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Spectacular road trips. Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

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If you like your road trips leisurely and rugged, this one’s for you. This is an extensive road trip - from the very top of the Republic of Ireland at Malin Head, around the Atlantic Coast, finishing at Kinsale just south of Cork more than 2,500 km later.

From the highlands of Malaysia to the beaches of Australia, the intrepid travel team at Budget Direct Insurance has been celebrating the magnificence of the road trip in a series of posts. Here is our all-in-one trip planner to Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Step back in time

The Wild Atlantic Way is rugged and sparsely populated with rocky coastlines, rolling green hills, crashing seas and local characters with both the gift of the gab and a sense of the craic. This trip “takes travellers through traditional rural outposts where Irish Gaelic is still spoken, tweeds are woven on wooden looms, the fish on the menu is from the boat tied up at the pier, fiddlers play sessions in the pubs at night, and—as the locals say—the craic is mighty”* 

What you need to know

The ocean has been molding the west coast of Ireland for millions of years leaving behind a unique coastline that can be broken into fourteen amazing sections. This area is also relatively isolated, meaning more of the ancient traditions and language have been preserved.

Pubs and traditional music

These go together like the Chinese yin-yang symbol! Irish pubs are not only great places for local drinks but also for food, accommodation and music. Many pubs will have their own musicians and entertainers. Some events may be arranged, some spontaneous. Irish people are extremely friendly and will go out of their way to help you and make you feel at home. Even if that is halfway round the world and couldn’t be more of a contrast! 

Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

This road trip takes you along the coastline of the Republic of Ireland, which is an independent and democratic country. Northern Ireland is a separate country and is part of the United Kingdom although it has its own devolved parliament.

Irish Gaelic

This is the first official language of Ireland although everyone speaks English (you may have to get used to the accent!)

The craic

Even the Irish have a tough time defining the term craic. Take it to mean fun or entertainment and you won’t go far wrong. Pronounced “crack." You’ll hear and experience it a lot!


This is a long trip but you will be rewarded with empty roads and lots of space if you avoid the Irish school holidays in July and August. Like Singapore, you’ll be driving is on the left. Cars and campervans are easy to hire, but book before your set off. Best months to go are May, June, September and October. 

Web link 

*National Geographic, Wild Atlantic Way

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