Celebrated for its sprawling beaches, rugged coastline, and mesmerising scenery, a tour of the Wild Atlantic Way is nothing short of magical. From its natural beauty to fascinating folklore, there's plenty to discover, savour, and cherish. So if you fancy a splendid getaway, here are some of our top picks.
Screebe House Hotel, Co. Galway - Explore the Untamed Beauty of Connemara
A stunning destination, Screebe House Hotel promises to leave you absolutely enthralled. With its authentic high ceilings and period decor as well as tempting Irish cuisine, this is the perfect place to indulge in a quiet, restful stay during your trip.
Occupying an enviable spot on the shore of Camus Bay, this hotel is unlike any other on our list. It truly feels like home, with understated yet opulently furnished rooms and cosy fireplaces to tuck yourself in close by with a favourite book.
Their Spa Lodge is an oasis of tranquility, where you can enjoy seaweed baths and heated indoor salt-water swimming. Why not dive into the wild Atlantic from the nearby pier, before returning to the comfort of their sauna with its panoramic view of Camus Bay?
Things to do in Connemara
Tranquil walks through the countryside, pristine beaches, well-manicured lawns, majestic castles, and rambling woodland – these are just some of the many attractions in Connemara, but not all.
Given that it's situated in the rural west of Ireland, Screebe House Hotel provides plenty of opportunities to explore nearby places to see such as Curraghduff Farm, where you can play with real-life alpacas, or Ionad Culturtha an Phiarsaigh. This is a summer cottage built by Patrick Pearse, leader of the 1916 rebellion against British rule. Here, unique landscape and the ancient Gaelic culture and language melt into a feast of cultural fascination.
Of course, just a short drive away you’ll find the majestic Kylemore Abbey and Walled Victorian Gardens. The most popular attraction in Connemara, here you’ll find everything you need for the perfect day out on the awe-inspiring 1,000-acre estate. A great option for a day of family fun, Kylemore Abbey has plenty of space for children to explore and play with local Connemara ponies often known to make an appearance too.
If you’re a fan of vintage cinema, you need to visit the Quiet Man Bridge, located near the town of Oughterard in Connemara. This is an iconic road bridge which was used in the famous 1950's film “the Quiet Man”, and a beautiful sight in its own right.
And who could forget Clifden, the capital of Connemara which nestles at the foot of the Twelve Pins Mountains? Here, you'll discover a thriving cosmopolitan pocket of culture, with quaint pubs, souvenir shops, cafes, and beautiful restaurants to explore.
Image Above: Kylemore Abbey, Connemara
Hylands Burren Hotel, Co. Clare – Uncover the Mystical Wonders of the Burren District
Conveniently located at the midpoint of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Hylands Burren Hotel enjoys close proximity to many attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, the Aran Islands, and the Aillwee Caves. As such, it provides an excellent base for exploring this fascinating destination.
However, at the Hylands Burren, you may just find yourself wanting to stay in. The comforting and welcoming hotel is family-owned and managed by the Quinns, whose ancestors have lived in Ballyvaughan for over a century. Since acquiring the hotel in 2015, they have poured love and expertise into making extensive and sympathetic renovations to the old property, which is now fully up to date and exceptionally comfortable.
If you're looking for a warm, welcoming place to stay the night and enjoy a sumptuous dinner, there's no better place to be than the Hylands Burren Hotel. Frequented by traditional musicians and storytellers, its Fountain Bar is renowned for its captivating ambience.
Things to do in the Burren
Cradled at the very heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, the picturesque Ballyvaughan village in the Burren District is the perfect base to explore many popular spots such as the stunning Cliffs of Moher, or the Burren national park.
The Aran Islands sits at the mouth of Galway Bay, home to ancient sites such as the prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa. Meanwhile, the Aillwee Caves is a wonderful sight to take in, boasting geology and history stretching over 330 million years - perfect for the more adventurous traveller.
Image Above: Cliffs of Moher
Arbutus Hotel Killarney, Co. Kerry - Discover Killarney, the Jewel in Ireland's Crown
The ideal location for those who wish to tour the Ring of Kerry, staying in the Arbutus Hotel is an absolutely unique experience that everyone should try at least once.
Backed by a proud familial legacy, this centrally located hotel is perfectly situated amongst shops, pubs, and restaurants in Killarney Town Centre. Established in 1926 by the current owners' grandparents, tasteful decor and rich accommodation resplendent with friendly warmth await you when you walk through its doors.
A traditional Irish breakfast is not to be missed here, available to enjoy in-house or even take away on your adventures accompanied by a fine and rousing cup of coffee. With so much to see and do, you'll find yourself needing the energy.
Things to do near Killarney
A charming town that seamlessly unites natural beauty, rich heritage, and vibrant culture, Killarney promises to leave you spellbound.
This area provides an ideal location for those who wish to tour the Ring of Kerry. The town is home to a magnificent national park, winding walking trails, and much, much more. The Arbutus Hotel is but a short stroll from Muckross House and the famous Torc Waterfall, which drains from the Devil's Punchbowl corrie lake at Mangerton Mountain.
Image Above: Torc Waterfall, Killarney
Seaview House Hotel, Co. Cork - Bask in the Beauty of West Cork
A delightful country house hotel, Seaview House offers old-world charm with modern luxury amongst private and well tended grounds in the quiet village of Ballylickey beside Bantry in the heart of West Cork.
Its newly opened spa boasts three private double seawater bath suites with state-of-the-art Cedar steam barrels, for the ultimate in rural relaxation. Rooms at the Seaview House feel like a home away from home, exuding character with every meticulous detail.
Meanwhile, a fine dining experience is enjoyed by guests every evening in a beautiful restaurant overlooking its gardens which run down to the bay. You'll savour lamb and beef from neighbouring farms, or maybe award-winning fish caught at most a few miles from the shore.
All in all, Seaview House is one of the most-loved destinations in the area – and there's nothing better to do than discover for yourself why this is rightly so.
Things to do in West Cork
From the verdant splendour of Gouganne Barra National Park, to the sheer majesty of the Mizen Head Signal Station, and the quaint charm of Bantry village, there is so much to discover in West Cork.
The area truly is the gift that keeps on giving and Seaview House is situated perfectly to make the most of it. Nearby Garnish Island is world renowned for its gardens, laid before you in beautiful walks which display specimen plants that are rare in this climate. And if you crave more outdoor experiences, the Ewe – often described as ‘Ireland’s Eden’ – is an artist's home and Ireland's only interactive sculpture garden, a unique combination of nature, art, and narrative.
With so much to do and see in West Cork, you'll be spoilt for choice on where to stay and how to experience all there is to enjoy.
Image Above: Gougane Barra West Cork
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 55 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.