Trip Idea: Flavours of the Wild Atlantic Way

Burren Smokehouse, County Clare
Driving Driving
1,218 Kilometres
6 Days

The tang of salty sea air on your lips, jaw dropping cliffs views and endless gourmet delights: a trip along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is sure to give you an appetite

Experience our culinary trail where you can taste the seafood fresh from the boats, engage with local artisan producers, and enjoy the atmosphere of well-loved establishments along the Wild Atlantic Way. From smoked salmon in County Donegal, Michelin stars in the City of Tribes to island eateries and famous puddings along the Kerry and Cork coast, savour our suggestions on this stunning stretch of coastline.

Flavours of the Wild Atlantic Way

Explore our itinerary on the map
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Map

The Northern Headlands

Discover the best flavours Donegal has to offer as you take in the craggy coastal views and elemental landscape where seafood is king.

A driving 1 hr 13 mins
Chef Brian McDermott's black pudding fritters

Meet Donegal chef Brian McDermott (aka The No Salt Chef)

Based in Moville, County Donegal, Brian McDermott is renowned for his fresh and wholesome cooking philosophy. In 2014, he opened Ireland’s first ‘no salt’ Cookery School which places natural great tastes at the forefront of its culinary classes. Tasty recipes include lamb and barley hot pot and black pudding dipping fritters. Sounds divine! Alternatively, head to the The Lemon Tree Restaurant in Letterkenny, which brings the county’s stunning landscape on par with its natural bounty.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Pop over to Bunagee Pier for a boat ride with the Inishowen Boating Experience. While on the water, you might be lucky enough to spot dolphins, porpoises or even whales breaking through the waters.

B driving 1 hr 33 mins
Declan McConnelllogue, The Haven Smokehouse

The process of produce at The Haven Smokehouse

As members of the Taste the Atlantic Seafood Trail, Declan McConnelllogue and Sue Cruse produce delicious cold-smoked salmon using the freshest organic salmon from the North Atlantic. At The Haven Smokehouse, the landscape shapes the fish’s flavour by using a blend of 10,000-year-old Donegal turf (peat) and sweet beech wood. Situated on the shores of Sheephaven Bay, Declan and Sue welcome visitors to witness them at work and taste their premium product fresh from the ocean.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Take a break and grab a table at The Singing Pub, where the Wilhare family’s rope-grown Mulroy Bay Mussels are on the menu.

C driving 37 mins
An Duanai Mara Boat Charters

Catch and cook in Killybegs

Work up an appetite thanks to the jaw-dropping views atop the Slieve League sea cliffs before popping into the fishing port of Killybegs. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of reeling in your own food from the Atlantic waves. With An Duanai Mara Boat Charters, based in the fishing town of Killybegs in County Donegal, enjoy deep-sea angling and shark fishing in the company of skipper, Brian McGilloway, whose knowledge of fishing hotspots is thanks to his affiliation with Killybegs Sea Angling Club. Afterwards, head to Kitty Kelly’s restaurant, which specialises in serving up delicious fresh seafood hauled in from local fishermen!

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

If you love the smell of the sea, be sure to book a visit to the AlgAran Seaweed Factory in Malinmore, County Donegal. From cosmetics to food products, this Organic Certified seaweed is hand harvested locally with maximum respect for the environment.

D
Harvey's Point, County Donegal

Harvey’s Point foodie haven

Found on the banks of glistening Lough Eske, Harvey's Point celebrates its culinary delights at the Donegal Gourmet Getaway in May. Expect cookery demonstrations, talks, beer and wine tasting and lots more! And for a beer brewed right in the beer garden, head to Dicey Riley’s pub in Ballyshannon and enjoy a pint of rich Blonde Ale, by the Donegal Brewing Company

The Surf Coast

Enjoy a unique private dining experience like no other and forage for your supper on the shores of Mayo's Killala as you traipse the treasured coasts of County Sligo and Mayo.

E driving 29 mins
Wild Atlantic Oysters

Oysters and spuds with a distinguished story

Sligo Bay has a rich oyster cultivation legacy spanning two centuries. It’s here that your culinary journey meets producer Charles Kelly of Wild Atlantic Oysters, which are known for their rich taste and firm texture. Next, explore Lissadell House, where an exhibition shaped by Sligo poet WB Yeats delves into the county's impressive oyster heritage. And what’s an Irish dinner without the humble spud? In the well-tended soil of Lissadell House’s Victorian kitchen garden, you'll find no less than 180 types of potatoes – one of the largest collections in the world!

