The World’s Longest Driving Route [Infographic]

Michelle Mangan 4m 899 #longestroute

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All You Need to Know about the World’s Longest Driving Route

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest coastal driving route. It takes in the North West, West, Mid-West and South West of Ireland. At 2,500 kilometres long, it is 1/8th the length of the Great Wall of China. The starting point is in Inishowen, Co. Donegal in the North West of Ireland, finishing in Kinsale, Co. Cork in the South West of Ireland.

The route includes: 1,500 activities, 500 attractions, 580 festivals, 159 discovery points, 120 golf courses, 100 museums and attractions, 55 art galleries, 53 blue flag beaches, 50 loop walks, 50 historic houses and castles, 39 churches, abbeys and monasteries, 37 gardens, 17 trails, 9 visitor farms and 7 national and forest parks.

The route was previously recommended by the National Geographic as one of its ‘Best Spring Trips’. There will be 4,000 route signs, many of which are currently being put in place. The route has been developed as a major tourism attraction in Ireland.

Highlights in the North West region include Sliabh Liag, some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe and the 100 foot swells of surf at Mullaghmore Head. Keem strand, a hidden gem of a beach on Achill Island in the West has panoramic views and Galway city is one of the liveliest and cultural cities in Ireland.

The Mid West region includes the world famous Cliffs of Moher and visitor centre, the picturesque village of Doolin and the remote Aran Islands. The South West region takes in counties Cork and Kerry, perhaps some of the scenic areas in Ireland including the Dingle Peninsula and the remote but haunting Blasket Islands, Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the McGillycuddy Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland and the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course.

The World’s Longest Driving Route [Infographic]

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Why The World’s Longest Coastal Driving Route Is The Road Trip Of A Lifetime

Name: The Wild Atlantic Way

  • Distance: 2,500-km driving route = 1/8th the length of the Great Wall of China
  • Starting Point: Inishowen, Co. Donegal
  • End Point: Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Golf Courses: 120
  • Loop Walks: 50
  • Churches, Abbeys & Monasteries: 39
  • Historic Houses and Castles: 50
  • Gardens: 37
  • National Forest Parks: 7
  • Recommended by: National Geographic ‘Best Spring Trips 2014’
  • Country: Ireland
  • Activities: 1,500
  • Attractions: 500
  • Festivals: 580
  • Discovery Points: 159
  • Blue Flag Beaches: 53
  • Trails: 17
  • Museums and Attractions: 100
  • Art Galleries: 55
  • Visitor Farms: 9
  • Route Signs: 4,000
  • Visitors to Ireland in 2013: 8 million, almost double the population

The North West

~ Donegal, Sligo & Leitrim ~


Scenic ExploringCultural ExperiencesAdventurous Activities
See panoramic views of the Inishowen Peninsula and the Atlantic Ocean at Fanad Head and Sliabh Lia, some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe.Silver Strand beach is a hidden gem only accessible by sea or on foot via a series of steps.Sample culinary delights at Kitty Kelly’s, a restored 200 year old farm house in Killybegs offering Irish Coffee DemonstrationsWatch hand woven tweed produced on a loom in Studio Donegal, Kilcar.Surf at Mullaghmore Head and its world famous 100ft swells.The seaside town of Bundoran and Surf World is a watersport fan’s paradise.


The West

~ Mayo & Galway ~


Scenic ExploringCultural ExperiencesAdventurous Activities
Keem Strand on Achill Island is a hidden gem. The island includes a deserted village.Walk the ‘Prom’, Ireland’s longest promenade in Salthill, and ‘kick the wall’, for good luck and fortune.Galway City is home to the Galway Arts Festival held annually in July.Take in a traditional Irish Music session in the Teach Ceoil Traditional Arts Centre in Connemara.Pony Trek across the beaches near Killary Harbour and wade into the shallow channel to archipelago off the coast.Bike across the Derrygimalagh Bog and view historical remains of transatlantic radio and aviation efforts.


The Midwest

~ Clare & Limerick ~

Scenic ExploringCultural ExperiencesAdventurous Activities
Gaze up at the Cliffs of Moher, seen by ferry from underneath the cliffs.Amble in the Burren Limestone landscape and discover Loop Head with views of the lighthouse while watching the playful Shannon Dolphins.Doolin Village is a traditional village with relaxed and friendly pubs and an access point to the Aran Islands by ferry.Lisdoonvarna is home to Europe’s largest Matchmaking Festival, held annually in September and October.Take a short ferry ride from Doolin onto Inis Oir, the smallest of the Aran Islands and hire a bike to cycle around the island.Fish in the rivers, lakes, and off the coastline of the County ClareShore angling is popular in FanoreDoolinLiscanor, and Lahinch.



The South West

~ Cork & Kerry ~


Scenic ExploringCultural ExperiencesAdventurous Activities
The Blasket Islands are uninhabited and remote with unparalleled views. Drive around Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula with its windy narrow roads.Boat trip to Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and view the ‘beehive’ monastic settlement frmo the fishing village Portmagee, off the Ring of Kerry.Listen to ‘Gaelic’ the Irish language spoken in Dingleone of the few Gaeltachts in Ireland. Take a boat trip to see Fungi the dolphin.Go island hopping off the Mizen Peninsula. Popular islands include Cape Clear and Sherkin Island.Tuck into artisan delights at the Kinsale Gourmet Food Festival held annually in October.Sea Kayak under Kinsale’s sea caves or off the coast of Baltimore.Hill Walk in Ireland’s highest mountain range the McGillycuddy Reeks.Golf at the world renowned Old Head of Kinsale.


Ardna Sidhe County House



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