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Displaying items by tag: Wild Atlantic Way

#Tourism - Galway's status as the only city on the Wild Atlantic Way is at the centre of a new six-year tourism blueprint for the City of the Tribes.

As the Connacht Tribune reports, the Tourism Sustainability Strategy 2015-2021 – developed from search commissioned by Galway City and County Councils – recommends that a 'master brand' be created to capitalise on the city's unique position in the West of Ireland.

Plans include developing and marketing Galway as a transport and accommodation hub for the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as creating new spin-off cultural and heritage trails, and extending the tourist season with the likes of new city-based festivals.

The Connect Tribune has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#WildAtlanticWay - Popular travel YouTube duo the Vagabrothers have been posting clips from their current trip along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way - including a "super relaxing" kayaking adventure off West Cork.

As TheCork.ie reports, Californian brothers and self-professed vagabonds Marko and Alex Ayling paddled in the company of Atlantic Sea Kayaking's Jim and Maria Kennedy as part of their extensive tour of the country at the invitation of Tourism Ireland.

Once back on shore, the Aylings were treated to a surprising seaweed lunch at the Union Hall café run by the Kennedy's own daughter.

The video above is just one of a series that's taken the brothers surfing in Strandhill, cliff-jumping in the Aran Islands and tucking into an oyster feast in Co Galway.

And it comes as Lonely Planet recommends the Wild Atlantic Way as the world's best offbeat coastal road trip, according to Galway Bay FM.

The whole of the Vagabrothers' Irish adventure so far can be found on YouTube HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#LighthouseGrant - A grant of €299,000 was announced by Minister of State for Tourism, Michael Ring TD last week via the Fáilte Ireland Capital Programme, to the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

The grant is to develop a new visitor facility building on a site adjacent to Fanad Head Lighthouse. The project will incorporate a new car park as well as facilities for visitors, a ticket desk and an interpretation area.

Fanad Head Lighthouse is located in Co. Donegal on the eastern shores of the Fanad peninsula in an area recognised for its scenery and has been designated a Signature Discovery Point within Fáilte Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way initiative.

The Minister Ring commented: 'While recent technology advances mean that much of the old physical infrastructure at lighthouse stations is no longer required for core operations, the Commissioners of Irish Lights is to be commended for recognising that these properties are of important heritage value and preserving them as a tourism asset. Today's grant will allow Fanad Lighthouse to fully play its natural part as a truly spectacular stop along the Wild Atlantic Way'.

"The lighthouse itself is due to open to visitors this summer and will offer a unique visitor experience as well as provide an insight into the role of lighthouses in Ireland's past, as well as the lighthouse keeper's way of life. Visitors will have access to the top of the lighthouse with unsurpassed views of the Atlantic and the surrounding coastline. It will be a great asset to the region."

Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised: 'We are more than happy to invest in this project and we believe that it will significantly build on the experience for visitors to this part of Donegal. The project is a perfect fit for the Wild Atlantic Way, which continues to develop and evolve, and an attraction such as Fanad resonates very much with both the 'culturally curious' and 'great escapers' – those overseas market segments to which the Wild Atlantic Way particularly appeals'

The nvestment follows a recent €500,000 refurbishment of Fanad Lighthouse by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, who have also redeveloped the former lighthouse keepers' houses into three self-catering units.

In addition, the Commissioners recently launched a new initiative entitled the Great Lighthouses of Ireland partnership. This initiative will bring together 12 lighthouses in Ireland and Northern Ireland and includes the marketing, preservation and conservation of our important maritime and lighthouse heritage.

The partnership was created to deliver an experience that is motivating and inspiring and fully leverages the Wild Atlantic Way's potential.

Published in Lighthouses

#MarineWildlife - Ireland's basking shark visitors could be a big money-spinner for the Wild Atlantic Way, as Independent.ie's Travel TV reports.

The second largest fish in the sea are a regular summer sight off Ireland's coasts, particularly in Donegal, Mayo and Kerry – all prime spots along the western coastal tourism route initiative.

Indeed, Ireland is one of the best places in the world to see these magnificent examples of marine wildlife, says Emmett Johnston of the Irish Basking Shark Study Group.

And according to Dr Pete 'Hammerhead' Klimley, sites like Malin Head could be perfect as 'shark park' reserves to protect a species that may only number a few thousand worldwide, despite recently placing third in a list of the most unusual sharks.

Certainly such a shark park reserve would afford protections to help avoid the shocking harassment of marine life exhibited by two louts videoed 'surfing' a whale shark recently.

According to the Irish Mirror, calls have been made for the men involved in the sickening stunt to be charged for their abuse of the gentle giant, the largest fish in the world's oceans.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#BusyFerries – The Shannon Breeze and Shannon Dolphin operated by the Shannon Ferry Group has already had to extend its high-season crossings due to demand, writes The Examiner

The ferries which can take almost 120 cars between them, run between Tarbert, Co Kerry and Killimer in Clare from 7am to 9.30pm with crossings every 15 minutes.

Eugene Maher, chief executive of Shannon Ferry Group said: "Numbers have been fantastic, particularly over the past two years and this can be attributed to the promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way. "We had lost our focus in terms of promoting the west of Ireland and the Ireland outside of Dublin. As the capital city, Dublin is a dominant player and will continue as that. But the traditional Ireland around the country seemed to have disappeared as regard tourism numbers.

For more on this, the newspaper has the story here.

