Wednesday 26 September 2018

Driving along the Wild Atlantic Way

Family on top of the world - Malin Head
Family on top of the world - Malin Head

With 2,500km of coastal road and six incredible regions to explore across nine counties, the journey of a lifetime awaits you along the Wild Atlantic Way.

‘Were we not born to wander?’ so asked famous poet William Butler Yeats, who spent much of his time in Co Sligo.

Wander is what we were indeed born to do, and where better to begin wandering than along the Wild Atlantic Way? A region of unique natural beauty, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest defined coastal touring route in the world, stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula, Co Donegal to Kinsale, Co Cork. And, it is right on your doorstep!

While travelling the 2,500km of the Wild Atlantic Way in one go might seem a little ambitious, we are giving you a starting point. The Wild Atlantic Way has six amazing regions to explore, each with their own unique character. These are: Northern Headlands, the Surf Coast, the Bay Coast, the Cliff Coast, the Southern Peninsulas and the Haven Coast. Here, we profile some highlights of three of these regions (Northern Headlands, the Surf Coast and the Cliff Coast), as well as show you how you can make your journey even more unforgettable in the right Volkswagen SUV!

So, leave the hectic pace of life behind, relax and make long-lasting memories in the invigorating Wild Atlantic Way this summer… 

The Northern Headlands

Killybegs Harbour.jpg
Killybegs Harbour
 

Duration: Three days

Route length: 125km, 2 hours and 58 minutes by car

Start: Rossnowlagh

Stops: Killybegs, Fintra Bay, Kilcar, Donegal Town, Sliabh Liag

Finish: Ardara

Sliabh Liag, Co Donegal.jpg
Slieve League, Co. Donegal

Three highlights along the way:

• Rossnowlagh – Brave the Atlantic Ocean at Rossnowlagh Beach with Fin McCool Surf School, (www.finmccoolsurfschool.com).

• Killybegs – Explore Ireland’s largest maritime port of Killybegs on any of the six self-guided looped walks, or take a tour of the Killybegs International Carpet Making and Fishing Centre (www.visitkillybegs.com).

• Sliabh Liag – Sliabh Liag Distillery, located a five-minute drive from Sliabh Liag, is the only distillery in Donegal. After opening recently, it is the first in Donegal for over 175 years.

Making the most out of your trip:

Leave your everyday stress behind in the new Volkswagen Touareg. The all-wheel drive V6 TDI diesel engines with up to 286 HP mean this SUV can cope effortlessly with any terrain. The Touareg’s optional air suspension also takes the edge off potholes or bumps in the road. The system includes selectable gearbox programmes which adjust the height of the body to the current terrain. Handy! Plus, if you continue your drive into the evening, the Touareg’s optional thermal imaging Night Vision system highlights pedestrians and animals, easily viewed on the combined 27-inch Innovision Digital Cockpit! 

Touareg-Image-1.jpg
Volkswagen Touareg

The Surf Coast

Duration: Two days

Route length: 179km, 3 hours by car

Start: Rossnowlagh

Stops: Mullaghmore, Streedagh, Drumcliffe, Strandhill, Sligo Town, Rosses Point

Finish: Ballina

Benbulben by Art ward.jpg
Benbulben, by Art ward

Three highlights along the way:

• Mullaghmore – This popular seaside town is regarded as one of the best surfing destinations in the world and home to Ben Bulben mountain

• Streedagh – Meet some of the smartest sheepdogs at the Atlantic Sheepdogs Farm, which overlooks the beautiful Streedagh Beach.

• Sligo Town – Near Sligo Town, you’ll find Lough Gill which holds the Lake Isle of Inisfree, another beautiful attraction which Yeats wrote a poem about.

Making the most out of your road trip:

The new Volkswagen T-Roc is well-suited to driving through bustling coastal towns, such as Mullaghmore. The new T-Roc includes a Front Assist area monitoring feature which has an Emergency Braking System and Pedestrian Monitoring function as standard, so that you can remain relaxed while driving through towns. The T-Roc has plenty of space for passengers and luggage plus a raised seating position. For a fun drive and great family-friendly credentials, the new T-Roc lives up to the task! 

T-Roc.jpg
Volkswagen T-Roc

The Cliff Coast

Duration: Three days

Route length: 222km, 5 hours and 54 minutes by car

Start: The Burren

Stops: New Quay, Ballyvaughn, the Burren, Kilfenora, Doolin, Liscannor, Lahinch, Tarbert, Ballybunion, Bromore, Fenit

Finish: Tralee

 

Three highlights along the way:

• The Burren – Discover how perfumes are created at Burren Perfumery www.burrenperfumery.com

• Liscannor – The Cliffs of Moher (www.cliffsofmoher.ie) is a great place to experience the power of the sea and the beauty of the Burren, as they rise over 200 metres above the ocean and run for over eight kilometres.

• Bromore – Drive to Bromore’s impressive 180-foot cliffs (www.bromorecliffs.com), where winter storms and the Wild Atlantic have formed headlands and bays and carved deep caves at sea level

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Volkswagen Tiguan-Allspace

Making the most out of your road trip:

Because you will be driving for a lengthier time along the Cliff Coast, the new Tiguan Allspace, available with seven seats, comes with ample luggage space and an optional ‘Easy Open’ sensor-controlled luggage compartment opener. This means you can lift a heavy bag without having to search for a key. Moving your foot slightly under the rear of the SUV will open the boot lid! Perfect for larger families, the Tiguan Allspace will provide a comfortable journey and it also is available with a 4Motion feature which maintains outstanding grip on wet and rough surfaces.

 

The Wild Atlantic Way Passport

If you’re travelling to the Wild Atlantic Way, why not see how many areas you and your family can tick off your bucket list? Pick up your very own Wild Atlantic Way passport, which is a unique souvenir to have. There are 15 ‘Signature Points’ and 188 ‘Discovery Points’ along the route and each one has its own unique stamp, which are collected at a designated post office or tourist information office nearby. There is also a special reward to collect for your first 20 stamps! Your Wild Atlantic Way Passport can be purchased only at selected post offices or Fáilte Ireland tourist information offices along the Wild Atlantic Way for €10.

 

Find out more about Volkswagen SUVs at volkswagen.ie/SUV

For more drives and highlights along the Wild Atlantic Way, see www.wildatlanticway.com

Location images on this page courtesy of Fáilte Ireland

Sponsored by: Volkswagen

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