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Pull on a wetsuit and head for the waves or watch the gravity-defying surfers from afar along Bundoran's golden beaches. To warm up afterwards, be sure to stop by popular eatery, Eithna’s by the Sea in Mullaghmore, where locally grown and harvested produce is the order of the day.

F driving 53 mins
Broc House hosts, Damien Brennan and Paula Gilvarry

Private dining with an artistic twist

Prepare for a night of taste explosions and quality entertainment in Broc House at the Yeats Dining Experience. Foodies Damien Brennan and Paula Gilvarry pair fine foods with poetry, with Paula serving up a feast of local dishes while Damien feeds the soul between courses with some of WB Yeats’ best-loved poems.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

How do pancakes with chocolate chips, pomegranate, maple and Donegal yogurt sound for breakfast? Tuck in at the award-winning Nook Café and Restaurant in Collooney. 

G driving 14 mins
Sligo Food Trail

Smoked seafood delights

For over 70 years, Ballina has been home to Clarke’s Salmon Smokery, creating delicious oak-smoked organic salmon. Fancy catching your own fish? The nearby River Moy is a popular spot with anglers, and Clarke’s offers a smoking service for salmon and trout to add that signature taste to your fresh catch.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

The Sligo Food Trail allows you to map your own route and cater to your own tastes. And with Knocknarea honey, wild Mullaghmore lobster, Lissadell oysters, and fresh eggs from the foot of Benbulben Mountain all on offer, you’ll be spoiled for choice!

H
Wild Atlantic Cultural Tours

Forage and feast

The shores of Killala Bay are a bounty for eager foragers, and Denis Quinn from Wild Atlantic Cultural Tours is happy to share his love of the land and sea with visitors. He'll guide you along the coast in search of tasty wild morsels, including seaweed and mussels, and treat you to an outdoor seafood feast along the sandy coast of stunning County Mayo.

The Bay Coast

From the breweries of Westport to fine dining in Aniar in Galway city, the Bay Coast is brimming with outstanding food and drink.

I driving 1 hr 13 mins
Chalet Restaurant

Blether & Blarney in Belmullet

Renowned as the best B&B in Belmullet, you can’t actually stay overnight in McDonnell's Bar. That’s because B&B doesn’t mean Bed & Breakfast, it actually stands for Blether & Blarney, known in Irish as plámás, a mix of nonsense and fun. And such is the atmosphere, locals have taken to calling it ‘The Lobster Pot’ because “once you get in, there’s no getting out!”

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Following the Taste the Atlantic Seafood Trail, check out Keem Bay Fish Products on Achill Island, County Mayo, and stop by Keel, where owners Gerard and Julie Hassett offer up seafood delights at the Chalet Seafood Restaurant.

J driving 1 hr 14 mins
An Port Mór

Whet your appetite in Westport

Head to Matt Molloy’s pub in Westport, County Mayo, for Clifford’s Connacht Champion Golden Ale, made nearby at the West Mayo Brewery. You might even hear an impromptu tune as Matt is the flautist for iconic Irish trad band The Chieftains. Then dine out on Clew Bay lobster prepared by the careful hands of Frankie Mallon at An Port Mór restaurant in the town.

K driving 1 hr 12 mins
Oliver's Seafood Bar

Culinary Connemara

Feast your eyes on the savage beauty of Connemara before heading to Oliver’s in the village of Cleggan. Foodies can enjoy seafood straight off the boat, locally produced foods, artisan cheeses and the finest Connemara lamb and prime beef, followed by homemade desserts and Irish coffees. With food this good, you won’t want to leave. But if you can drag yourself away, you can always take the ferry from here to Inishbofin Island. 

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Once you've soaked up its history, browsed the art galleries and taken in the sunset views from Clifden's Sky Road, book a table at Mitchell's Restaurant in the centre of town for mouth-watering Connemara lamb or a bowl of tasty seafood chowder. Delicious! 

L driving 1 hr 12 mins
O'Dowd's Seafood Bar & Restaurant

Beautiful Ballynahinch

Rest up in style at Ballynahinch Castle and book the services of local fisherman John O’Sullivan to take you on a half-day boat trip around Roundstone Harbour, Inishnee Island and the local seal colony. John will lift lobster pots as he passes and, if the mackerel are running, you could try your hand at casting a line. Stop off at the deserted island of Inishlacken and walk the trail that loops the island before returning to Roundstone village for a plate of fresh oysters at O’Dowd’s and views over the Twelve Bens Mountains.


M
Aniar Restaurant

Feasting in the city of Tribes

Lining the streets of Galway city is an eclectic mix of treats, including Michelin-starred Aniar Restaurant, where seasonal produce sings on the plate while making the most of nature’s gifts. And if you want a more rustic food experience, head to Quay Street Kitchen for the best fish and chips this side of the Atlantic.

