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Displaying items by tag: Wild Atlantic Way

#Lighthouses - The Irish Examiner reports on the new All-Ireland Lighthouse Trail that's planned to launch next summer, eventually linking 20 lights across the border.

The initial phase of the project, which was first announced more than a year ago, will see redevelopment of five lighthouses in Antrim, Down and Donegal, including Fanad Head Lighthouse.

And it's envisaged it will complement the Wild Atlantic Way coastal tourism route from Donegal to Cork.

The Commissioners of Irish Lights website has more on the All-Ireland Lighthouse Trail, which will link up 20 of the island of Ireland's more than 70 lights.

Plans are also in motion to provide for accommodation along the route, plus visitor centres to highlight each lighthouse's story and heritage.

Published in Lighthouses

#NewBlueWaySites -The Blueway, a new national initiative to complement the Wild Atlantic Way and to encourage visitors to discover our coastline, was launched by Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Michael Ring.

The Blueway is a pilot programme to encourage visitors to engage with the sea by developing trails for water activities such as snorkeling and kayaking and highlighting local activity providers and events at the five Blueway locations in counties Mayo and Galway.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Michael Ring said –"Blueways offer an entirely new perspective on Ireland's magnificent wild Atlantic coastline. The Blueway initiative provides visitors with a safe haven to immerse themselves in some of the most glorious coastal waters anywhere in the world."

The five coastal Blueway sites are in Counties Galway and Mayo - Boffin Harbour on Inishbofin, Killary Fjord in Leenane, Keem on Achill Island, and Mannin Bay and Old Head (Louisburgh) in Mayo.

Recent research indicated that over 84,000 overseas visitors engage in water-sports every year when on holiday in Ireland with the vast majority of those taking part in kayaking and snorkeling.

The Blueway project supports the development of kayaking and snorkeling water trails in the pilot locations to support communities to develop new experiences for visitors along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Fiona Monaghan, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way Programme with Failte Ireland, said –"We are delighted to support this initiative, which sees the timely development of an excellent Wild Atlantic Way water sports experience, and provides the visitor the opportunity to engage with the sea. We have seen first-hand the success of the Greenway in Mayo which boosted local tourism with over 200,000 visitors last year. As a maritime variant of that initiative, we hope the Blueway can enjoy the same level of interest from visitors both at home and abroad."

Fáilte Ireland established a group, chaired by Dr Richard Thorn Chairman of the Irish Underwater Council, to progress the pilot programme which included representatives from Canoeing Ireland, the Rural Development Programmes of South Mayo, the Leader companies, Comhdhail na Oilean, Forum Connemara as well as Galway and Mayo County Councils and representation from the Leave no Trace initiative.

Over the summer months a series of "Blueway Days" will take place at the pilot locations to encourage visitors to engage with the sea.

These 'Blueway Taster days' have been devised to create awareness of the Blueway locations and the activities that are on offer.

Local activity operators will be available on the day to provide tuition and equipment together with safety advice to anyone that is interested in snorkelling /kayaking at these locations.

So whether you're a land lubber or a salty sea dog, local instruction and support will be there to suit every ability.

In addition to support from Failte Ireland, the project is supported by the Leader programme.


Published in Coastal Notes

#WildAtlanticWay - reports that an additional €1.4 million in State funding will be winging its way to the new Wild Atlantic Way scheme.

Earlier this year Kinsale Yacht Club was announced as the starting point of the 2.500km coastal tourism route that was first launched almost a year ago.

Presented to 300 top overseas tour operators attending Meitheal 2013 - Ireland’s largest tourism trade fair - by Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring and Fáilte Ireland, the ambitious project constitutes Ireland’s first long-distance driving route winding from Cork to the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal.

The latest funding injection will provide for the completion of the Galway Greenway walking and cycling trail - itself a phase of a long-term scheme to connect the City of the Tribes to the capital along the route of the Royal Canal.

Downpatrick Head in Mayo will also receive funds for a visitor centre connected to its famous blowhole Poll na Seantainne. And Kinsale will get money to help restore the Signal Tower at the Old Head of Kinsale. has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#CoastalNotes - Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring today (23 April) unveiled the final route for the Wild Atlantic Way, a new coastal tourism route running from Donegal to Cork.

The minister joined Fáilte Ireland to present the final route to 300 top overseas tour operators attending Meitheal 2013, Ireland’s largest tourism trade fair.

The Wild Atlantic Way will be Ireland’s first long-distance driving route, stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in Co Cork, and offering future visitors an opportunity to discover the west coast.

The 2,500km final route was unveiled following a comprehensive public consultation process and includes 156 strategically placed discovery points for tourists along the way. 

While the route unveiled today comprises the main spine of the Wild Atlantic Way, a series of looped itineraries off the spine are also planned to further develop the experience for visitors.

Speaking today, Minister Ring said: “The Wild Atlantic Way is a very exciting project and I’m certain it will be a major tourism attraction. But to make it happen we all need to get on board.

"There has been a great response so far and I’m encouraging tourism operators, local authorities, business people and residents to stay involved to get this over the finishing line."

Overseas tour operators were given an advance ‘sneak-peek’ of the route last night at a Fáilte Ireland welcome event in the Convention Centre Dublin when they were treated to the premiere of the video trailer above to show them just what their clients can expect along the route from next year on.

Paddy Mathews, manager of destination development with Fáilte Ireland, believes the project will be a great addition to what Ireland has to offer visitors.

“Developing a route like this is an important part of ensuring Ireland is able to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience," he said. "It will open up a huge number of towns and attractions to them and showcase the scenery and unique culture of the West Coast of Ireland providing easy access to a range of experiences along the route.

“Now that the route has been finalised we will be focusing our efforts on turning all this preparatory work into a reality – an international driving route to rival the best in the world.”

Fáilte Ireland has been working with all the local authorities along the West Coast as well as the leader companies, Údaras na Gaeltachta and the Western Development Commission.

Full details of the Wild Atlantic Way are available on the Fáilte Ireland website HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 4 of 4

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