 

Published in Ferry

#Surfing - Strandhill in Co Sligo is the number one spot for surfing in Ireland, according to a new celebration of the best towns to catch waves along the Wild Atlantic Way.

In the words of SurfHolidays.com, the small village just six kilometres from Sligo town "is an eclectic mix of surfers, locals and travellers who have now made [it] their home. If you’re looking for a surf trip in Ireland you have found the perfect spot."

It also helps that it's not far from the northwest surfing mecca of Bundoran – which features third on this selection – not to mention the fearsome big waves off Mullaghmore Head.

Running a close second on the list is Lahinch in Co Clare, which splits the difference between the challenging Aileens big wave spot off the coast to the surf at the beach itself, which is "perfect for beginners".

Further north, just to the east of the Wild Atlantic Way's starting point, the quality surfing at Portrush gets a shout-out, as does the "mythical" wave of Inch reef near Ballybunion in Co Clare.

SurfHolidays.com has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#ExploringDonegal - National Geographic Explorer visited Killybegs Harbour yesterday following a voyage along the western seaboard with anchorage calls off Aran Islands and Dingle Peninsula as previously reported here on Afloat, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The call of Lindblad Expeditions /National Geographic's operated 150-passenger cruiseship to Killybegs is the second arrival this season which was opened last week by Le Boreal with a 254 passenger capacity.

A sister of the Companie du Ponant's chic 'boutique' style mega-yacht like vessel, Le Soleal is the next caller due on 24 May. In total 9 cruiseships are scheduled in 2015, surpassing last year itself a record.

More than 6,300 passengers are to visit the town and along this stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way. The main attraction of nearby Slieve League, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe that are 601m (1,972 ft) high above the Atlantic Ocean.

Of the P&O Cruises to visit the north-west, they will be made by the 30,000 tonnes Adonia, with a length of 180.45m (592 ft) and the largest cruiseship to Killybegs in 2015 goes to the 69,000 tonnes Oriana with a length of 260.00m (853.02 ft).

Adonia has a capacity for 710 passengers while Oriana is much greater with 1,822 passengers and a crew of almost 800.

Published in Cruise Liners

#creedonswildatlanticway – The Wild Atlantic Way, the magnificent West Coast of Ireland - is it the 'land of your heart's desire', as described by William Butler Yeats? RTE's John Creedon is about to find out in his new 3 part series for RTE One, Creedon's Wild Atlantic Way.
"My car is always happiest when it's pointed west," claims John and it's just as well because he's about to travel this epic 2,500 kilometre trip from Kinsale in Cork right up to Donegal's Malin Head. But he needs your help.
"I know there are some real hidden gems out there so I'm putting out the call," said John. "I want people to get in touch and tell me all about them. It could be anything, that little boreen that leads to your secret beach, or the place where you're guaranteed to catch a fish...or a wave!"
But this series is also all about the characters John meets up with. "You might know someone, an uncle, a cousin or even a neighbour", he says "and you've always thought they should be recorded for posterity. They're the people I want to meet, the big personalities that make the west coast such a unique place."
So if you want to contact John with your hidden gem, you can get in touch. Email [email protected] 
But the Wild Atlantic Way is more than just a road trip. The sea will be John's highway and he wants to discover just why this beautiful yet savage landscape exerts such a hold on us.
"The West Coast has witnessed Cromwell's tyranny, the famine's devastation and the scourge of emigration," says John. "But it's managed to survive and for many it's become a sanctuary and refuge. It's this reimagining and reinventing that I really want to try and explore."
Landscape, history, characters, poetry, food and a window into the lives of the people who live where the land meets the ocean – all of this will be part of Creedon's Wild Atlantic Way which is due to air on RTE One this Summer. 

Published in Maritime TV

#CoastalNotes - Via TheJournal.ie, check out this breathtaking video by photographer Peter Cox, who mounted a camera to a remote operated drone to capture stunning coastal vistas on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Using little more than consumer-level tech, Cox was able to film incredible aerial shots of the kind previously only available those with big budgets on expensive helicopter shoots.

But he says his experiments have not been without their crashing failures, including one potentially disastrous moment when an engine tore off his drone at Loop Head.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#WildAtlanticWay - The Wild Atlantic Way was recognised as ‘Best Tourist Attraction’ at the third InBusiness Editors' Choice Awards at a ceremony in Dublin's Hibernian Club.

Fáilte Ireland says it invested €10 million during 2014 in what's Ireland’s first long-distance touring route, stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in Co Cork. 

And the news comes in the same week as the Loop Head Peninsula, a key attraction on the route, was named as one of the world's top 100 sustainable travel destinations.

"The enthusiasm out there for this project is impressive and not only amongst tourism businesses but also in the wider community," said Fiona Monaghan, head of the Wild Atlantic Way project for Fáilte Ireland. "The key to success for this initiative is its authenticity – not just the places but also the people of the Wild Atlantic Way.

“With its capacity to drive extra visitor footfall, mobilise communities and showcase the best of the West Coast of Ireland, the Wild Atlantic Way is set to be one of the most significant developments in modern Irish tourism and to be a significant engine of regeneration for rural Ireland," she added. 

"I have no doubt that there is at least a decade of growth in the Wild Atlantic Way and is already luring visitors to Ireland as they seek to explore the longest defined coastal route in the world.”

Irish companies and individuals were recognised at the InBusiness Editor’s Choice Awards, which honour outstanding achievement in the Irish business community. Winners were selected based on the broad criteria of growth, profile of business, range of services and customer care.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
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