Search icon


26th Jun 2024

6 unique ways to experience the Wild Atlantic Way this summer

Sarah McKenna Barry

Brought to you by Discover Ireland.

It’s time to delve into the north west’s hidden gems as we explore Mayo, Sligo and Donegal.

Here at JOE, we’re familiar with what makes the Wild Atlantic Way so great. We’re no strangers to its rugged beaches, its surfing havens and its great pubs and restaurants.

This summer, as we explore the Wild Atlantic Way, we’ll be checking out all the old favourites, but we’ll also be delving into some hidden gems in the north west of the region. We’re talking super unique experiences that will stay with you long after your visit, from a seafood tour to a seaweed bath to a dark sky park.

Ready for new experiences along the Wild Atlantic Way this summer? Here are just some of our top picks.

Croagh Patrick Seafood Tours, Mayo

On a tour with Croagh Patrick Seafood, you’ll learn the ins and outs of all things oyster. You’ll tour the Gannon family’s working aquaculture farm, hand pick and shuck your own oysters before enjoying a tasting experience as you take in a striking view of the Mayo scenery. Croagh Patrick Seafood is conveniently situated near some other great attractions, including the Newport Railway Viaduct and Burrishoole Abbey.

Wild Ireland – Wildlife Sanctuary, Donegal

Wild Ireland in Donegal sits on an ancient Celtic rainforest that today offers sanctuary to a number of incredible animals, including wolves, bears, lynx and wild boar. Visit Wild Ireland, see these magnificent creatures for yourself and learn all about the wildlife that used to roam Ireland in ancient times. For even more wildlife, cross the bridge to the nearby Inch Island, which has become a favourite spot of birdwatchers. For dinner, make a reservation at The Red Door Country House.

Atlantic Sheepdogs Experience, Sligo

Sheepdogs play an integral role on Ireland’s farms and with a visit to Atlantic Sheepdogs, you can see these intelligent dogs in action. During your visit, you’ll meet Martin Feeney, an expert trainer and watch sheepdog demonstrations in the peaceful Sligo surrounds. After your visit, soak up more of the countryside by walking the Benbulben Loop, and after working up an appetite pop into Henry’s Bar and Restaurant.

Mayo Dark Sky Park

To truly take in the magnificence of the night’s sky, you need a remote location, and the Mayo Dark Sky Park in Ballycroy offers exactly that. Fill your day with great nearby activities and attractions, like exlporing Golden Strand or the Achill Island Distillery, and in the evening head to the Wild Nephin National Park and prepare to be amazed. The Mayo Dark Sky Park has received the Gold Tier Award from the International Dark Sky Association, so fill a flask with hot chocolate, wait for the sun to go down and take in an unforgettable view.

Fanad Lighthouse, Donegal

Fanad Lighthouse is a must-see for any visitor to Donegal, but for a truly unique experience, book a night’s stay here. Guests at Fanad Lighthouse will get the opportunity to stay in the former lighthouse keeper’s home. Enjoy unparalleled sea views, and when the night draws in, feast your eyes on the starry skies and fall asleep to the gentle sound of crashing waves. During your stay, you’ll find plenty to do nearby. Take a surf lesson with Adventure One Surf School and ramble through the gardens of Carrablagh House.

Voya Seaweed Baths, Sligo

Take relaxation to a whole other level with a seaweed bath at the Voya Seaweed Baths in Strandhill in Sligo. There are a range of packages to choose from here, including the Wild Atlantic View Room, which allows guests to enjoy a luxurious hot seaweed bath while waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash below them. Before your treatment, why not get active with a surf lesson from the Sligo Surf Experience? The Voya Seaweed Baths are also in close proximity to a number of great restaurants and bars, including The Strand Bar.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your next adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way today.

Brought to you by Discover Ireland.
The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this summer and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help us protect the natural environment. Love this place, leave no trace. 
Keep Discovering at