Home Europe 10 Places You MUST Visit on The West Coast of Ireland!

10 Places You MUST Visit on The West Coast of Ireland!

by TheWanderingQuinn

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The West Coast of Ireland is a beautiful part of Ireland. I did a 3 day West Coast of Ireland Road Trip driving up as much of the West Coast as I could and I couldn’t believe the beauty of it! The scenery on the West Coast of Ireland changes so dramatically as you drive along the Wild Atlantic Way and go between the South, Mid and North of the West Coast of Ireland!

Here are 10 places on the West Coast of Ireland to visit which are also the best things to do on the West Coast of Ireland and the best things to see on the West Coast of Ireland. Whether you are doing a road trip around Ireland or using public transport and doing day tours around Ireland I give you options below to suit all trips to Ireland!

Places to Visit on West Coast of Ireland!

places to visit west coast of Ireland
Keep Reading for the Best Places to Visit on the West Coast of Ireland and your West Coast of Ireland Guide!

CAR HIRE IN IRELAND

If you are visiting Ireland, it will help to hire a car to see all of these places on the West Coast of Ireland to visit!

For Car Hire check out Rental Cars here, they work with the biggest car hire companies including Budget who I hired my car from for my Road Trip along the West Coast of Ireland!


1. Cliffs of Moher

No West Coast of Ireland trip would be complete without a trip to the iconic and famous Cliffs of Moher, this is the top Ireland tourist attraction. They are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction and they’re popular for a reason. This area of coastline is simply stunning and the visitor centre, although touristy, gives you the chance to get up close to the cliff’s edge.

If you’re hiring a car in Ireland, the best time of day to visit the Cliffs of Moher is as late as possible (3pm-7pm depending on the time of year and what time it gets dark) as the morning is when the coach day tours visit the Cliffs of Moher and ideally you want to avoid these.

In fact, when I went in August there were signs well before getting to the Cliffs, and in Shannon Airport, advising people to go after 4:00 pm in the Summer, so keep this in mind when you’re thinking about what to do in West Ireland.

If you’re staying in Galway without your own transport, do not worry! There are plenty of Cliffs of Moher Tours leaving Galway and even tours leaving DublinI would recommend one of these. They start at a great price, you see a lot and they are stress-free!

 

places to visit west coast of Ireland, Ellie Quinn Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are the most popular place to visit on the West Coast of Ireland!

2. Galway

Galway is Ireland’s most famous City after Dublin, however, it’s much smaller in size than Dublin so it’s a lot easier to navigate and get a good feel for in a small amount of time so it should be on your West Coast of Ireland itinerary.

Galway is full of colourful buildings, plenty of local Irish Pubs and is situated on the water. There are street performers day and night giving you a taste of traditional Irish music and generally, its just a good craic!

Things to do in Galway include taking the Galway Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus to see the city in a quick and easy way! Going on a Segway Tour to see the city in a fun way! And going on a Galway River Cruise to see the city in a scenic way!

I stayed overnight in Galway and I’m really glad I got to see Galway in the evening and in the day time because it seems like a different city when it gets dark. If you want a place to go out for some drinks on the West Coast of Ireland and for a few Guinness’s, Galway is the place to go and stay for a night or two.

places to visit west coast of Ireland, Galway

GET 15% OFF HOTEL BOOKINGS UNTIL JANUARY 2021 WITH BOOKING.COM

Are you still looking for accommodation for this trip? Booking.com is offering 15% off selected stays until January 2021!
Have a look on Booking.com here to see what accommodation you can book for a discounted price for this trip and any other trips you plan to take until January next year!

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3. Limerick

Limerick is the third biggest city in Ireland however it’s a city that isn’t centred around tourism like Galway is but it’s still a good place to visit when thinking about where to go in Ireland.

I would suggest visiting Limerick for a few hours if you are passing by on a road trip to visit the Castle and have a walk along the River Shannon.



places to visit west coast of Ireland, Limerick

4. Killary Fjord

The Killary Fjord on the West Coast of Ireland was a complete surprise to me! It’s Irelands only Fjord which extends 10 miles from the Atlantic. I drove along the Fjord when driving from Kylemore Abbey to Westport and every turn and corner provided a completely different view of the fjord, it really was incredible.

It’s a mix of New Zealand and Norway on the West Coast of Ireland! Boat tours are available from Killary Harbour which would be brilliant if you can find the time, you can book a 1.5-hour boat tour here! If not, just making sure you at least drive alongside it.

places to visit west coast of Ireland, Killary Ford

5. Achill Island

Another surprise for me on the West Coast of Ireland and along the Wild Atlantic Way was Achill Island. It’s the largest island off of the mainland of Ireland, connected to the mainland via a bridge. It’s a remote, rugged and unspoilt island! I felt like I was uncovering a gem as I drove towards and around the Island.

I used ‘Keel‘ on Achill Island as my endpoint on my satnav and just before I reached the village I saw signs for the beach. The beach was so remote and quiet, it filled me with peace and calm so I would definitely recommend heading up there to see a less visited place on the West Coast of Ireland.

places to visit west coast of Ireland, Achill Island

CAR HIRE IN IRELAND

If you are visiting Ireland, it will help to hire a car to see all of these places on the West Coast of Ireland to visit!

For Car Hire check out Rental Cars here, they work with the biggest car hire companies including Budget who I hired my car from for my Road Trip along the West Coast of Ireland!

