7 In Europe/ Travel

Wild Atlantic Way: 18 Photos From Ireland You Need To See

Fanad Lighthouse in Donegal, Ireland

I spent the last week traveling around County Donegal in Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way — a 2,500-kilometer scenic road that stretches up to northwestern County Donegal. Locals often refer to the area as “Raw Ireland” and it just so happened to be the topic of my chat with Failte Ireland tour guide Mary Phelan on the latest Without A Path.

The thing about Ireland is that anyone with a functioning lens has a pretty damn good chance of coming back with phenomenal photos. In the case of these 18 shots, it’s all Ireland and very little of me.

Grianan Aileach in County Donegal, Ireland

Looking away from the Grainán of Aileach, spitting distance from the Derry/Londonderry border of Northern Ireland.

Grianan Aileach in County Donegal, Ireland

Walking within the ancient Celtic ruins of the Grainán of Aileach. Little else is known about these ruins.

Fort Dunree in County Donegal, Ireland

One of the many similar views from Fort Dunree, an important military post during the Napoleonic Wars through the establishment of the Irish Free State in the early 20th Century.

Fanad Peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland

The rocky coast of the Fanad Peninsula.

Fanad Lighthouse in County Donegal, Ireland

The Fanad Lighthouse is currently undergoing renovations to serve as a B&B of sorts for travelers who don’t mind a bit of solitude.

Chef Brian McDermott, The No Salt Chef

Chef Brian McDermott has earned a name for himself as “The No Salt Chef” after a string of heart attacks forced him to rethink his diet. His cooking calls for allowing the natural salts in food — such as the saltwater in fish — to provide your salt intake and allow the flavors of the food to come out rather than hide under a batch of salt.

Donegal Irish Pub

A typical village’s Irish pub where it’s almost never too early for your first pint.

Hiking in Glenveagh Castle National Park Ireland

Hiking in Glenveagh National Park.

View of Glenveagh Castle in County Donegal, Ireland

Overlooking Glenveagh Castle in the national park of the same name.

Art in Glenveagh Castle National Park of County Donegal, Ireland

Some of the very not Irish art that can be found on the grounds of Glenveagh National Park.

Rathmullan House County Donegal, Ireland

Outside the Rathmullan House Hotel on the banks of the Lough Swilly.


Cycling Arranmore Island in County Donegal, Ireland

Pausing during a bike ride with Grass Routes to admire this view from Arranmore Island.

The landscape of Arranmore Island in County Donegal, Ireland

A closer look at the vegetation on Arranmore Island.

Donegal Town in County Donegal, Ireland

Donegal town center.

The Lough Eske Castle in County Donegal, Ireland

The Lough Eske Castle now serves as a five-star hotel just outside of Donegal town center.

Salthill Gardens in Ireland

A look inside the Salthill Gardens, part of the Donegal Gardens trail.

Spanish Armada Ireland

1,000 crosses were raked across the shores of County Sligo to commemorate the 16th wreck of a Spanish Armada fleet fleeing a failed invasion of England.

Chef Prannie Rhatigan of Ireland

Chef Prannie Rhatigan of Irish Seaweed Kitchen fame tests some of the local grub at the end of a walk with Auriel Robinson from Sea Trails.

Disclaimer: I traveled to Ireland as a guest of Failte Ireland. As always, all opinions are my own.

You Might Also Like

  • Drumlerry
    September 24, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Love the one taken with ambient light in the Singing Pub

    • Joe
      September 25, 2015 at 9:54 am

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Catherine Carr
      September 25, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Yes not far from my homeplace,loved by so many

      • Joe
        September 25, 2015 at 11:13 am

        Loved for good reason!

  • clare chitan
    September 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    The West Coast of Ireland

    I rest a while on Diamond rocks and gaze out to the Sea
    The blue sky and glistening waves are there surrounding me

    The waves and surf whirl and dance in froth of surf so white
    circling round in fairy rings to dance and jump and shout

    There high above the jagged rocks
    Are cliffs with nesting birds
    Who glide and circle with the breeze
    And call to welcomes me

    I hear your call I see your wave
    And still I do not move
    But linger there to contemplate
    The Wild Atlantic way

    There is a life beneath the waves
    busy little towns beneath the sea creatures ,fish and forest kelp
    Along the wild Atlantic Shelf

    Clare Glynn Chitan 2015

  • Susan
    February 21, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Beautiful photographs of WILD ATLANTIC WAY, IRELAND

    • Joe
      February 21, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks, Susan!