Thinking of driving the Wild Atlantic Way? Why not take it one step further and cycle it?

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the greatest outdoor challenges that exists on this island. It’s teeming with scenic vistas, culture, wild places and miles and miles of stunning roads. At 2570km long it is the longest coastal cycle route in the world and features scenery to rival anywhere in the globe. It was opened in 2014 and takes in nine counties and three provinces. Touring the route is usually done over the course of a month, but the hardcore athletes have completed it in a week. It should be on your bucket list if you’re even a halfway competent cyclist and we are here to convince you why!

1. Scenery

The Wild Atlantic Way takes in some of the most stunning areas of Ireland. Along the way, you’ll travel through Killarney National Park, the Cliffs of Moher, Benbulben and many more. Stunning coastlines, rugged mountains and islands stuck in time; the Wild Atlantic Way shows the very best of Ireland. While we may be tempted to look further afield in search of natural beauty, it’s time we appreciated what’s on our own doorstep.

2. Culture

Along the west coast of Ireland, you’ll travel through many of the largest Gaelic speaking areas in the country. These Gaeltachts are largely centred around the Galway and Connemara region, where nearly half of all Gaelic speakers reside. These are the remaining centres of the Irish language, music and poetry and should be cherished while they still exist.

3. Stop offs

The Wild Atlantic Way can be completed in just seven days if you are superhuman and fancy averaging over 300km a day. However, we would recommend taking your time and getting off your bike from time to time to stop off and take in the beauty. Whether this is taking a day to travel over to Skellig Michael in the North West or relaxing on Portsalon beach in Donegal, turn Strava off and embrace the journey.

15 of the best stops along the wild atlantic way

4. Adventure

Tackling the Wild Atlantic Way on your bike is the ultimate adventure to tackle. You can do it all in one go for a real, hardcore adventure or separate it into multiple blocks and tackle it over a period of time. Regardless of how you do it, the Wild Atlantic Way is a fantastic cycling adventure. There are plenty of small towns to stop off at along the way but if you really fancy getting back to nature then take your tent along and embrace wild camping each evening.

5. Climbing

Just because the route follows the coastline don’t assume you’ll be travelling at sea level. There are 24km of climbs and some crazy 20% plus inclines along the Wild Atlantic Way, meaning that there’s plenty to test your legs along the way. A lot of these climbs are bunched at both ends of the route meaning there is no easier direction, so we suggest accepting it and embracing the burn!

6. Value

Staycations in Ireland get a bad rap for their cost but the Wild Atlantic Way is a great alternative for a holiday that doesn’t require your passport. By travelling on two wheels and staying in hostels you can keep your costs below €40 per day. Camping will keep the cost down even further. Plus, you can’t put a price on what you’ll get out of this. In terms of natural beauty, exercise, and connecting with the heart of Ireland the Wild Atlantic Way is priceless.

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By Outsider

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