cliffs to Kilbaha on way, of course, we are recommending you spend some time looking at villages, beaches and get a bit to eat in one of the many good Irish pubs along this route.
Liscannor has the John P Holland visitor centre, John P Holland was born in Liscannor, and his submarine design was transformed into the modern-day submarine that used be The America Navy. There were submarines named after John P Holland. Liscannor has some nice pubs to visit, please see Food and Drink Clare page for further info.
Lahinch is on the Wild Atlantic Way route and is full of activities, golfing on the Lahinch golf course and surfing on the beach. You can see the remains of Dough Castle, a 14th-century tower building, part of the castle has collapsed due to sandy soil in the foundation of the castle. This wonderful little coastal town has plenty of nice restaurants and pubs to grab some food on route.
Spanish Point is on the Wild Atlantic Way route, this little Irish village is named after a member of the Spanish Amanda whose ships were wrecked off the coast in stormy weather conditions.
There is a really nice beach in Spanish point, and one of Ireland’s oldest golf courses. The golf course is a nine-hole course with fantastic views of the Atlantic ocean. Mutton Island is across the bay from Quilty and features a 6th-century church founds by Saint Senan and a signal tower used to warn of invasion during the Napoleonic time period.
Doonbeg is home to the Trump international hotel and golf course. The hotel is a great place to stay and play a round of golf. Doonbeg has connections to Vice President Mike Pence. He stayed in Doonbeg and has relations in the area. Mike Pence visited Doonbeg as a young lad. The Trumps visited some of the pubs in Doonbeg during a Presidential visit to Doonbeg by their father Donald Trump in 2019. They tried Guinness in some of the local Irish pubs in Doonbeg, the locals really enjoyed the visit.
Kilkee is a beautiful small Irish coastal town. The area is full of holiday homes and caravan parks. This area is very popular with Irish people, and it can be quite busy during the peak period. The area is a great place to try some periwinkles and Irish street seafood! This coastal town has some scenic areas, and the minis cliffs are definitely somewhere you need to go to.
The mini cliffs highlight the Wild Atlantic Ways beauty. Kilkee has a fabulous beach, it’s a great area for sea fishing. There are many activities for kids including an indoor swimming pool and windsurfing. The town has some great pubs and good food. Kilkee has some walking routes, overlooking the Atlantic ocean, it’s a great spot to go walking.
Travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way route to Carrigaholt, you will experience the Ireland you see on postcards, green fields, and loads of cattle roaming the fields and Coastline. Carrigaholt is part of the beautiful Loop Head Peninsula. Carrigaholt is an old fishing port and the area is home to a large group of bottlenose dolphins.
There is an old castle in Carrigaholt dating back to the 15th century. Seafood is available in some of the pubs in Carrigaholt, it’s a perfect place to have a pit stop before you get to Loop Head Lighthouse. The area has lots of nice places to stay, B&B’s, camping and self-catering accommodation. The bridges of Ross are another beautiful place to visit on this Wild Atlantic Way Route.
Kilbaha Loop Head Light House
This driving route finishes at Loop Head Lighthouse in Kilbaha on the Loop Head Peninsula, possibly of Ireland’s best locations. Loop Head Light House dates back 300 years, it is open to the public, and you can take a guided tour and experience the history of the Lighthouse.
The landscape in this area is very special showcasing the beauty and ruggedness that makes the Wild Atlantic Way so special, and such a cool road trip. If you need to fuel up with food, Keating pub and restaurant Kilbaha is a super cool Irish pub. This Irish pub states that they are the closest Irish bar to New York City!!! Across from the pub, this is a lovely monument dedicated to people that have died and Irish culture and history.
This is one route you have to try, it’s a must-see on the Wild Atlantic Way route in County Clare and it’s a road trip you can do in half a day if you want or you could stay overnight in one of the ears along the route and soak up some of the local craic and culture.
Route 2 – Cliffs of Moher to Kinvarra County Galway Cliffs Of Moher To Kinvarra Driving Route
This wonderful Wild Atlantic Way route is a special route offering one of Ireland’s most beautiful scenic areas. Leaving the cliffs we recommend heading to Doolin to start this road trip. This route takes you into one of Ireland’s national parks.
This route has old churches, beaches, Thatched Irish cottages, super creamy pints of Guinness and old Dolmens dating back thousands of years, and oh yeah there’s that coastline that just blows you away. This route is full of walking trails and is a natural paradise full of wildlife and flowers. This route can take 1 hour or you can spend the full day seeing a few things along the route.
Leaving the cliffs you will get a view of the coastline heading towards beautiful little Doolin. This route has a number of beautiful thatched cottages to see on route. Doolin has lots to do and see. Doolin pier is a lovely spot for photos, and just to experience the power of the Atlantic Ocean beating against the nearby cliffs.
There is lots of good food in Doolin in Gus O Connor’s pub. You can go camping or glamping. You can catch the ferry to the Aran Islands, or just try some delicious Irish ice cream. There are a few castles close by to check out, please see our Castles Clare page for lots of info.
