The wild West Coast of Ireland can be a desolate place, with the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean battering the rugged coastline.
However, it is one of the most dramatic landscapes in the whole of Ireland offering an abundance of seascape vistas, long windswept beaches and stunning sheer clifftops. And one of the very best ways of exploring this exciting and engaging parts of Ireland is by taking one of the many coastal walks that are just waiting for you to take advantage of. The coastal walks of the West Coast of Ireland are ideal for both the experienced hiker and for a Sunday morning stroll after breakfast. And here are some of the very best.
Killaspugbrone Loop Walk
This part of the West Coast of Ireland is known as the Sligo Surf Coast, and the Killaspugbrone Loop Walk starts in the enchanting coastal village of Strandhill. In fact, the trail starts at the tiny airport at Strandhill and is an eight kilometer walk that usually takes around two hours. The beauty of a loop walk is that you can start and end anywhere on the loop, or just walk part of it and return another day to complete it. If you are lucky enough to take the whole challenge in one go then the trail will take you through forests, along the beach, and through the dunes and if it is a clear day you can see, Sligo Bay, Knocknarea, and Benbulben. This really is a walk that the whole family can enjoy, and you are never too far from Strandhill to rest up and take sustenance in a cafe or a local pub.
Dursley Island Loop Walk
One of the great things about the West Coast of Ireland is the plethora of small islands that lie just off the mainland. And for our next walk we travel to County Cork and the Beara Peninsula. The dramatic start to this walk is by taking the only cable car in Ireland to the beautiful Dursey Island. Dursey Island is particularly difficult to get to due to the treacherous rocks and the rough Atlantic waters. That is why the cable car was constructed to give access to the locals who may have otherwise been stranded for days. The loop walk starts after disembarking the cable car and circles the fourteen kilometers of the island. At a leisurely pace this should take around four hours depending on the weather. Along the way you will get spectacular views of the awesome Beara Peninsula, and you should keep your eyes peeled for the local marine life that includes basking sharks, dolphins and whales. Before you set off, ensure the cable car is running and the times are as scheduled, the car takes six people and children are allowed to travel half price. All in all, this is a most complete coastal walk starting with the thrill of traveling over the water in a cable car, and when you arrive to the island, the vistas do not let you down one bit.