Tuesday 18 June 2024

Driving the Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland’s Incredible West Coast
Driving the Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland’s Incredible West Coast
The west coast of Ireland is a remote area filled with rugged landscapes, charming small towns and incredibly welcoming people.
Start your journey in the small town of Galway, which is a central location on the west coast of Ireland. There are a handful of excellent hotels in Galway however Glenlo Abbey Estate stands out from the rest. When we were researching places to stay in Galway, we almost did not book this hotel, despite the huge volume of rave online reviews, because it is a little outside of the town.
It is worth the ten-minute drive into Galway as the large, luxurious rooms front onto a tranquil estate and golf course and having stayed at one of the in-town hotels after Glenlo Abbey, we were left regretting not having stayed put at Glenlo.
There are some excellent dining options in Galway but the two highlights were Ard Bia at Nimmos and the famous Dough Bros. Pizza.
Ard Bia is the epitome of home-cooking with incredible stews and other international and Irish favourites. It’s a very small restaurant set in an ancient waterfront building; reservations are essential.
Dough Bros. puts out one of the tastiest, thin crust pizzas on the planet. The restaurant has a great, friendly vibe. If you are a pizza fan you will not be disappointed.
The Wild Atlantic Way comprises over 2500km of small, winding roads and you could easily spend weeks exploring its many unique villages. If your time is limited, we’d recommend the following:
Drive from Galway to Clifden and Letterfrack and enjoy some spectacular ocean views along the way. Continue through to Westport then on to Sligo then swing back down through to Galway. One of the highlights of this driving loop is Kylemore Abbey so allow a couple of hours to visit this incredible 1800’s home and property.
This entire journey can be completed in a full day, allowing for stops in some of the small towns along the way.
There are plenty of excellent seafood restaurants as well as great pub fare options along this route, and many boutique hotels and inns should you decide to stay a night.
One other drive not to be missed if you are starting your journey in Galway is The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. The views from the cliffs are stunning!
We’ve given you a taste of what’s in store should you decide to visit Ireland’s incredible west coast; for the full buffet we recommend you browse the official Wild Atlantic Way or jump onto our Ask an Expat Travel channel for more recommendations.
The author, Paul Luciw, is the Founder and Managing Director of AsiaXPAT.