Our trip down Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way began with a kayak ride through Galway, a harbour city located where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean. We rented open-top kayaks with Rusheen Bay Watersports, and headed out into the relatively shallow Rusheen Bay – the perfect spot for beginning kayakers like us. This was the perfect opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery of Western Ireland while also getting some good exercise. The bay is also popular among windsurfers, and Rusheen Bay Watersports provides windsurfing lessons that are thrilling while still remaining safe in the bay’s shallow waters. Whether you’re surfing the ocean with the wind, or seeing the sights as you paddle a kayak, this is a great way to start your tour down the Wild Atlantic Way.
Next, I stopped into some local shops to find some genuine Irish souvenirs of the trip. Looking for some traditional Irish jewelry, I headed to Claddagh Jewellers Galway, which specializes in the Claddagh ring. The founder of the jewelers, Philip Fried, told me about the ring’s interesting background as I browsed the merchandise. The origin of the now-popular ring is a wild story involving pirates! A fisherman kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery then learned how to be a silversmith and crafted the Claddagh ring to bring to his sweetheart when he finally was able to return home. The ring, now a symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship, is the perfect memento of a vacation to Ireland, while Claddagh Jewellers Galway is the perfect place to shop if you’re looking for authentic Irish-made jewelry, satisfaction guaranteed.
Another must in Ireland was to hear a live band in an Irish pub. The Reel Inn is a favorite among locals, boasting sessions of traditional Irish music nightly. Local musicians play here for locals and tourists alike, and we were blown away by the talent and earnestness in each performance. Folk music like no other, and good company to enjoy it with, this is definitely worth fitting into your trip.
After a night in listening to the traditional Irish music, I was ready to go back out into nature, raincoat and all. I ventured out with The Creevy Experience right of the coast of Donegal. The Creevy experience offers a wide array of outdoor activities, from snorkeling and deep-sea diving to cycling and golfing. I was ready to try fishing in Irish waters. Though the day was overcast, the fishing was perfect, with a calming rocking of our boat and a never-ending supply of beautiful sights to see. I thought catching my monkfish was the exciting part, but after I reeled it in, I was informed the best was yet to come.
We then headed to the world famous Kitty Kelly’s, to cook and eat my catch of the day. In the restaurant’s kitchen, I watched as the chef prepared a beautiful, tasty dish made from the freshest possible fish. Kitty Kelly’s is located along the Wild Atlantic Way in a restored 200 year old farm house. This charming restaurant provides the perfect, cozy atmosphere to dine on some of the most delicious seafood in Ireland.
Helpful Tips and Facts:
– Many international airlines offer discounts for children ages 2 to 11, so be sure to ask when purchasing your tickets!
– If you’re making multiple stops on your trip, as we did along the Wild Atlantic Way, consider packing bags for each day instead of each person. This saves time and effort when looking through your suitcases each morning.