Get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, fill your lungs with fresh air and then stop off in a village pub for a creamy pint and a trad session. It doesn't get any better than hiking these seven epic trails along the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Appalachian Trail is a linear trail in the most northwestern corner of Ireland, covering more than 100km. Start at the Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) cliffs, head along the Bluestacks Way and finish at Ballycastle, County Antrim. Rocky, boggy and remote, enjoy 360-degree panoramas of lush green landscapes, jagged coastlines, barren cliffs and beautiful beaches. Book some downtime and soak up the stunning coastal scenery.
Glencolmcille Tower Loop
Discover the Glencolmcille Tower Loop, a 35km stretch of spectacular coastline. Check out the scenic Drum Loop and the shorter Tower Loop, both of which start and end at St Columba’s church in Glencomcille village. Spot the Megalithic tombs and historical ruins, travelling back to ancient times. Bask in the beautiful scenery and rich heritage of this spectacular hike.
Lough Easkey Loop
Discover the amazing scenery of the 6km Lough Easkey Loop with its stunning lakeshores and lush green countryside. Hike the 90 minute trail, cross the bridge over the Easkey River and loop back to the trailhead. Admire the lake’s crystal clear waters while walking through the expansive bogland. The rugged, remote landscape is beautifully peaceful.
Ballycroy National Park
Explore the 15,000 hectares of beautiful Ballycroy National Park with its rocky terrains, dramatic landscapes, and rare wildlife. Hike the leafy green Letterkeen Loops, ranging from 6km to 12km and for experienced walkers, there’s the challenge of the 40km Bangor Trail. Appreciate the outstanding natural beauty of this remote park and the unrivalled views of the magnificent Nephin Beg Mountains.
Doolin Cliff Walk
The magnificent Doolin Cliff Walk is a 20km coastal cliff path that leads you from Doolin over the Cliffs of Moher. Rising to 214m, stand still and take in the views of the idyllic Aran Islands and beautiful Galway Bay. Listen to the crashing waves and rolling surf below but keep your eye on the track, this challenging and seaward three-hour trail is demanding and it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Afterwards, head to picturesque Doolin, well-known for its traditional Irish music, craic and lively atmosphere. Enjoy one of the most memorable trails on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Beara Way is a 196km circuit of the southwestern Beara Peninsula, begin and end your hike in the glorious village of Glengarrif. Brimming with archaeological and historical sites, the peninsula is shrouded in mystical legends. Stop off at ring forts and pause to check out the spectacular offshore islands.
Pass golden strands and traditional fishing harbours, taking in the amazing scenery. To round off the day, wander down the narrow roads that lead you to some of the country’s finest eateries.
Check out Sheep’s Head in West Cork, one of the most remote hiking spots on the Wild Atlantic Way. 88km in length, this trail is tucked right into the southwestern corner of Ireland. Start your hike in the pretty town of Bantry, choose to walk one of the shorter loops or take on the challenge of the full hike.
Marvel at the wild scenery and the picturesque loughs that pass through deserted famine settlements, lush farmland and heathered fields.
These are some of the best hikes on the Wild Atlantic Way. Now is the time to explore your home and plan your trip.
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