The Wild Atlantic Way celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2024, so there’s never been a better time to plan your visit. Here’s a five-day itinerary to inspire. 

It’s the 2,500km-long coastal road from the wind-whipped tip of Malin Head in County Donegal to the balmy beauty of Kinsale town in County Cork.

Said to be the world’s longest defined coastal touring route, it’s no wonder groups have been flocking to the west to take in its epic landscapes along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Where’s best to start?

Here’s a five-day road trip from County Donegal to County Galway that’s bound to inspire a future group holiday (you can download the itinerary at the bottom of this feature):

Day 1: County Donegal

Visit the magical Fanad Head Lighthouse which offers group tours or explore the breathtaking Glenveagh National Park, the ideal escape for lovers of the natural world.

Take a tour at Crolly Whiskey Distillery or experience the Slieve League Cliffs, which at almost 2,000ft above the Atlantic Ocean are known as one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, boasting magnificent views.

Enjoy a meal, the craic and traditional music at The Rusty Mackerel.

Day 2: County Sligo

Enjoy an Atlantic Sheepdogs demonstration, take a walking tour with Seatrails. Choose a refreshing coastal walk, an adventurous mountain hike with spectacular views or an interesting mythology trail. Or discover the fascinating story of Lissadell House and Gardens.

Stroll, kayak or surf at Strandhill Beach where a new National Surf Centre has just opened, or indulge at the Voya Seaweed Baths which uses seaweeds hand-harvested on the Atlantic Coast for a variety of treatments.

Delight your group with fine Irish dining at Eala Bhán in the heart of Sligo Town on a beautiful stretch of the Garavogue River.

Surfers seen in the distance at Strandhill beach in County Sligo, Ireland

Source: Courtesy Rory O’Donnell

Strandhill Beach in County Sligo offers panoramic views of Knocknarea and Benbulben as well as a haven for surfers, both novices and experienced. 

Day 3: County Mayo

Visit Céide Fields – the world’s most extensive stone age monument or explore the charming town of Westport with a trip to Westport House, one of the few privately-owned historic houses left in Ireland. For a wonderful combination of Victorian and contemporary architecture, there’s a great offering for groups at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life.

Take in the raw landscape of Achill Island by foot or bike. The island is famous for beautiful Keem Bay which you may recognise as a filming location from The Banshees of Inisherin.

Stargazing at Mayo Dark Sky Park. There are three viewing sites to choose from and on a clear night you can see thousands of twinkling stars and meteor showers, all with the naked eye.

A spectacular view of the Northern Lights in Mayo Dark Sky Park, Ireland

Source: Tourism Ireland

Nestled between the remote Nephin Mountain Range and the unspoiled Atlantic coastline, the Dark Sky Park extends across an area of 150km2. 

Day 4: Connemara, County Galway

For stunning views, amaze your group with a Killary Fjord Boat Tour of Ireland’s only glacial fjord.

You will sail to the mouth of the Fjord, the gateway to the Atlantic coast and see unrivalled views of otherwise impossible-to-reach sections of the Wild Atlantic Way. Back on terra firma, the beautiful Kylemore Abbey is a popular attraction. Don’t miss the stunning neo-Gothic Church or the Victorian Heritage Walled Garden.

Embark on one of Connemara National Park’s walking trails or head to the charming market town of Clifden, drifting in and out of the many gift shops. If you are there on a Friday, the market is a delightful experience.

Stop in at the bustling Lowry’s Music & Whiskey Bar for live music and a warm welcome.

Kylemore Abbey in County Galway, Ireland

Source: Courtesy of ©Chaosheng Zhang

Kylemore Abbey on the Wild Atlantic Way has been home to a Benedictine order of nuns for the past 100 years and welcomes visitors from all over the world. 

Day 5: Galway City

Take the Galway City Food Tour for a taste of some of the city’s produce from oysters and cheese to doughnuts, strawberry tarts and local beers.

Explore the Latin Quarter, Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum, stroll the Salthill Promenade or experience Galway Cathedral which boasts an impressive variety of interior art such as statues, mosaics and stained glass.

Enjoy traditional fish and chips at McDonagh’s followed by a traditional music session at Tig Cóilí (there are two each day to choose from).

Musicians perform at the Tig Cóilí pub in County Galway, Ireland

Source: Courtesy Failte Ireland

In the heart of Galway’s ’Latin Quarter’, Tig Coili is considered to be the home of traditional Irish music. 

Travel to Ireland

The island of Ireland also benefits from quick and easy access from Great Britain with plenty of air and sea routes to choose from.

What’s more, the continuation of the Common Travel Area (CTA) means British and Irish citizens can travel between the two islands without a passport or visa restrictions, subject to ID requirements from the travel provider.

For even more information and itinerary inspiration visit

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