Mayo to Clare

Adventure awaits you
Visit Killary Harbour, Derrigimlagh Bog and the Cliffs of Moher.

Travel from Mayo to Clare, taking in Killary Harbour, Derrigimlagh Bog and the Cliffs of Moher. This route is approximately 527km (327 miles). The closest airports if travelling from Canada are Dublin and Shannon. Aer Lingus and Air Canada Rouge fly direct year round from Toronto to Dublin; while Air Transat fly direct seasonally from Toronto and Montreal to Dublin and Shannon; and West Jet fly direct seasonally from Toronto via St. John’s to Dublin.  Find out more about getting to Ireland from Canada.

Feast your senses
Killary Harbour

Killary Harbour is a picturesque fjord, which forms a natural border between Galway and Mayo, in the heart of Connemara.

Ringed by mountains, the fjord is often speckled with dolphins as they chase migrating salmon during spring and early summer. Killary is also well known for producing some of Ireland’s most delicious mussels – every year at the beginning of May, you can taste the celebrated shellfish at the Connemara Mussel Festival in Tullycross.

Killary Harbour is an incredibly calming place. It was this peacefulness that drew the famous philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein to stay at a friend’s cottage there shortly after WWII. There’s a plaque on the house in the hamlet of Rosroe where Ludwig tapped into the Connemara tranquillity while writing.

Fruits of the sea

There are plenty of places to enjoy some tasty local produce on your travels along this part of the Wild Atlantic Way. You could try Coyne’s Bar & Bistro in the village of Kilkieran, well known for its chunky Atlantic fish and chips. Pop into An Builín Blasta, a lovely little bakery and café in Spiddal. Or, if you’ve got a taste for shellfish, go to Linnane’s Lobster Bar on New Quay Pier near The Burren in County Clare. The bar has been serving fresh local seafood for over 300 years!

Lobster for the pot

Leave by boat in the morning with John O’Sullivan, a local fisherman who’ll show you how to lift lobster pots. If the mackerel are running, he will have rods onboard for you to catch a few. You’ll travel around Roundstone Harbour and Inishnee Island, past the seal colony, before returning to Roundstone village just in time for lunch at one of its lovely pubs.

With foam and glitter

Flaggy Shore is half a mile of coastline at Finvarra, County Clare. The shore is at its most beautiful on an evening after a light rain, with the setting sun above. This is when the soft limestone rock, wet from the rain and eroded into fantastic rounded shapes by the sea, reflects all of the colours of the sunset like a giant mirror in the landscape. Small wonder that this place inspired the late Irish poet and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.

Island hopping

On the Wild Atlantic Way, just after Carna, you can stop off to walk to the tidal island of Finish. But be careful not to get trapped on the island by the incoming tide! You can also walk or cycle to Mweenish Island, as it’s accessible by road. The two are part of a series of islands joined by causeways, and are full of lovely little beaches and spots where you can take a dip in the sea.

“The view over the mountains to the harbour is spectacular.”

Killary Harbour

GOOD TO KNOW

  1. Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes’ drive from Ireland West Airport Knock, or 2 hours 20 minutes from Shannon airport
  2. If travelling from Dublin, allow 3 hours 15 minutes’ driving time
  3. Killary Harbour extends 16km (10 miles) in from the Atlantic to its head at Aasleagh, below Aasleagh Falls
  4. Many opportunities for walking, hill climbing, pony trekking, diving and cruising
  5. Killary is well known for its wildlife, so bring your camera
Alluring landscapes
Derrigimlagh Bog

Derrigimlagh Bog is a wild and mysterious place, a mosaic of tiny lakes and peat crossed by a single narrow road.

To explore this starkly strange blanket bog, you could hire a bicycle in Connemara’s ‘capital’ Clifden, which is just 6km (3 miles) away.

To uncover two remarkable events of the 20th century, stick to the Bog Road. Soon you’ll come across the scattered remnants of the world’s first permanent transatlantic radio station, built by Marconi over a century ago. At its peak it employed several hundred people, transmitting news from around the world across the ocean.

Not far away is a white aeroplane-wing-shaped monument to Alcock and Brown, who crash-landed (without injury) into Derrigimlagh Bog in 1919, bringing an end to the world’s first nonstop flight across the Atlantic.

