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Drive the Wild Atlantic Way

Get out on the big open road this summer in Southern Ireland

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The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the world’s longest recognised coastal routes and winds its way from Kinsale in Southern Ireland all the way to London Derry on the North coast. For  something a little different this summer, fly to Cork, hire a car, and get out on the big open road…

Day one

Fly to Cork direct from Cornwall Airport Newquay, flights are on Wednesdays and Saturdays from May to October. When you arrive at the Airport, grab a hire car (there are plenty of companies based at Cork Airport) and make your way down to Kinsale. Kinsale marks the start of this section of the route (known as the Haven Coast) and is most famous for the Old Head of Kinsale, a must see peninsula that stretches into the Atlantic. The town of Kinsale is also well known for its fresh local seafood so after working up an appetite in the sea air make sure you treat yourself in one of the many restaurants.

On from Kinsale, make a stop at Garretstown Beach and Timoleague Abbey before arriving in Clonakilty, a bustling town with colourful shops and traditional pubs.

Day two

Hit the road bright and early, making the journey towards Skibbereen. Driving through the pretty villages of Rosscarbery and Glandore (make pit stops if you wish!) you’ll eventually get to the historical market town of Skibbereen. Home to a heritage centre and award winning exhibitions inside an Old Gasworks building, make sure you stop for lunch in The Church Restaurant!

After lunch get back on the road and head for the historical town of Baltimore, make the most of this stunning coast by enjoying the views from the Beacon or get out on one of the whale and dolphin spotting tours. Next, drive towards Lough Hyne, a beautiful lake with a unique maritime history. Lough Hyne is one of the most important marine habitats in Europe and was made Ireland's first Marine Nature Conservation Reserve in 1981. It is famous for its bioluminescent plankton sparkling beneath the waters, the best way to sea this is night kayaking.

Day three

Time to head back to Cork! If you’ve got time, make your way onwards from Cork Airport to the pretty harbour town of Cobh, full of colourful houses and perfect for a bite to eat before heading back to the Airport!

More information

Fly to Cork  on Wednesdays and Saturdays between May and September from Cornwall Airport Newquay.

Book now with Aer Lingus.