COME AT FESTIVAL TIME

Visit in September when the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival celebrates the bounty of the sea with music, cooking demonstrations and lip-smacking tasting events.

The Cliff Coast

Seafood platters fit for a king, Irish tapas and seasonal delights: there really is something for everyone here between Galway and Clare.

N driving 39 mins
Linnane’s Lobster Bar

Lobster lovers unite

Built over 300 years ago on New Quay Pier, Linnane’s Lobster Bar is the place to go after a day exploring the limestone landscape of the Burren in County Clare. Set against the backdrop of Aughinish Island, mouth-watering menu hits include crab claws in garlic butter, fresh lobster and pan-fried scallops plucked fresh from the waters nearby.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking Galway Bay, Dunguaire Castle is the star of a million photos. Book ahead and make a night of it with dinner and literary readings at the Dunguaire Castle Banquet (seasonal).

O driving 6 mins
Kilshanny House

Tapas with an Irish twist

Sample delicious Burren Béilíní (Baileenee) – the Irish for ‘little snack’ – in magnificent Kilshanny House. This is tapas with Celtic flavours such as Burren Smokehouse salmon, St Tola Cheese, seasonal greens, Wild Atlantic seaweed, local beef, lamb and free-range pork all on the menu. Meals are complemented by the addition of preserves fresh from Clareville House Kitchen Garden, including hedgerow berries, hazelnuts, wild garlic and home-grown herbs.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

On Saturdays between May and October, the Ballyvaughan Farmers' Market serves up the perfect picnic ingredients. While in the village, stop off for a cake at the Alice in Wonderland-style An Féar Gorta Tea and Garden Rooms – it’s an utter delight.

P driving 10 mins
Wild Honey Inn

Wild wonders on a plate

With a relaxed gastropub setting and surroundings dating back to 1860, the charm and character of Lisdoonvarna’s Michelin-starred Wild Honey Inn is a treat for the eyes and belly. Take a look at the menu for local and rare meats served in gaming season, and freshly caught fish served with flair. Chef Aidan McGrath cooks by the grace of the seasons, highlighting the best of the landscape's natural larder.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Explore the inner-workings of the award-winning Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna. Guests can purchase Burren smoked salmon, mackerel and trout and locally smoked cheeses.

Q driving 24 mins
Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites

From seaside tastes to island flavours

For remote tranquillity with food inspired by life on the Aran Islands, hop on a ferry from Doolin Pier for a stay at Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites. Foraging and fishing are a big part of traditional life on the island and remain the stars of the seasonal menu. Elemental accommodation meets beautifully plated local produce with a food philosophy centred on clean, pure tastes. Unwind, take a break from technology and let the stone-walled roads of the isle forge the path of your island adventure.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Back on the mainland, head to Gregan’s Castle Hotel in Ballyvaughan, County Clare, for ‘sustenance for the body as well as the soul’.

R driving 1 hr 30 mins
Barrtrá Seafood Restaurant

Local Lahinch hotspot

Drop into Barrtrá Seafood Restaurant just outside Lahinch for deliciously fresh seafood. This family-run food hub offers seafood and steaks served with fresh home-grown vegetables. And its vintage, Irish cottage charm reaches dizzying heights with simply stunning views of Liscannor Bay.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Pop into Murphy Blacks in Kilkee for a great selection of seafood dishes, including exotic recipes like Zarzuela seafood stew. Don’t forget to ask about the legendary hidden city of Kilstiffin that’s said to appear just once every 100 years!

S
An Irish Coffee

Home of the Irish Coffee

Nothing is more decedent than the Irish Coffee: golden whiskey, caramel sugar, rich coffee and a layer of whipped cream. It was invented in County Limerick by Chef Joe Sheridon at Foynes Port as a winter warmer for plane passengers delayed by bad weather and refueling on the way from Europe to America. Get the full story and more at Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Head into Limerick city to explore the flavours and culinary delights on display at the Milk Market, where stalls are laden with cheeses, pastries, meats and freshly baked breads.

Southern Peninsulas

Discover liquid legacies, dine on fresh local produce and taste the creamiest mozzarella over this stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way. 

T driving 2 mins
Global Village

Fresh flavours in Kerry

Global Village opened in 1997 and has been winning rave reviews ever since. The Michelin-recommended, award-winning eatery is ranked best in Kerry by the Irish Restaurant Awards, and proudly serves local produce, seafood and sustainably farmed meats. The restaurant even has its own vegetable garden on the slopes of Mount Eagle on the Dingle Peninsula. Your sweet tooth will adore delicious scoops of local favourite: Murphy’s Ice Cream.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Dine out on the freshest of shellfish in The Chart House, before asking the locals to teach you a "cúpla focáil" (a few words) in Irish to take home. After all, this is still Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) territory!

