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Ireland: Exploring Clare's Wild Atlantic Way
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way stretches from County Donegal in the north to County Cork in the south, following (unsurprisingly) the rugged Atlantic coast. If you’re a fan of the sea or the great outdoors, it’s definitely one to add to your holiday bucket list. If you’re itching to get out of the UK, but still apprehensive about going further afield, the Republic of Ireland could be the destination for you. Here, Eileen gives us her top tips for planning your perfect Wild Atlantic Way adventure.
By Eileen Russell
What were your personal holiday highlights?
Sea, scenery, cliffs, walks and hiking.
- Kilkee – a small town with a very safe beach, very busy during the summer months with tourists, with diving boards and rock pools to swim in.
- Lahinch – the surf capital of Clare, extreme waves but suitable for beginners when the tide is out.
- Doolin – a more traditional town, just a short drive away from the Cliffs of Moher.
- Cliffs of Moher – arguably the most breathtaking scenes on the Wild Atlantic Way. They have to be seen to be believed!
Where’s best to find accommodation?
Airbnb, hostels and hotels. It’s also definitely worth looking into local individual BnBs. Highly recommended that you book in advance, as it can be busy in summer.
Best places for food and best places to visit?
For the best food, head to: Diamond Rocks Café and Naughtons in Kilkee, and Joe’s Café and O’Looneys Lahinch. My favourite trips were a day trip to the Aran Islands from Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher. Other highlights included a caving experience in Doolin with the longest free-hanging stalactite in Europe, surfing in Lahinch, Father Ted’s house, and the Burren and Ailwee Caves.
Any practical advice on getting around?
Travelling about by car is definitely the most convenient way to do it, as public transport in southwest Ireland is poor. Shannon airport is located in County Clare and is the closest to all of these places, but if you don’t mind a long drive you could consider Knock or Dublin.
Remember to check the UK government’s travel advice for the Republic of Ireland before you set off, and don’t forget your euros!
Top 3 tips?
- Plan in advance, as it will be very difficult to book accommodation with little or no notice.
- Bring a raincoat! The weather is somewhat humid but can turn wet very suddenly.
- Pints and alcohol in Ireland are more expensive than in the UK. Booking a location where you can pre-drink may be worth your while.