Zigzagging gently from dreamy Bantry Bay through Skibbereen and on to Kinsale, the Haven Coast is perfectly named. Hedgerows thick with fuschia and monbretia border lush gardens; endless inlets and Blue Flag beaches promise long days spent relaxing in the salty air. There’s something restorative about the temperate Gulf Stream climate, the peaceful vibe and creative scene, the wonderful artisan food, arts and festivals. And echoing all along this coast is its history: ancient sites, coastal forts and – out on the horizon – ‘Ireland’s tear drop’, the Fastnet Rock. Old Head of Kinsale They say that to truly know Kinsale you must see it from the sea. A morning spent aboard the Spirit of Kinsale, cruising through the harbour to Charles Fort and the edge of the wild Atlantic, is like no other. This seaside town has worn many hats throughout Ireland's history: Viking trading post, wine port, site of a 17th century siege. As the boat circles the mouth of the harbour, you'll spy the wind-whipped lighthouse on the Old Head of Kinsale; and beyond, the resting place of the liner Lusitania, sunk one dark day in 1915. Lure of Lough Hyne Lose yourself in history at Skibbereen Heritage Centre; or write your own story on a guided sea kayaking trip around Lough Hyne, a marine lake fed by tidal currents. Whale Watch Minke, fin and humpback whales are frequent visitors to the clear West Cork waters and a whale-watching trip is the ideal way to see them. Indulge your Senses Each October, the Kinsale Gourmet Food Festival fills your belly with lobster, crab, artisan cheese and meat in Ireland's culinary capital. Tickets sell out quickly. Download our Wild Atlantic Way map. Continue your Wild Atlantic Way journey.