The Wild Atlantic Way is one of Europe’s epic drives. It is 1600 miles (2600 km) long, stretching from Derry in the north to Kinsale in the south. This road winds along the rugged, windswept, western coastline of Ireland. Along the way, you are rewarded with views of lush, green fields, rocky islands, gorgeous beaches, ancient castles, and quaint, Irish towns.
Driving the Wild Atlantic Way
Driving the Wild Atlantic Way is an ambitious road trip. To drive the entire 1600 miles, stopping at each viewpoint and exploring every nook and cranny of the Wild Atlantic Way, takes over one month. With less time, you can focus on a small portion of the drive or just hit the main highlights.
We did not drive the entire Wild Atlantic Way. We only had eight days in Ireland so we visited the more popular stops, such as the Dingle Peninsula, Skellig Michael island, the Ring of Kerry, and several of Ireland’s larger towns on the route. One day, we’d love to drive the entire Wild Atlantic Way. We got just a taste of how beautiful Ireland is…it’s worth coming back someday to explore more of this dramatic coastline.
The stretch of road connecting Donegal to Sligo is jam packed with awesome views and beautiful scenery. As we drove past Mullaghmore, Tim spotted the ruins of an old castle proudly standing on top of coastal cliffs. We made a detour to Mullaghmore Head, trying to get to this castle, not expecting the breathtaking views awaiting us.
As it would turn out, the castle is private property. It sits behind a tall fence and a formidable, iron gate. We ended up on a narrow, one lane coastal road, a dime a dozen here in Ireland. As Tim was turning the car around, ready to return to the highway to resume our drive south, the coastline caught my eye.
This stretch of coastline, near Knocknafaugher, is stunning. This is the perfect place to fly the drone. I am so glad we went in search of that castle, because it brought us to this spot. And now we can share it with you.
Mullaghmore Head from Land
Mullaghmore Head from the Sky
Fly Over Mullaghmore Head on the Wild Atlantic Way
These photos were taken on the western side of Mullaghmore Head. As you drive towards Mullaghmore on R279, there is an unmarked, single land road that leads out to the coast. We pulled onto the shoulder and walked about 100 feet out to the edge of the cliffs. The view is magnificent.
Have you driven the Wild Atlantic Way? What is your favorite spot? Let us know by commenting below!
More Information about Ireland
IRELAND ITINERARY: In 10 days, you can go on a road trip through Ireland and Northern Ireland, visiting the highlights. Get the full details in our 10 Day Ireland Itinerary.
BEST OF IRELAND: For a list of top experiences in Ireland, read our post Best Things to Do in Ireland. Walk the Cliffs of Moher, drive the Ring of Kerry, visit Dublin, and explore the Dingle Peninsula. Learn how to put all of this together in our Best Things to Do in Ireland guide.
EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Get more travel ideas in our article 10 Days in Europe itinerary, which has 10 itineraries for your next trip to Europe. If you have less time, we also have an article that lists 25 different ways to spend one week in Europe.
Planning a trip to Ireland? Read all of our articles in our Ireland Travel Guide.
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We did the exact same thing!! We spied that gorgeous castle and tried to find how to get there, stumbled upon the breathtaking coastline. When we returned to Ireland 5 years later with our kids, we made sure to take them there. Your articles and pictures are wonderful. Thank you for sharing them.
You’re welcome! It was one of favorite experiences…sometimes the unplanned stops are the best. 🙂 Cheers, Julie