Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

by Barbara Barton Sloane

Wild. Wild? Not a word you’d typically associate with Ireland. Pubs? Check. Shamrocks? Check. Guinness? Oh definitely, but wild? Yes! It’s the sea, you see.

A Place Where Rugged Rules
At the very edge of Europe, this newest odyssey, the Wild Atlantic Way, extends for 1,600 miles along Ireland’s western seaboard. It is the world’s longest, most culturally rich coast that stretches from Malin Head in County Donegal down to Kinsale in County Cork. Here the Atlantic Ocean’s power has carved a coastline of raw beauty with sharp cliffs, wave-capped inlets, barren beaches and stately lighthouses dotted along the way. Of this land one long-time local said “…with myriad miles of uninterrupted ocean, no windbreak and no reefs, there’s just a wide, wild, open space that allows the sea to grow and grow before it comes to a sudden stop on our shore.” The Wild Atlantic Way is as close to exploring an open-air museum as you’ll get: exceptional landscapes, stunning flora and fauna—and packed with history and adventure, as I was about to find out.

Read more in the December 2014 issue of S.A. Scene.