Walk on the Wild Side

If there was ever a summer to add the Wild Atlantic Way to your travel plans, this is it.

It’s one of the best routes in the world and it’s something that everyone should try and do this summer or over varied breaks.


Made up of nine coastal counties — Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork — it’s 2,500km in length.


Below is a good starting point that should inspire you to start planning a wild, breath-taking break this year.


DUNMORE HOUSE HOTEL, CO CORK

If you want to explore the breath-taking West Cork coastline, Dunmore House is the perfect destination, with its location on the shores of Clonakilty Bay in the midst of rolling countryside. It is also close to ten beaches within ten minutes, including Inchydoney and Sandscove.


Because the third generation family-run hotel is located directly on the Wild Atlantic Way, this means many of the contemporary style rooms are conveniently overlooking the ocean, providing incredible views of the coastline.


On-site there is a ninehole golf course, a selection of menus serving local artisan produce, an extensive wine list, plus an interesting collection of modern Irish art for those who have an educated eye. An ocean view room starts from €229, email enq@dhh.ie to book now.


LOUGH ESKE, CO DONEGAL

Take a well-earned break to the beautiful five-star Lough Eske Castle hotel, a 43-acre estate in the picturesque county of Donegal, which has access to one of the 12 blue flag beaches along Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way.


The restored 15th century castle has 96 lavish guest rooms, a spa, dining options and an excellent location for exploring the beauty of the county. Situated between Lough Eske and the Blue Stack Mountains, it’s within reach of Glenveagh National Park, Europe’s tallest sea cliffs at Sliabh Liag, the International Appalachian Trail for walking, beaches for surfing and water sports, and has access to wonderful golf courses too.


The enchanting Discover Donegal Package at Lough Eske Castle includes accommodation with a full Irish breakfast each morning, a three-course dinner in Cedars Restaurant plus tickets for two adults to Oakfield Park and complimentary use of the fitness centre, swimming pool, bicycles, rucksacks, maps, rain macs and walking sticks.


A one-night package starts from €350 per room, a two-night package starts from €620 per room and a three-night package starts from €840 per room.


To book now, contact reservations@lougheskecastlehotel.com.


DELPHI LODGE, CO GALWAY

Beautiful, breath-taking and glorious are three words to describe Delphi Lodge, in the stunning location of Connemara — it’s definitely one of Ireland’s hidden treasures. It’s a luxury 1830s country house and hotel that offers charming accommodation, great food and complete tranquility amidst its spectacular landscape.


The 1,000-acre Delphi estate is surrounded by the tallest mountains in Connemara and overlooks the lakes and rivers of the Delphi valley, famous for its salmon and sea trout fishing.


With 13 large comfortable bedrooms, one of which is a large family suite, there’s also a large dining room and glorious log fires to keep guests warm with the unpredictable Irish weather during their stay.


A one-night stay including breakfast and dinner for two people starts from €320. Email info@delphilodge.ie to book now.


SLIGO PARK HOTEL, CO SLIGO

If you're looking for some raw beauty with countryside views then book yourself into the Sligo Park Hotel, an ideal location along the Wild Atlantic Way.


Situated just on the edge of Sligo Town, the four-star Sligo Park Hotel is a contemporary hotel with 136 bedrooms, including the Innisfree Suite, located in the private Lough Gill Wing.


The hotel has an award-winning restaurant, and a modern leisure club with a swimming pool and jacuzzi, which sounds ideal, especially after a day of exploring. Prices start from €169 for two, including breakfast. Email sligo@leehotels.com to book now.


ARMADA HOTEL, CO CLARE

Providing stunning Atlantic views is the four-star Armada Hotel in west Clare, which overlooks the glorious Spanish Point beach.


Many of its rooms have breath-taking ocean views as well as the Pearl Restaurant and the Ocean Bistro terrace.


To credit its location, the hotel has created its very own Wild Atlantic Suite, designed to allow its guests to appreciate the stunning coastline.


If you like to explore, the hotel is strategically well placed to visit the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren or perhaps take a cruise out to the Aran Islands from nearby Doolin.


You can also surf — or learn to surf — on Spanish Point beach. For golfers, the renowned Doonbeg and Lahinch courses are a short drive away and Spanish Point Golf Club, voted the best 9-hole golf course in Munster is just a three-minute walk from the hotel.


Prices start from €185 including breakfast for two people. Email info@armadahotel.com to book now.