On the west coast of Ireland lies one of the most dramatic coasts in the world. The Wild Atlantic Way, carved by the relentless scouring of the Atlantic against the headland over millions of years, has been responsible for shaping the people and their communities and settlements, and has influenced their art, songs, dances, language and literature. It has changed the face of Europe with its wild and untamed presence.
The Wild Atlantic Way is full of natural seascapes, incredible sea creatures, breathtaking cliffs, mountains, and beautiful glens, trails, loughs and pathways. It is the perfect place to experience firsthand how wild nature can be and to explore the rich history and religion of the Gaels. It is an outstanding destination for once-in-a-lifetime events, peerless food and drink and wonderful music, not to mention a stunning route full of surprises
Donegal Town is the perfect base for anyone wishing to explore the magnificent Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal. With Donegal Town being the gateway to the county it allows you to pick an idyllic location every day and enjoy.
The Slieve League Cliffs
(or Sliabh Liag in Irish), on the south west coast of County Donegal, are said to be some of the highest and best examples of marine cliffs in Europe.
To really appreciate the magnificence of the Slieve Leagues, leave your car in the car park and walk the few miles to the cliffs so as not to miss the incredible scenery.
Take in fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay as you head towards the top, where the cliff face of Bunglas rises over 600 metres (1968 feet) above the roaring ocean. Experienced walkers might want to venture beyond the viewing point onto One Man’s Pass, which loops around onto Pilgrim’s Path.
The sacred Slieve League Mountain has drawn Christian pilgrims for over 1,000 years, and the award-winning Slieve League Cultural Centre will reveal all about its significance as well as local culture and crafts
is a wildly exposed, romantic headland. It’s also the most northerly point of the beautiful Fanad Peninsula.
Known for the iconic Fanad Head Lighthouse, as well as stunning scenery and incredible beaches. The lighthouse was built in the 1800s in response to the tragic sinking of the frigate HMS Saldanha. Only the Captain’s parrot survived the sinking, and the ship’s bell graces the church tower in Portsalon to this day.
There’s so much to see when you walk along the head’s heavily indented coastline, with its magnificent elevated views over the shoreline below.
You’ll spot grey seals bobbing in the sea, pretty coves and powerful waves crashing across the rocks, maybe even a breaching whale in the distance. While there, you could also look out for the sea arch at Pollaid, an amazing natural arch carved out of the rocks just off Fanad Head.
is at the very tip of the Inishowen Peninsula, which is mainland Ireland’s most northerly point.
Over millions of years the wild Atlantic has carved dramatic crevices into the rugged headland, such as Hell’s Hole – a long, deep, narrow chasm where the swells below churn and roar.
Birds flock to this remote but beautiful place, blown in on the Atlantic winds. These regular visitors from Iceland, Greenland and North America include gannets, shearwaters, skuas, auks and others on their southward migration flights. Malin Head is also one of the few places in Europe where it’s possible to hear the elusive corncrake.
About 16km (10 miles) north of the village of Malin is Banba’s Crown, which offers magnificent panoramic views. Banba was one of the mythical queens of Ireland. Banba’s Crown on Malin Head was the spot where loved ones waved goodbye to their families and friends as they set out across the sea on the long voyage to a new life in America.