Welcome to endless stretches of Wild Atlantic coastline, with historic seaside ports and fishing towns.
Welcome to endless stretches of wild coastline, so picturesque they make you yearn to be a National Geographic photographer.
How perfect would it be to spend your days lying silently upon the salty cliff-tops, watching the sea birds glide and fall in the rising sea winds. Lying still with eyes glued to binoculars as nature goes about her business uninterrupted by the flaws of humans.
Those steep sandstone cliffs unmarred by fences – are rare risk in today’s cotton-woolled society. Standing atop them you can’t help but imagine what it must feel like to fly – and for a moment you can reason with those who choose to wingsuit or paraglide as a hobby.
Standing here, the wind is forced into your lungs and this breath of fresh air revives you like CPR from the gods.
The rise and fall of the surrounding velveteen landscape is not unlike that of New Zealand, although the earth seems to drop off into the sea without a word of warning. Fisherman’s cottages spill down the surrounding hillsides towards the sea, you can’t help but feel like singing, and the harbour of boats around you dance and roll to the music in your head.
Kinsale is the salty sea dog of the south. One of Ireland’s most historic and popular tourist destinations, the town sits just 30 minutes south of Cork Airport and nestles between rolling green hills and an impressive shoreline.
The town itself is a vivid expression of the Irish’ outlook on life. The sing-song in their voices is reflected by the bold display of color in the streets. Joyous, happy and 100% welcoming – It was my kind of place. A maze of narrow coastal streets with that quaint flair that can only come with rich history and seaside life.
Furthermore, the town marks the way for a 2500km trail known as the from Wild Atlantic Way from Kinsale, County Cork to Donegal. For the ultimate guide to driving it [or walking it] check out this article by the Irish Examiner.
The Wild Atlantic Way is longer than California’s Pacific Coast Highway or South Africa’s Garden Route, has fewer tourists (well, outside of the Cliffs of Moher and Ring of Kerry, anyway), and its halfway house is Galway City.
This really is as raw as Ireland gets. This is spray-in-your-face, mud-on-your-tyres, salt-on-your-windscreen stuff. It’s about jagged peninsulas, deserted villages, brilliant beaches and coastal hubs ranging from Kinsale to Kenmare and Kilkee.
What’s not to like?