The West Coast is home to some of Ireland‘s most dramatic scenery. This is where sheer cliffs drop down into the ocean, shimmering lakes sit under towering mountain peaks and the waters of the Atlantic lap against golden sands.
The west is an outdoor lover’s dream with hiking paths running along the rugged coast and plenty of space to explore inside the boundaries of its natural parks. The Cliffs of Moher are unmissable; stretching for 8km from Doolin to Hag’s Head in County Clare, the iconic striped fingers of rock stretch out into the emerald waters. On a clear day, you can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, the Twelve Bens and the Maum Turk mountains from the highest point.
Connemara National Park is almost 3,000 hectares of mountains, heaths, grasslands and woodlands that is ripe for exploring. Hike to the top of Diamond Hill and enjoy spectacular ocean, island and mountain views or visit the beautiful Kylemore Abbey on the shores of Pollacapall Lough.
The west coast encompasses the middle section of the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2600km coastal road that runs from Donegal in the north all the way down to the small town of Kinsale. It is one of the world’s most scenic drives that takes in soaring cliffs, secluded bays and charming towns and villages. A trip to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without visiting the charming city of Galway. With its cobblestone streets, colourful pubs and live music scene it is the perfect place to get a taste of Irish culture. It is also a great foodie destination with plenty of artisan producers and some of the country’s best oysters.
What to do
- Take a bracing walk along the Cliffs of Moher
- Explore Galway's live music scene
- Drive a section of Ireland's famous Wild Atlantic Way
- Hike through the rugged Connemara National Park
- Discover the ancient ruins of Dunguaire Castle