Driving along this Wild Atlantic Way route follow the Wild Altaic Way road signs outside Doolin, you will arrive in the Burren region. You will know you in the Burren when the landscape suddenly changed to a rocky, lunar landscape. The Burren is fantastic for photos and exploring.
The Burren is covered in different types of flowers, and interesting plants. This National park area is covered with beautiful coastal areas, beaches, castles, and caves. The mini cliffs are this route from Doolin into the Burren towards Fanore on the Coast road route. The mini cliffs are a nice place to stop, can walk across the lunar landscape of the Burren. There are a large number of activities to do while in the Burren region.
This part of the Wild Atlantic Way is partially scenic, you have the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Burren landscape on the other, it’s really nice. Along this route, there is a number of things to see. This road is what the Wild Atlantic Way is all about, really nature at its best.
There is hiking on the route, fishing and Fanore beach to enjoy. You can watch the Ocean moving along as you travel along this beautiful road. O Donohue’s pub is on this route, the oysters and Guinness are really good in this Irish pub.
The Black Head, Murrooghtoohy North County Clare
Driving along this coastal route, you will arrive at a Black Head. This is a great place to stop and take some photos. The Wild Atlantic Way has many great places for pictures but this has to be up there the best of them. The Blackhead is County Clare’s most northerly point, the views show the Aran Islands, Galway City and Galway City. You are in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way at this point, it’s a special area.
Travelling along the road towards Ballyvaughan, you will see an old stone building on your right before Ballyvaughan. This part of the Wild Atlantic Way has great views, some cool thatched cottages, and a Leprechaun Castle, if your lucky you might see Sean the Leprechaun, he’s usually there around lunchtime each day!!! You can stop and make a wish at this lovely little Irish castle with some coins, there is a special stone to stand on while making a wish and throwing the coin over your shoulder backwards.
It’s a really cool spot to stop and give a selfie. Ballyvaughan has lots to see and do, you can go fishing or stay the night in an original Irish Thatched cottage overlooking the Atlantic ocean with the Burren in the background. There are lots of good pubs in Ballyvaughan, including the Monks that have some delicious seafood. The Aillwee Caves are just outside Ballyvaughan, this is a great site for children to visit.
The Flaggy Shore
Following along this route of the Wild Atlantic Way, its very scenic, with a landscape changing slightly. You can stop at the Wild Atlantic Way sign at the Flaggy Shore and admire the view. This part of the route is wild and beautiful. This is a nice spot for a walk. You can visit Mount Vernon, an old Georgian Villa-style house overlooking Galway bay and the coastline of Clare. The house was built in 1788 for The Colonel Mr William Persse after he returned from the War of Independence in The US.
The Cypress trees on the grounds of Mount Vernon are believed to be gifts from President George Washington to Colonel William Perseee. In the 1900s the house was a summer vacation house of Lady Gregory of Coole, she was close friends with the famous poet WB Yeats. The villa house was used to entertain many important figures including George Bernard Shaw.
Traught Beach County Galway
This lovely little beach is another example of a beautiful peaceful area showcasing nature at its best. Traught beach is full of scenery and surrounded by beautiful Irish county side. This beach is located about minutes from The Flaggy shore, the beach is slightly of the Wild Atlantic Way route, you turn left and follow the sign for Traught beach.
It’s a great beach to go swimming or have a picnic in the car parking area in front of the beach. This remote beach is great for kids too, or just to chill out and listen to the radio for a while, and check out the coastline. This beach is a great spot to see the sunset, make sure to have your camera ready to go.
Following along the road to Kinvarra, you have hopefully experienced one of the nicest routes of the Wild Atlantic Way. Kinvarra has good nice places to stay, The Merri Man Hotel in Kinvarra, and Galway serve really good food and tall creamy pints of Guinness. This traditional Irish hotel has a thatched roof, rumours are that’s it the biggest thatched roof in all of Ireland. The hotel was named after the poet Brian Merriman, his poem is taught to be the best comic poem in all of Irish literature.
Kinvarra has a number of good watering holes with lots of Irish craft beers. Kinvarra is a seaport village, the view from the port is beautiful, and at night time it is really nice. Kinvarra is home to a 15th-century tower castle Dunguaire Castle. The castle gets its name from the ancient legendary King of Connacht. The castle is now turned into a major tourist attraction with medieval banquets held on the grounds.
We hope you travel these routes and experience the history, culture and landscape of this magical driving route. We hope you enjoy your time in County Clare and Galway and your visit to the Cliffs of Moher. These routes offer a taste of the Wild Atlantic Way.
We welcome any comments or suggestions by email, tell us your stories and send us some pictures.
FAO – Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to drive the whole Wild Atlantic Way route in Ireland?
Answer – The true answer is it depends you could travel the route it in one week, but to enjoy the world’s most beautiful and longest coastal route you should allow 2 weeks and 3 weeks would be even better. The route covers 2,500 kilometres.
What is the best part of the Wild Atlantic Way?
Answer – The best part, in my opinion, is the County Clare section and the Donegal part. The views, sites to see and scenery are breathtaking in these areas. You will be amazed by the natural beauty of these areas along the Wild Atlantic Way.