“A wonderful landscape studded with lakes.”
Beautiful Burren

The picture postcard village of Ballyvaughan in County Clare is an ideal base for exploring the Burren. From here, enjoy an early morning guided cycling tour.

Or you could walk around the rocky Burren with an expert guide instead. All guides will show you the amazing flora and fauna of the region, including an orchid that only blossoms here. There are plenty of opportunities along the way to stop off for delicious local food.

Friends in high places

Experience an easy 3 hour guided walk along the sea cliffs leading to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Guided by Pat Sweeney, local farmer, walking enthusiast and historian, you’ll follow a trail that winds along the coastline and above the Doolin cliffs. With green fields on one side and the pounding waves of the Atlantic Ocean on the other, this is a unique way to experience the rural beauty of this corner of Clare.

Experience Aran

Take a day trip to explore Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, by bicycle – or even better, by pony and trap. Under huge open skies you’ll trot along narrow lanes, past white sandy beaches and clover-covered hills. Ferries carry people to and from the islands every day, so when you’re ready you can head back to Doolin, the Irish music centre of West Clare, for a night on the town.

Derrigimlagh

GOOD TO KNOW

  1. Approximately 1 hour 50 minutes’ drive from Ireland West Airport Knock; 2 hours 10 minutes from Shannon airport
  2. If travelling from Dublin, allow 3 hours 10 minutes’ driving time
  3. 20 minutes drive from Clifden to Connemara National Park
  4. Sky Road is an 11km (6 miles) drive with magnificent views of the wild Atlantic
  5. There are no admission fees to pay at the landmarks around Derrigimlagh Bog
Magnificent Moher
Cliffs of Moher

With incredible views across the wild Atlantic, the Cliffs of Moher are probably one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations.

Located at the south-western edge of the Burren region in County Clare, they soar 120 metres (393 feet) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head to their maximum height of 214 metres (702 feet) just north of O’Brien’s Tower. The cliffs are named after an old fort called Moher, which once stood on Hag’s Head.

There are over 600 metres (1,968 feet) of pathways and viewing platforms along the cliff edge, offering great views of the Aran Islands, Connemara’s Twelve Bens and Galway Bay, and even as far as Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula. Thousands of seabirds wheel around overhead. The variety of birdlife here is quite incredible, and the cliffs are a designated Special Protection Area.

Serious walkers can follow a range of signposted 2 or 3 hour walks. Or if you prefer a guided tour of the cliffs as a way to learn more about them, then take a nature walk with one of the Cliffs of Moher Rangers from the Visitor Centre.

Cruise the cliffs

You could take a 1 hour trip from Doolin to experience the mighty Cliffs of Moher from sea level. Learn about the many seabirds of the area, which is home to approximately 30,000 of them living in or around the cliffs. The cruise also passes a giant sea stack, the 70 metres (230 feet) high ‘An Bhreannan Mór’.

Secrets of the sea

Sea kayaking offers you a great way to explore secluded spots around the Wild Atlantic Way, delving into hidden caves that dot the coastline of Liscannor Bay, County Clare. Try the Island Exploration Tour with North Clare Sea Kayaking: experienced guides will take you to an abandoned island off the coast of Quilty, where you’ll explore all the island’s hidden treasures, including beautiful rare seabirds and a colony of grey seals as well as warm rock pools sheltering crabs.

The music makers

Immerse yourself in a story of traditional music, song and dance. At The Music Makers of West Clare in Miltown Malbay, you can read first-hand accounts of the renowned musicians from the locality. Watch “The Session”, a specially commissioned short film featuring some of our most talented local musicians. A fun and educational break along the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Cliffs of Moher

GOOD TO KNOW

  1. Approximately 2 hours 20 minutes’ drive from Ireland West Airport Knock; 50 minutes from Shannon
  2. If travelling from Dublin, allow 3 hours’ driving time
  3. Guided tours of the Cliffs of Moher are €45: maximum 15 people per tour
  4. Admission to the cliffs is €6 for adults, €4 for students and senior citizens, and children under 16 are free
  5. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is open during the day all year, and only closes for Christmas
Planning and booking

Preparing for your trip is simple. We’ve created pre-planned itineraries, or you can plot your own route by using the map. So what are you waiting for? Your Wild Atlantic Way adventure starts here.

Itineraries

Pick a pre-planned route with accommodation and activities mapped out.

Map

Plot the route, plus accommodation and activities you want, using an interactive map.