Irish island drive named among best road trips in Europe

Atlantic Drive on Achill Island has been named among the top ten road trips in Europe by luxury travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller.

Ireland is well-known for its stunning scenery and beautiful drives, so it is no surprise that this Irish island drive has been named among the best road trips in Europe.

Atlantic Drive on Achill Island, County Mayo, has been recognised by prestigious travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller as one of the best drives in Europe – so make sure to add it to your bucket list for your next trip to Ireland.

A scenic drive –  explore Achill Island

Explore Achill Island on this scenic drive.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

As part of the popular Wild Atlantic Way tourist trail, it may come as no surprise that Achill Island boasts a treasure trove of stunning scenery, rugged coastline, and historical sights.

Don’t have time to take on the full west coast of Ireland? This Irish island drive named among Europe’s best road trips is the perfect taster.

The Atlantic Drive comes in at a manageable two hours for a round trip. It has been described by Condé Nast Traveller as:

“A wild place of sheep, blowholes, and Ireland’s highest sea cliffs, home to ancient stone villages and sandy beaches such as Keem Bay, which looks almost tropical on a good day.”

A taste of the Wild Atlantic Way – the perfect taster

Irish island drive has been named among the best road trips in Europe.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way is defined by impressive sea cliffs, white sandy beaches, fantasy-like coastlines, and fascinating historical sights. Some of the best of which can be seen on the Atlantic Drive.

The Atlantic Drive takes in the best of Achill Island and the Currane Peninsula. Both of which are among the most remote and scenic parts of the Emerald Isle.

With so much to see along the way, it is no surprise that this Irish island drive has been named among the best road trips in Europe.

The route – what you need to know

Driving through Achill Island.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

The Atlantic Drive takes in two scenic routes of 20 km (12.4 miles) and 19 km (11.8 miles). Each showcasing the sights of Achill Island and the Currane Peninsula.

To explore the Currane Loop, begin your drive at Achill Sound. Next, take the R319 across the Michael Davitt Bridge and following the old railway line. You will pass through the villages of Polranny, Tonragee, Owenduff, and Mulranny.

The best bits of this section are the peaks of Polranny and Curraun Hills, Clew Bay, and Croagh Patrick. You can also see Clare Island, the Spanish Armada memorial, and the peaks of Connemara.

This Irish island drive has been named among Europe's best road trips.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Once you loop back to Achill Sound, you will begin your journey around Achill Island. This is the main part of the Irish island drive named among the best road trips in Europe.

From here, drive away from the bridge and follow the signposts for the Atlantic Drive. This route will take you over several steep hills, so it is no surprise that the views are phenomenal.

Overlooking the Atlantic coastline, your breath will be taken away at this remote part of the Emerald Isle.

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