Seaside towns have so much to offer, from fresh fare to a hundred thousand welcomes
Living on your western shore,
Saw summer's sunsets and asked for more,
I stood by your Atlantic sea,
And sang a song for Ireland
The inspiration of the anthemic ‘Song for Ireland’, Ireland’s western shore is a holiday destination which will give you the once in a lifetime opportunity to see ‘summer sunsets and ask for more’ and leave your heart singing.
From the wave-washed beaches of Magheraroarty in Donegal with the majestic Errigal in the background to the sun dappled coves of bohemian West Cork, there’s a huge variety in the different places to visit on the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way.
Along the way on the Mayo coast there’s the mysterious Céide Fields, built at the same time as Egypt’s ancient pyramids, the incredible Dun Aenghus perched on the cliff face of the Aran Islands overlooking the Atlantic and the world renowned Cliffs of Moher. Just a stone’s throw from some of the finest pubs for traditional music in the world and you get an idea of the breadth and sheer depth of a Wild Atlantic Way vacation.
It’s not just the views, or the music, or the sheer life changing experience of the Atlantic winds filling your lungs. There’s the people, the food, the festivals and the poetry of this 2500 km of coastal roads on this journey of a lifetime.
History is alive here
A far distance from the bustling city skylines, there’s so much about Donegal that is unexplored and undiscovered.
There’s the sheer granite walls of Europe’s highest seacliffs at Sliabh Liag, or the magical Northern lights which can be seen illuminating the spectacular Fanad Head lighthouse at the country’s most northern tip. There’s the millions of seabirds soaring and swooping as they fly overhead on their annual routes across the globe. And there's the vibrant sense of community in the Donegal Gaeltacht where sean nós dancing is as alive as the latest chart hits, and where the ancient Irish language is heard and spoken in the local shops and pubs.
Overlooking the pristine beach at Rossnowlagh is the Sandhouse Hotel, a former fishing lodge transformed into a Manor House hotel with its own Marine Spa and intimate Glassroom Restaurant. The beach is a popular surfing spot due to the world class waves that crash onto the beach in front of the Hotel.
If that weren’t enough, you have great golf courses nearby as well as fantastic swimming. An ideal destination for a family holiday or a base to also explore the lakes of nearby Fermanagh or Yeats Country in Sligo.
Great traditional music
If you visit Dingle in west Kerry, be prepared to withstand the temptation to stay there. The seaport’s most famous tourist, Fungi the Dolphin visited more than 25 years ago and he’s still there.
Go back west along the road and see where Ryan’s Daughter and Far & Away were filmed on the way to Dún Chaoin. Visit the Blasket Islands where Peig and An tOileánach/The Island Man, Tomás Ó Criomthainn lived or spend an evening in TP Ó Conchúir’s quay side pub in Baile na nGall/Ballydavid to watch the sun dance on the waves breaking gently on the beach.
In Dingle’s Benners Hotel you will be welcomed like a friend and neighbour to a traditional, friendly and truly authentic spot – set within a location that's just perfect for exploring the town’s many pubs and restaurants.
Try Dick Mack’s opposite the church or O’Flaherty’s pub as you enter the town from the Tralee direction – there’s every likelihood you’ll run into a seisiún with some of the region’s many fine traditional musicians.
There’s plenty to rival the offerings of Dingle and west Kerry in neighbouring County Cork. Ireland’s largest county needs to be subdivided into regions with east Cork and west Cork being on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Invigorating and romantic
As you’d expect, Garryvoe Hotel, not five minutes from the fishing port of Ballycotton, prides itself on its fresh seafood but that’s only part of the story about this part of east Cork.
You’re located close the magnificent Fota Island Golf Course and water sports, cliff walks fishing are all within reach. There has been a hotel at Garryvoe beach since the years of the last century and the secret of their success is the friendly professional service and the incredible views.
You don’t have to travel too far to visit Ballycotton’s Bayview Hotel with spectacular views over the bay to the island and Ballycotton Lighthouse, here is another four star hotel, a romantic getaway and widely regarded as a hidden gem and a great location for invigorating sea walks. Luxurious accommodation, top class dining and a wide range of activities make this an iconic location to add to your must visit list.
Little wonder really that the Wild Atlantic Way inspires poets to verse and songwriters to music. There’s so much here that takes the breath away and invigorates – see it, and feel alive!
About Original Irish Hotels
Original Irish Hotels are a collection of unique, owner-run hotels, located in Ireland’s most outstanding destinations. Open the door to the magic of unmissable moments with Ireland’s leading collection of independent hotels.
Our 60 hotels are dotted around the entire island of Ireland in must-see locations, from the Wild Atlantic Way, to Ireland’s Ancient East, the Causeway Coast, Dublin and the treasured heartland of Ireland’s midlands and lakelands.
Irrespective of where our hotels are, Original Irish Hotels pride themselves in hosting a unique and truly memorable experience for our guests, and soon to be friends. The collection is made up of a range of traditional and boutique hotels, castles, manor and country houses, all run by locals, ensuring a unique experience every time.