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Did you know that the world's longest holiday driving route is about to be finished soon in…Ireland? Indeed: in April 2014 Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way will be the first long-distance touring route, stretching along the Atlantic coast from Donegal to West Cork. I tried to capture the beauty of this area with the following video – follow me to the rough, colorful coastline and enjoy the view!
The Wild Atlantic Way = road trip through Ireland!
Experiencing Ireland by driving along the Wild Atlantic Way is possibly the best thing one can do to get the most out of Ireland's west coast, getting to know some new spot's which haven't been on the tourist map until now – little gem's which are sometimes not as little as you might think. The cliffs of Slieve League in County Donegal for example reach almost 3 times higher than the more popular Cliffs of Moher in County Clare!
Who would have known that the coast in Sligo is one of the worlds most popular spots for surfing? Me not. As well as the fact that you can swim with dolphins at the coast of Donegal (I preferred filming them and saying things like “ooooh!” due to the fact that the sea has been quite rough and I felt seasick…poor me).
What I knew because everybody at home told me: “You should try the Guinness in Ireland because it tastes soooo different there”. As a good german I had to prove it. Several times.
After more than a week in Ireland I'm able to tell you (as it is now more or less scientifically proven): it's true! A Guinness in a local pub, best to enjoy with some local music and friendly folks (mostly they are already there waiting for you) is a great way to finish a day in Ireland after walking along the coast, leaning against the strong winds and paddle board on the river. Or you just talk about Hurling – but that's another story ;)
Our trip (Sligo, Donegal, Inishowen)
First of all I have to admit it was my first visit to Ireland ever and -shame on me- I wasn't that well prepared due to the work on my Videos about South America during the previous weeks. Expecting loads of sheep, deep green countryside, dark beer, some cliffs and rain I was surprised – not only by the fact that the weather has been quite nice but also by the hospitality, the food and so much more than the usual stereotypes. Failte Ireland invited us to checkout the northern stretch at the counties of Sligo and Donegal, including the Peninsula Inishowen during a 4 day lasting road-trip.
Together with 18 travel writers, photographers and videographers we set off from Dublin to Sligo to start exploring areas “far away” from the capital. The following days have been packed with viewpoints, scenic routes, walks, history, comfy hotels and tasty local food. At the end of the trip almost everybody out of the group said “I have to come back and spend more time” at some point.
Music: “All So Innocent” by Miles Graham (Website)
This time I decided to use some local music from a Singer/Songwriter we got to know through a Songwriter Contest in Sligo. Luckily Miles Graham agreed to use his song to give this video a more local touch. Thanks for that and be sure to consider buying this lovely song on iTunes or Google's PlayStore!
Again Motion Designer Carina from TravelRunPlay did the Motion graphics for this video.
Find out more about the Wild Atlantic Way on the official website from Failte Ireland.
The activities we did have been provided by local family run businesses – the following have been the highlights :
Together with Auriel from Seatrails we did the Streedagh Spanish Armada Walk near Sligo – a quite interesting part of Ireland's history.
Who would have thought that I will do my first Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Ireland? Thanks to the really cool guys from the Prefect Day Surf School in Sligo for this experience!
Joseph from Sliabh Liag Tours has been our man at the mentioned Cliffs in Donegal and Paddy Byrne took us to the dolphins there.
Moreover we visited several very good restaurants I would recommend when visiting this part of Ireland:
Sligo: Shells at Strandhill; Eithnas's by the Sea in Mullaghmore; Tra Ban Restaurant & Strand Bar in Sligo
Donegal: Harvey's Point at Lough Eske (an awesome Hotel as well); Nancy's Barn in Ballyliffin; Ubiquitous in Buncrana
All the footage has been filmed using a GoPro Hero 2 and an iPod 5.
Have you been to Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way?
If you have any tips or hints feel free to join the conversation – post a comment below and share your experience!
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I got invited to this trip by Failte Ireland as part of the program for the TBEX 2013 in Dublin – an international Travel Blogging conference which connects Travel Bloggers with the travel industry.
All the content I provide from my travels is completely my own – this goes for opinions and views as well as for recommendations.