Visiting the Islands of Ireland Jul30

Visiting the Islands...

With this summer being the hottest in quite some time, doesn’t the thought of cool ocean breezes sound great? One of the coolest places to experience them is Ireland and they’ve got dozens of islands you’d love to explore.  Thanks to Murphy of Ireland in County Donegal, for...

8 Top castles in Ireland Feb15

8 Top castles in Ire...

You’ve probably heard of Bunratty Castle and Blarney Castle, but did you know that there are over 30,000 remaining and ruined castles scattered across Ireland?  Here are eight must-see castles to add to your bucket list next time you are on the Emerald Isle.  Thanks to the folks from...

Incredible golf courses – 8 of the world’s best Sep23

Incredible golf cour...

My name is Rory Ryan and I work as Tour Planner for a golf tour operator called Links Golf Ireland. As a keen golfer myself, I like to keep up-to-date on the latest news and enjoy creating content in the area. Having recently taken a golfing trip to South Africa and experiencing first-hand...

County Galway – Half way there Mar02

County Galway – Half way there

The county of Galway is about the mid-point of the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) and is home to both Galway City and the beautiful, but rugged Connemara Coast. This area is known to have the largest Gaeltacht Irish-speaking population in all of Ireland. A major tourist spot along the WAW is Kylemore Abbey with its exquisite Victorian walled gardens. We didn’t have time to tour, but this is on my bucket list for next time I’m in the area.   We spent the night at the modern Clifden Station House Hotel and were within walking distance to the fabulous Abbeyglen Castle Hotel and restaurant where we had a great meal complete with entertainment....

County Mayo preserves the past and pedals into the future Dec30

County Mayo preserve...

County Mayo is located about midway on the Wild Atlantic Way. Home to rich archaeology, 10 Blue Flag Beaches, Croag Patrick (Ireland’s holy mountain) and supposedly the best surfing waves in all of Ireland; Mayo has something for just about everyone. One of the most northern sites to be seen...

Stay away from the edge at Slieve League Cliffs Sep02

Stay away from the edge at Slieve League Cliffs

Continuing further down the Wild Atlantic Way, we find ourselves in southern County Donegal. This is the area known for the world’s highest sea cliffs. Okay, before I get deluged with comments from other parts of Ireland and the rest of the world, measuring the height of sea cliffs can be done a number of different ways with different results,  but suffice it to say, for this article, these are the world’s tallest! (That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.) On to the Slieve League Sea Cliffs A drive west along R263 from Killybegs will bring you to the little town of An Charraig. Turn south here, following the Wild Atlantic Way signs, and...

Five little gems to discover on the NW coast of Ireland Aug20

Five little gems to discover on the NW coast of Ir...

The Wild Atlantic Way seems to go on forever, but it obviously has to start somewhere. That some where’s northern-most point is Malin Head where the ocean has worn deep crevices into the headlands.  Hell’s Hole, shown here, accentuates the surf as it fills and recedes, providing a constant concert with the sounds of the many birds that flock here from Iceland, Greenland and beyond. Following the Wild Atlantic Way south, you’ll drive along the eastern side of Lough Swilly, a glacial fjord that separates Inishowen Peninsula from Fanad Peninsula. At its southern tip is Letterkenny, where the road turns north again and takes you past beautiful...

Beautiful Bantry Bay for food, fun and flora Jul28

Beautiful Bantry Bay for food, fun and flora

Bantry Bay is the area of West Cork between the Sheep’s Head Peninsula and the Beara Peninsula.  Sitting just offshore is Whiddy Island and connecting the two is Tim O’Leary and his Whiddy Ferry.  As we sailed out to the island, I couldn’t help but notice the two kegs of beer aboard (one Guinness and one Carlsberg.) I almost hoped we’d break down and have to tap into the kegs for something to drink.   As you debark onto the island, the first thing you see is a pub. Still off to a good start.  Stop in the Bank House Bar & Restaurant for food or beverage before you take off for a walk around the island. Look for interesting ruins...

S.H.W. – Simply Heavenly Walking or Sheep’s Head Way – you choose Jul22

S.H.W. – Simply Heavenly Walking or Sheep’s Head W...

It may be named for the sheep, but the people and the trails make this a fabulous destination. Ireland’s southwest coast is a series of finger-like peninsulas extending into the wild Atlantic Ocean. One of the slimmest is Sheepshead Peninsula – extending from Bantry on the north, past Ballymoor Mountain, to a lighthouse that sits precariously on a cliff at the very southernmost tip. While it’s a beautiful sight, you’ll only be able to see it from land if you take a walk…a long walk. The Sheep’s Head Way was named the Best Walk in Ireland shortly after it was opened. It’s easy to see why.  No matter what your ability level, you’ll find...

Don’t make my mistake when visiting West Cork, Ireland Jul17

Don’t make my mistake when visiting West Cork, Ire...

Today our Wild Atlantic Way journey takes us slightly afield, about 16km from Bantry to the little town of Drimoleague, where we meet up at the Top of the Rock Pod Pairc and spend the day exploring West Cork with David Ross. This was one of my best days in Ireland and I hope you have the time to read about the entire trip. If not, this is the short version: The Pod Pairc is the most unique place to stay in the center of what is Ireland’s best walking area. Pick from 300km of trails nearby. Here’s a short video about Top of the Rock. If you have limited time or just want to try an easy walk – the Alpaca Walk is fun, easy to do and has...

Groovy, furry stones with Irish tales – it’s all here Jul17

Groovy, furry stones with Irish tales – it&#...

(Continued from page one of two) If you landed here without reading page one, please go back to here to start.   What kind of animal is that? Up another hill we found our way to the most enchanting of all the walks I did in Ireland this year – the Waterfall Farm and its Alpaca Walk. We couldn’t start the walk without first meeting Emma & Markus Bird, owners of this little bit of heaven. They are still developing this as an attraction for individual walkers as well as school groups. Waterfall Farm has a variety of animals from Flemish Giant and French Lop rabbits to goats to the ungainly but loveable looking alpacas. Cautious but...

Killarney – a gem of a National Park Jul02

Killarney – a gem of a National Park

Killarney National Park is 25,400 acres in size, contains three lakes and just to its west is the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest of all Ireland’s mountain ranges.  Centerpiece of the park is the almost 10, 000 acre Bourn Vincent Memorial Park (which all the locals call the Muckross Estate.) In 1932 it was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Bowers Bourn to the become Ireland’s first national park. In 1981, it was designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Ross Castle Close to town is the Ross Castle, built for the O’Donoghue Chieftans in the early 1400’s.  This castle is a typical tower house with a large banqueting hall and minstrel’s gallery...