Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way starts in West Cork
It does. Trust us!
Yes, we know that most sources tend to present the world’s longest defined touring route, The Wild Atlantic Way, as running from Malin Head in Donegal heading south down the west coast of Ireland and ending in Kinsale, West Cork, but we think it makes much more sense to approach the route the other way around.
Why start your Wild Atlantic Way adventure in West Cork?
Well for starters, because we drive on the left in Ireland, when you start in the south and work your way north you’ll always be on the right side of the road to enjoy the scenery uninterrupted. Starting in the north and heading south means you have a traffic lane between you and the wild Atlantic all the way down.
We think that’s reason enough but there are plenty of other reasons to head to West Cork first.
The Haven Coast: The West Cork stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way
Kinsale, known as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland, sits at the southern end of the 2,500 km Wild Atlantic Way touring route. At just 30 minutes’ drive from Cork City this vibrant, colourful town is one of the most accessible access points to the Wild Atlantic Way, and is the ideal place to get a taste of that magical West Cork vibe before heading deeper into your Wild Atlantic Way experience.
As you head along the Haven Coast you’ll take in breath-taking vistas from headlands like the Old Head of Kinsale, Galley Head and Toe Head. The spectacular craggy coastline is punctuated by glorious sandy jewels. If you enjoy beaches you’ll find some of Ireland’s best along this stretch of coast: places like Inchydonney, Red Strand, Long Strand and our very own Warren Strand, to name a few.
As well as visiting the iconic sights and experiences along this winding coastal route, the Wild Atlantic Way is also about unearthing those hidden gems you won’t necessarily find on a regular tourist map, and perhaps not even be on the official Wild Atlantic Way app. Tapping into local knowledge to discover extraordinary people, places, stories and experiences along the way is a fundamental part of the Wild Atlantic Way ethos… and you’ll find it’s a concept we’ve embraced wholeheartedly here in West Cork.
Our helpful and friendly team are more than happy to help you discover the hidden nooks and crannies, events and experiences that make this remarkable stretch of Ireland’s coastline such a special place to visit. All you have to do is ask.
For more on this exciting stretch of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way check out The Haven Coast page on the official Wild Atlantic Way Website.
Some of the highlights of The West Cork Stretch of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way include:
- Spectacular coastal scenery
- West Cork’s renowned artisan foods and culinary excellence
- Some of the best whale and dolphin watching anywhere in Europe
- A warm local welcome in charming towns and villages
- A host of activities to suit all interests
- That ethereal West Cork magic that makes any visit special