U driving 1 hr 23 mins
Dingle Distillery

The 'spirit' of dingle

Eclectic, quaint and really rather beautiful, Dingle even draws fans from the Atlantic Ocean – resident dolphin Fungie pops up to say hello to anyone stopping by his neighbourhood! If you've headed offshore to see him, then next stop has to be the Dingle Distillery to warm up. It's here that they use three distinctive, hand-crafted copper pot stills to create what the owners call 'the ultimate Irish whiskey'. And if you prefer a different tipple, the Distillery's vodka and gin are something special, too!

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Head to the South Pole Inn, once owned by explorer, Tom Crean, for great food, endless fun and a side order of history.

V driving 1 hr 46 mins
Skelligs Chocolate

Killarney’s liquid gold

When it comes to matches made in heaven, the Irish Whiskey Experience in Killarney seems to have the perfect pairing. Set in the heavenly countryside of the Ring of Kerry, courses include an Irish whiskey and chocolate pairing, an Irish whiskey cocktail making class, and the Distiller's Apprentice experience. Pick and choose from quaint and atmospheric pubs and cafés in Killarney, but if you don't want to stroll too far to fill your stomach, then devour a big bowl of chowder or some seared cod at the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Just off the beautiful Ring of Kerry route, you’ll find Skelligs Chocolate Factory with views out to the Skellig Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The bigger of the two – Skellig Michael – is now an iconic sight, made famous by its appearance in the last two Star Wars movies.

W
Toons Bridge Dairy

Tasty sea treasures and local delights

Roaringwater Bay in County Cork is packed with delicious eateries, but before you tuck in, hop on board the Baltimore Sea Safari for wildlife watching on the waves and a cruise by the Roaring Water Bay Rope Mussels farm. Just outside the town of Macroom you’ll find the finest buffalo mozzarella fit for cheese lovers' heaven! Toons Bridge Dairy produces this deliciously milky mozzarella along with ricotta, halloumi, smoked Scamorza and more…

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Head to nearby Skibbereen for the fish soup at the Good Things Café and Cookery School. Perhaps owner, Carmel Somers, can teach you how to cook lobster if you book into one of her cookery courses.

The Haven Coast

Embark on a mouth-watering journey into the heart of West Cork, famous throughout Europe for its excellent seafood and gourmet hotspots.

X driving 35 mins
Liss Ard Estate Guesthouse

Gastronomical greatness in Cork

Skibbereen has been hailed as a foodie capital of the South West, so what better way to experience its offerings than in an enchanting estate set in leafy woodlands beside a private lake? The restaurant at Liss Ard Estate Guesthouse offers innovative and fresh dishes prepared with ingredients from West Cork producers and organic vegetables from the estate’s gardens.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Take a tour around Cork’s lovely isles with Heir Island Ferries and be sure to stop at Heir Island for a meal at the Island Cottage restaurant. Its rustic, traditional surroundings is paired with hearty dishes packed with flavour.

Y driving 45 mins
Scanells Bar

Clonakilty cuisine

Welcome to the home of the famous Clonakilty Black Pudding, which is proudly offered on the menus of local pubs and restaurants, and beyond. Located at the head of Clonakilty Bay on the Wild Atlantic Way, smoked fish and seafood also take pride of place in the area. Tuck into some of the best at An Súgán Restaurant & Guesthouse, and enjoy the electric atmosphere of a traditional music session at Scannells bar.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

Stop for lunch at Pilgrim's in Rosscarbery. It's a fabulous little spot with a loyal following who flock here for its seasonal, local produce.

Z
Fishy Fishy Restaurant chef and owner, Martin Shanahan

Kinsale’s culinary crown

The seaside town of Kinsale is a kaleidoscope of colours: from the bobbing boats and vessels in the harbour to the vibrant shop fronts on its narrow streets. The annual food festival in October draws visitors from all over the world, but Kinsale is a joy to visit at any time of the year. Enjoy a casual lunch in Fishy Fishy restaurant, a laid-back dinner in the Black Pig Wine bar, or go upscale at Bastion with Michelin Bib Gourmand dining that uses the finest local ingredients. And after all that amazing food, why not have a night cap at The Spaniard Inn – a thatched pub with a cosy open fire and lovely locals with a tale or two.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME

See Kinsale from the ocean aboard the Spirit of Kinsale. Cruise through the harbour, pass the epic Charles Fort and gaze at the windswept lighthouse on the Old Head of Kinsale.

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