Wild Atlantic Way
2500km Coastal Driving Route
The Wild Atlantic Way on Ireland’s west coast leads you along dramatic coastal landscapes, rugged and breathtaking. It is on the edge of Europe and has inspired so much such as the Irish language, world famous literature, celebrated art and haunting song. The Wild Atlantic Way is 2500km/1550 miles long so lots of opportunity to explore and visit new places every time you come to the west of Ireland. Galway is located right at the heart of the Wild Atlantic way and is just 2 hours from Dublin perfect for a staycation or Irish vacation if coming from overseas.
In Galway, we are situated at the central point of the Wild Atlantic Way and have a wealth of sites to see, activities to get involved with and mouthwatering food to write home about. Our Concierge would be delighted to recommend their favourites and the more unknown sites if you wish to explore and the list of day trips will also help choose the right experience for you. Galway City is one of the liveliest centres on the west coast of Ireland with cool culture, awesome art, adrenaline pumping adventure, and buzzing pubs and restaurants. The city is a joy to explore with a winding network of cobbled streets, colourful shop facades and a busy café culture. Check out some of our Wild Atlantic Way highlights below.
Highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way – Galway section
Connemara - enjoy driving or cycling along the narrow winding roads with the powerful Atlantic on one side and the rocky landscape of the Twelve Pins and the Maamturk Mountains on the other side. Whether it is beaming with sunshine or a day peppered with rain, you will love every moment of this exhilarating coastal route. Connemara is also a Gaeltacht region where over half of Ireland's entire Irish speaking population live. Galway city is officially a bi-lingual city and the Irish language, culture and traditions are particularly cherished and protected in our beautiful region, yet another reason to come and enjoy the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Latin Quarter - Galway has a compact centre and it is a delight to stroll around the Latin Quarter in particular which stretches from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch. Explore our medieval streets dotted with landmarks such as Lynch’s Castle, investigate the charming craft, book and vintage shops, iconic pubs and restaurants and which comes alive at night time. Visit the Galway City Museum and catch a glimpse of Galway's past and connection to the sea.
Food - Our flagship dining venue, Restaurant gigi’s is exceptional and showcases the very best of Irish ingredients sourced from along the Wild Atlantic Way. From Irish lamb reared on mountain grasses and flavoured with the mist of the Atlantic ocean to the creamy goat’s cheese from Galway Goat Farm and the freshest of seafood plucked from the Wild Atlantic itself for you to enjoy. We also have a couple Michelin star restaurants in Galway city, the only Michelin restaurants along the Wild Atlantic Way as well as a host of wonderful restaurants and cafés to tickle your tastebuds. Our concierge team will be delighted to assist you with your restaurant choice.
The Aran Islands - three islands off the coast of Galway all offering tranquil beauty and a slice of traditional Irish life. Take a ferry to the wonderful Aran Islands departing from Rossaveal (or alternatively from Doolin in County Clare) or catch the seven minute plane from Connemara Regional Airport. www.aranislands.ie
Druid Theatre - Ireland’s first professional theatre company outside of Dublin was set up in 1975 by Garry Hynes, Marie Mullen and Mick Lally and has become an international success story of extraordinary dimensions. Druid travels with their productions but to catch one in the intimate Druid Theatre in Galway is something extra special www.druid.ie
Killary Fjord – Set amidst the Connemara mountains, this breath taking glacial fjord is the only fjord in Ireland and we recommend enjoying it via the daily boat tours available from Easter to October each year www.killaryfjord.com
Silver Strand & Rusheen Bay – a beautiful spot for a walk, escape from the sounds of traffic and enjoy the sweep of the Wild Atlantic against the shore. During the brighter months you can enjoy windsurfing, stand up paddle-boarding and kayaking in the protected bay, great for families and beginners as well as the more experienced. www.rusheenbay.com
Galway’s Whiskey Trail - Discover Galway’s Rich Whiskey Heritage in some of the finest whiskey bars along the Wild Atlantic Way. Our favourites include O’Connell’s on Eyre Square, Garavan's on William Street and Tigh Neachtain's on Quay Street - enjoy! www.galwaywhiskeytrail.ie
Fishing on Lough Corrib - Lough Corrib is 42,000 acres in size and stretches in length from Galway City right up to Ashford Castle. The Lough is renowned for its wild brown trout and salmon fishing. Brown trout fishing is usually good from the first day of the season mid-February through to end of September and the salmon fishing for grilse is best from around the end of May. Boat hire information can be found here www.fishinginireland.com
NUI Galway - Founded in 1845, NUI Galway has been inspiring students for 170 years and features an impressive quadrangle building as well as scenic walks along the River Corrib. NUI Galway ranks among the top 1% of Universities in the world. www.nuigalway.ie
Katie's Cottage - The Claddagh Art Centre has re-crated a traditional Claddagh Cottage in the heart of Galway's original fishing village and one of the oldest parts of Galway. It was once an area filled with thatched cottages but these were demolished in the mid-1900s as they were deemed unsafe. This is the first traditional thatched Claddagh Cottage to be built since famine times. www.thisisgalway.ie
Festivals - Galway is also known as THE festival city of Ireland and boasts a full annual schedule of events from food festivals to arts, literature, film, comedy and so much more. Sport plays a huge part in Galway's culture so take in a Connacht Rugby game, attend a GAA football or hurling match like a local or attend one of the many Horse racing fixtures. See more about Galway Festivals.