Go green on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Travel along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and you’ll find sustainable Ireland at its best.

Following the line of the mighty Atlantic coast, buffeted by winds that have swept in over thousands of miles of ocean, the Wild Atlantic Way feels about the greenest, cleanest place you could imagine. 

As you walk along the cliffs and visit the islands, you could be alone in the world, sharing this spellbinding beauty with only birds and animals. Spend some time here and you’ll quickly understand why this landscape has given rise to myths, music and storytelling.

Enjoying the 'craic', Allihies, County Cork
Enjoying the 'craic', Allihies, County Cork

Tradition is strong along this rugged coastline. Drive through any small town or village along the Wild Atlantic Way and the name of the local pub is probably the same as the name of the village shop, and of the farmer, or the fishermen you might meet down at the quayside as they land their fresh catch.

If you decide to stay the night in a cosy Bed & Breakfast, you’ll meet the locals again in the pub that evening and enjoy a lively traditional music session with them. These people have lived here for generations, and they treasure this pure, unspoilt place. 'Green' methods have always been used here, except they didn’t call them 'green' in the old days; working with, not against, nature was just how you did things.

Croagh Patrick, County Mayo
Croagh Patrick, County Mayo

It’s one of the most striking things about the Wild Atlantic Way, that the people here still treat nature with respect. And when you visit, it’s easy to ensure your holiday eco-footprint is light.

Ditch the car and start hiking, anywhere from the crags of Donegal to the soft sands of West Cork. Hire a bike and explore the winding country roads, where the roar of traffic is a distant memory. Go pony trekking and discover magical spots far off the beaten track.

The Burren, County Clare
The Burren, County Clare

You can fish from a boat at sea or in the river for salmon and brown trout (rods, tackle and day licences can be hired for the day). Perhaps you’d like to wander over the limestone slabs in the Burren and discover the delicate alpine flowers for which the region is famous. Or maybe enjoy a revitalising seaweed bath – did you know this versatile product can be used as food, fertiliser and beauty product?

You’ll find plenty of eco-friendly accommodation too. In County Galway, the Clifden Eco Beach Camping and Caravanning Park offers motorhomes and caravans as well as tents (and wood for campfires!). You can enjoy yoga retreats on Clare Island in County Cork and detox at Hagal Healing Farm in Bantry, County Cork. The Brehon Hotel in Killarney, County Kerry even has its own well, and Sea View House B&B in Doolin, County Clare is rightly proud of its locally produced food.

Enjoying the view on Inisheer (Aran Islands)
Enjoying the view on Inisheer (Aran Islands)

Anyone who visits the Wild Atlantic Way understands instinctively that it is something special. Locals have always treasured it as a place that feeds the soul and revives the spirit, and they love welcoming visitors. They work together to share and care for one of the unspoilt wonders of the natural world.

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