6. Connemara National Park

Connemara National Park is a big area of land in West Ireland and one of the most popular places to visit in Ireland and one of the most popular things to do in West Ireland. The scenery here is very mountainous and rugged with lots of lakes.

You can drive through it taking in the beauty surrounding you, stopping when you feel like it to take pictures and have a walk, and you can go to the main visitor centre and walk a suggested walking route around the Connemara National Park which is what I did.

There are 3 walks available that all start at the Connemara National Park Visitor Centre ranging from 30 minutes to 90-120 minutes, I did the Lower Diamond Hill Walk which was 3km and took about 45 minutes, it wasn’t particularly strenuous but it gave amazing views from a high part of the mountain overlooking the lakes and countryside.

If you don’t have a car, you can book on a day tour to the Connemara National Park from Galway like this, or from Dublin like this!

places to visit west coast of Ireland, ellie quinn connemara national park

7. Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey is an iconic place to visit in Ireland and one of the best places to see in Ireland. It’s a 10-15 minute drive from the Connemara National Park visitor centre so if you visit one you should visit both. Kylemore Abbey was built in the 1800s and it’s had a lot of love, care and money put into it. It’s been a hotel and a girls school and experienced a fire or two that could have ruined the castle but luckily didn’t.

The Abbey is beautiful to view from the lake and up close. I would suggest buying a ticket so you can get closer to it and go inside to read more about its history. There is also a gorgeous walled garden a mile from the Abbey which is accessible via foot or a shuttle bus that runs every 10-15 minutes to take you between the two areas.

places to visit west coast of Ireland, Kylemore Abbey

Again, do not worry if you do not have your own transport, you can still reach the Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey on day tours from Dublin and Galway like this, click through to check availability for when you’re there!

 

8. The Burren

I didn’t get to visit The Burren due to time constraints but I wish I had visited and thought about what to see in Ireland in advance of my trip. It’s located close to the Cliffs of Moher and is famous for its limestone landscape. From the photos I have seen it looks quite otherworldly and a really unique place to visit in West Ireland.

It’s also popular because you would think this landscape is barren with nothing growing it in but actually, come spring The Burren blossoms into a rock garden of wildflower so Spring is a great time to visit this part of West Ireland.

9. Aran Islands

This is another part of the West Coast I didn’t visit as I only had 3 days in Ireland but would have loved to visit. Sat in Galway Bay mouth is 3 islands known as the Aran Islands. It’s possible to visit the Aran Islands on a Day trip from Doolin or Galway and there are regular ferries running to take you and your car.

There are also many coach tours and boat trips around the Aran Islands if you’d prefer to see the islands from the water which sounds like one of the fun things to do in Ireland.

The islands are known for their ancient sites, beaches and Irish speaking locals. If I didn’t have a car for my trip and had done my Ireland trip via public transport I definitely would have gone on an organised day trip to the Aran Islands from Galway like one of these:

 

10. Donegal

Donegal topped National Geographic’s Cool List of What to See in Ireland and for good reasons. Donegal appears to be the place that makes you feel like you’re really ‘off the beaten path’ in Ireland, escaping the rest of the world with its wild landscape, country roads and incredible coastline so make sure you visit on your West Coast of Ireland trip!


CAR HIRE IN IRELAND

If you are visiting Ireland, it will help to hire a car to see all of these places on the West Coast of Ireland to visit!

For Car Hire check out Rental Cars here, they work with the biggest car hire companies including Budget who I hired my car from for my Road Trip along the West Coast of Ireland!

GET 15% OFF HOTEL BOOKINGS UNTIL JANUARY 2021 WITH BOOKING.COM

Are you still looking for accommodation for this trip? Booking.com is offering 15% off selected stays until January 2021!
Have a look on Booking.com here to see what accommodation you can book for a discounted price for this trip and any other trips you plan to take until January next year!

Booking.com 15% off

TRAVEL INSURANCE IN IRELAND

Remember to get insurance before you go on your trip to Ireland! It’s something I know a lot of us forget or think isn’t important but it is! If you still need to purchase travel insurance I’d recommend World Nomads. They offer 24/7 emergency assistance, trip cancellation, protection of gear, and a lot more. Plus they’re flexible and simple! Just what we need! Get a quote here!


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5 comments

Samantha Sparrow September 18, 2017 - 8:52 am

This area of Ireland has been on my wish list for years – I definitely want to do more road trips in 2018 if I can – to Ireland, Scotland and Wales! The pictures are just sublime, you’ve made me want to book right now!

Reply
Emma Hart | Paper Planes and Caramel Waffles October 12, 2017 - 8:56 pm

Ooh, I’d definitely recommend visiting Doolin! It’s such a gorgeous little village with the coolest Irish bars. The Burren is also pretty cool too, it’s so wild there. I remember when I visited a few years ago, The Cliffs of Moher were covered in fog but it made the scenery really atmospheric! Hopefully I’ll make it back again on a clearer day!

Emma | Paper Planes and Caramel Waffles

Reply
Rachel November 7, 2017 - 10:56 pm

Pictures are lovely! In some it looks like you were the only person there which must have been pretty special, or maybe just clever camera timing! Thanks for sharing this post 🙂

Reply
Liz Kerr June 29, 2018 - 12:00 pm

We just did the Wild Atlantic Way and I have to say its been one of the best holidays ever…the weather was sublime too. 28 degrees and sunny, just beautiful!

Reply
TheWanderingQuinn June 30, 2018 - 8:23 am

That sounds amazing!! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Reply

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