This route is the world’s longest touring itinerary – 2,636 km or 1,636 miles of wild land meeting sea along Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Next stop America! This new route encompasses the best of West Ireland from north to south and south to north, connecting castles, villages, towns, cliff sides, islands, monuments, paths, mountains and other phenomenal features.
In the southwest specifically, you’ll visit some of the coolest seaside towns like Baltimore, Kinsale,and Sneem, as well as remote peninsulas like Sheep’s Head and Beara and Mizen Peninsulas, and rural islands like Cape Clear, Dursey and Sherkin, as well as many others.
As you cross this mammoth swathe of Irish countryside, you can really experience how our people and culture have been influenced and shaped by our island location for over 7,000 years.
Whether you travel by foot, bicycle, kayak, horse or car, the opportunities to see, explore and experience landscapes, villages and communities, beaches, harbours & sea-life are everywhere. Go with the method that works best for you – or even combine various travel methods to spice up your adventure in southwest Ireland even more!
Ireland is a designated whale and dolphin sanctuary, so if you’re lucky, you may get to meet one of our friendly ocean residents! On the Dingle Peninsula, infamous resident, Fungi the Dolphin has been in Dingle for 25 years. Fin whales – the world’s second-largest whale – tend to gather in June, and other types such as Killer, Minke and Baleen whales swim our waters year round.
Other local ‘residents’ include blubbery seals, adorable puffins (spot them on the Skellig Islands), and the beautiful red deer of Killarney. For bird lovers, southwest Ireland is also a great place to spot a great variety of sea birds. Of over eighty species of cetacean recorded worldwide, over twenty-five have been spotted in Irish waters.
Learning can be fun too! Southwest Ireland has several pockets where the Irish language is spoken (notably, in rural and island communities) so why not learn a few words of the ancient language of Irish Gaelic? Called the ‘Gaeltacht’ (Irish-speaking communities), a few regions that stand out are Cape Clear Island, western Dingle, and southwest Kerry (especially out by Caherdaniel and Ballinskelligs).
For music enthusiasts, try your hand at playing a traditional musical instrument in a pub called the bodhran (a type of drum). Don’t forget Irish dancing – this is a true adventure!
Then just take a look at the many incredible and varied adventure trips below that Wilderness Ireland has to offer. Truly an unforgettable journey – whichever type of travel you choose
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