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Great Places to Visit

Wednesday, 17th May, 2017 1:01am

Wild Atlantic Way Champions are tourism trade who have undergone training to provide excellent service and advice to visitors on their experience offering and destination on the Wild Atlantic Way. Enjoy reading some of their tips and recommendations on great places to visit on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Nic Slocum, Whale Watch

West Cork, Baltimore, Co. Cork

My Favourite Place on the

Wild Atlantic Way: Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork

Take the ferry from Baltimore to magnificent Cape Clear Island, Ireland’s most southerly community and part of The Gaeltacht, where Irish is spoken on a daily basis. Forty-five minutes will take you past the Baltimore Beacon and along the southern cliffs of Sherkin Island to the Gascanane Sound and the seal colony on Carrigmore. Into Roaringwater Bay proper and on up past Bird Island with distant views to the iconic Fastnet Rock and Lighthouse, The Mizen Peninsula and on a clear day clear across The Sheep’s Head to The Beara Peninsula. Drunk on the sheer beauty and majesty of God’s own land you will shortly arrive at North Harbour, TraCiarane, on Cape Clear Island...now this is my favourite place along the Wild Atlantic Way!This haven of tranquility and jewel in the crown of The Wild Atlantic Way bids you welcome like no other location along The Haven Coast. Islanders will stop for a chat, ask you where you are from and talk about the island’s long and varied history. A short walk from the pier is Sean Rua’s restaurant where you can get a coffee and a bite to eat while sitting in the sunshine. A short way up the hill is Cotter’s Bar where something a little stronger may be had to fortify you for a short stroll out to the castle of Dun an Oir, “the Fort of Gold”. The old seat of the O’Driscoll clan from where, it is said, the Celtic overlord Sir Fineen O’Driscoll defied Queen Elisabeth I when she implored him to stop raiding English trading ships heading for the ports of Cork and Galway laden with fine wines.

Others will try and tell you that there equally beautiful places along The Wild Atlantic Way. Do not believe them for Cape Clear Island leaves its indelible mark on you ... you will return.

 

About Whale Watch West Cork

Whale Watch West Cork operates from Baltimore Harbour and takes its guests out to view the whales and dolphins that make the waters around the islands of West Cork home during the summer months. Coming in to feed in these clear, unpolluted waters we look for minke, fin and humpback whales along with common dolphins and basking sharks. All tours are led by zoologist Nic Slocum who has been watching whales and dolphins from boats for the last 30 years.

 

Rachel Nolan, Rachel’s Irish Adventures; www.rachelsirishadventures.com

My Favourite Place on the Wild Atlantic Way: Is the best undiscovered coastal trail along the route.

In 2016, I cycled the Wild Atlantic Way, 2100km in 7 days with over 24,000 metres climbing. It was an amazing experience, around every corner was another deserted beach, sheep line cliff that falls into the great Atlantic ocean or colourful town to stop off for a coffee.

There are so many places along the Wild Atlantic Way that stand out for me but there is one place I return to over and over again and that is Carrowteige in North Mayo. It’s totally off the beaten track and a paradise for trail running and mountain biking and just switching off and getting lost in the beauty of nature. There are a few different loops with the longest trail at 18km. The cliff lined trail brings you along the rugged coastline with spectacular views of Kid island, the Broadhaven stags and further on you pass alongside golden beaches where you will just have to stop off for a dip in the turquoise water- on a calm day that is! After finishing this adventure trail, you can pop into the local stop at the carpark for a coffee. I do warn you, this is a Gaeltacht area so don’t be surprised if the friendly staff speak to you in Gaelic. This route really is ‘Wild’ and totally unspoilt, for me this is Ireland’s ultimate coastal trail.

 

Rachel’s Irish Adventures offer bespoke tours along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Guests are immersed in the Irish lifestyle and are guided on a journey to experience the Irish culture, discover the spectacular landscape and taste all the local specialities. The activities are diverse, ranging from cycling and walking holidays, Whiskey Appreciation Sessions or baking in the kitchen with Marjorie (Rachel’s Mam) who also runs Brigown Bed & Breakfast. Rachel has an 8-seater bus, speaks fluent French and Spanish and will tailor your experience to make it your trip of a lifetime.

 

Jonathan Powell and Amanda Burke; All Things Connemara, Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway; www.allthingsconnemara.ie

Favourite place on the WildAtlanticWay: Manin Bay, Connemara, Co. Galway

With the breath-taking backdrop of the Twelve Bens and the Coral beach, Mannin bay is the perfect setting to take in the Atlantic Ocean and the perfect playground to explore, learn and be in one of the Wild Atlantic Way’s ironically-beautiful spots. Catch a glimpse of the wild seals and leaping dolphins in the pristine ocean, or the roaming Connemara ponies on the rugged headland. Whether you want to explore the mountains, cruise along the ancient bog road, strike out for those quiet secluded beaches or discover islands and inlets aged in history, Connemara can satisfy your thirst for adventure.

 

All Things Connemara

All Things Connemara bring together over 140 local crafts and artisan products, and a ticket and information hub for local activities and tours. The shop promotes and showcases Connemara’s beautiful heritage and community by supporting local businesses from Connemara. It also provides bike hire for visitors and locals to roam the highways and byways of Connemara at their leisure. Their fleet of bikes from Electric and Hybrid to Children’s Bikes, Buggies and Tandems offer access to some of the most famous routes in Connemara on the Wild Atlantic Way, making cycling accessible and less strenuous for all the public.

 

 

John & Kerryann Fitzgerald; Atlantic Irish Seaweed, Derrynane, Caherdaniel,

Co. www.atlanticirishseaweed.com

My Favourite Spot on The Wild Atlantic Way: Derrynane Bay, Co. Kerry

On Sunday 7th of May, six of us left Derrynane Pier in our small boat and within 30 minutes we were in the middle of a flock of diving Gannets and we found ourselves surrounded by a pod of Minke Whales which circled the boat for over an hour feeding on the Mackerel below. A short while later they were joined by a small herd of Porpoises and to cap it off a large pod of common Dolphins joined the party. Between feeding two smallies and getting as many photos as we could, we managed to land our first ball of Mackerel of the year...and three fine Pollock on the south side of Two Head Island and within sight of the historic Islands Scariff and Deenish.

Without the photos, no one would have believed us! Derrynane Bay is bursting with history, visually stunning and teeming with wildlife. It truly is a bite of heaven.

 

About Atlantic Irish Seaweed

John and Kerryannrun a series of Seaweed Discovery Walks,Talks and Workshops introducing people to the rich history of seaweed use from Ice Cream to Gunpowder, by the Stone Age settlers, the Monks on Skelligs and their Viking Visitors. Each workshop finishes with a lunch prepared with a variety of Seaweed Dishes and Beverages...

Feasting on the Wild Atlantic Way!

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