How to get to the Wild Atlantic Way

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How to get to the Wild Atlantic Way? Where you start your WAW journey and which direction you go in, North or South, depends on where you are coming from, and hence which airport or ferry port you are arriving at.

There are only realistically a couple of methods of arriving at the Island of Ireland – by plane or by boat.

Flying to Ireland

There are a number of airports in Ireland, not all of which are near the Wild Atlantic Way.

But which destination you fly to depends on your departure point and which part of the Wild Atlantic Way you wish to explore.

Dublin airport, for example, is 3 hour’s motorway drive from the Wild Atlantic Way and really not the ideal place from which to start your journey.

But if you want to visit Dublin anyway, then it would be the logical place to start and finish. Dublin also has many more flights from the USA and elsewhere than other Irish airports.

Those of us that live in the West think that you are probably better off avoiding the expense of Dublin these days, and travelling straight to the WAW if you can, especially if that is your end destination. But this will depend on where you are flying from.

It may be more economical to get a connecting flight to Donegal from Dublin, or to one of the other regional airports from the UK, for example. You may find that car hire is also more favourable.

Flying Options

Although flight paths are changing rapidly these days, the present-day flight options are as follows:

Arrival IrelandDepartures from and toNotes
Cork Airport (ORK)Internal, UK, EuropeSouth of Cork
Kerry Airport (KIR)Internal, UK, EuropeClose to Killarney
Shannon Airport (SNN)Internal, USA (Boston), UK, EuropeClose to Limerick City
Galway Airport (GWY)ClosedClosed for commercial flights
Connemara AirportAran IslandsOnly local flights
Ireland West Airport Knock (NOC)UK, EuropeAbout 1 hr drive to Westport
Donegal Airport (CFN)DublinOn the WAW
Derry Airport (LDY)UK, MallorcaIn the UK, close to start of WAW
Belfast City Airport (BHD)UK, Mallorca, Italy1,30 -1,45 hr drive to Muff (start/end of WAW)
Belfast International Airport (BFS)USA (Orlando), UK, Europe1,20-1,40 hr drive to Muff (start/end of WAW)
Dublin (DUB)USA (several), UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa2,3 hr drive to Sligo, 2,15 hr drive to Galway
List of Airports in Ireland

Why not try using this amazing App below to find suitable flights to Ireland?

Ferries to Ireland

Another way to come to Ireland is of course by ferry. The following table shows a summary of the ferry journeys you can take to get to the Emerald Isle.

The advantage of taking a ferry is that you can bring your own transport with you of course. But often the journey times will be longer than flying. But if you are coming over in your own camper, then this is the only way.

Obviously, the duration depends on the crossing. Most of the journeys are from the UK, but now that the UK has left the EU there are some direct ferries opening up to the continent.

The new DFDS line from Rosslare to Dunkirk for example. Hopefully, the number of these routes will increase as time goes on.

Ferry Lines to Ireland

Arrival IrelandDepartures from and toFerry Company
Belfast, NICairnryan, ScotlandStena Line
Larne, NICairnryan, ScotlandP&O
Belfast, NILiverpool, UKStena Line
RosslareCherbourg, FranceStena Line / Brittany Ferries
RosslareFishguard, WalesStena Line
Rosslare Pembroke, WalesIrish Ferries
RosslareDunkirk, FranceDFDS
RosslareBilbao, SpainBrittany Ferries
DublinHolyhead, WalesStena Line / Irish Ferries
Dublin Cherbourg, FranceIrish Ferries
DublinLiverpool, UKP&O
CorkRoscoff, FranceBrittany Ferries

As you can see from the map below, all the ports are on the East Coast of Ireland so whichever ferry you take you will have a bit of a drive to get to the Wild Atlantic Way, unless you arrive in Cork. But, rest assured, it will be worth it!

If you want to book a ferry try using this app below :

Book your ferry here:

So once you have booked your trip to get here, now you can book your travel method and accommodation.

Maybe these companies can help you out with your bookings?

Book Car or Bike Hire

Care Hire

Motorcycle or bike hire

Book Accommodation on the Wild Atlantic Way

Accommodation – just fill in the location and your dates:

Last Updated on February 6, 2023 by Gav

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