Wild Atlantic Way. Driving West

Coral beaches and secluded peninsulas wrought by the Atlantic waves. Tiny islands with a handful of people and secret villages with one pub, one church, one post-office to their name, white cottages scattered among the peat fields. The Wild Atlantic Way is the new tourist road that stretches for 2500 km along Ireland’s western coast, from Kinsale to Inishowen peninsula, where it connects with the Antrim Coast Scenic Route, in Northern Ireland .

The WAW, as everyone calls it, is one of the most scenic roads in the world, such as the Highway 101 (2500 km along the Pacific Coast ) or the shorter Great Ocean Road (250 km the South Australia). Sometimes the road in narrow, one-track, with cattle grids. At other times, the road is winding, one bend after another, which seem to disapeare into the empty peat bogs. But the WAW doesn’t offer just stunning landscapes and panoramic roads.

It offers human adventures, food tasting, walking in wilderness, chatting in pubs, cruising the coast watching out for whales, dolphins and seals. A great project to open up the West. The only doubt is that this still largely unspoilt coast will become a huge theme park, like the Cliffs of Moher. The most spectacular cliffs of Ireland, have lost much of their charm after being caged in fencing and steps.

It’s like looking at a postcard. Let’s hope the narrow one-track roads will not be enlarged and the fields with grazing cows, will not be turned into large car parks. If you want to, you can drive the WAW journey in a couple of weeks. On the other hand, you slow down and take the time to immerse yourself in Irish life. The charm of Western Ireland is the rough and wild beauty, is the wind and the rain, is the ocean waves and the peat bogs. And strolling along the remotest country roads. We don’t want to lose them.