Nestled in the heart of Northern Ireland, Fermanagh serves as the perfect gateway to one of Europe's most iconic coastal drives – the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW). Stretching over 2,500 kilometres along Ireland's rugged western coastline, the WAW is a breathtaking journey through some of the most spectacular scenery and vibrant communities the country has to offer. And what better way to embark on this adventure than by using Fermanagh as your base? Let's explore how this picturesque county can serve as your starting point for discovering the wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Fermanagh: Your Basecamp for Adventure

Fermanagh's strategic location provides easy access to the beginning of the Wild Atlantic Way, making it an ideal base for travellers eager to explore this legendary route. Located only 2 hours from Dublin Airport and 1.5hrs from both Derry and Belfast Airports we really are at the heart of it all!  From charming guesthouses to luxury hotels, Fermanagh offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveller's needs and preferences. Settle in, unpack your bags, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey along the WAW.

Aerial view Enniskillen

Exploring the WAW from Fermanagh

Drive to beautiful Donegal: Begin your WAW adventure by driving from Fermanagh to your chosen starting point in Donegal, we highly recommend a stop off in the lovely village of Belleek, a wonderful little border town which opens up the Wild Atlantic Way to Northern Ireland, and home of world famous Belleek Pottery.  A visit to Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre is the perfect way for you to spend a day out, with fun for all the family.  Arriving at the pottery on the tranquil banks of the River Erne in County Fermanagh, visitors are invited to ring the bell which first called people to work in 1857.  Admission to the Visitor Centre is free, and they also offer a range of guided Belleek pottery tours and experiences which aren’t to be missed. 

As you continue on your journey through the scenic countryside, keep your eyes peeled for picturesque villages, rolling hills, and shimmering lakes along the way.

Discover Donegal: Donegal Town is a vibrant town overlooking Donegal Bay with a backdrop of the Bluestack Mountains on the Wild Atlantic Way. Take some time to explore this charming coastal town before officially starting your journey along the WAW. Visit Donegal Castle, stroll along the harbour, and sample fresh seafood at local eateries as you soak up the laid-back atmosphere of this vibrant community.

From the heart of Donegal the WAW is ready to be explored.

Our Donegal Top Picks

Wild Ireland - Step back in time into an ancient woodland, inhabited by Wolves, Bears, Lynx and Wild Boar that have returned to their ancestral home. 

Glenveagh National Park - With its magnificent mountains, pristine lakes, waterfalls, glens, native oak woods, and a picturesque castle with all its original furnishings, Glenveagh National Park and Castle is one of the most magical places to visit in Donegal.

Sliabh Liag -  Explore Sliabh Liag, Europe's highest sea cliffs in Donegal. Hike for stunning views of the Atlantic, Sligo Mountains, and Donegal Bay.

Our Sligo Top Picks

Eagles FlyingEnjoy Eagles, Hawks, Owls and Vultures flying right over your head, landing next to you or even landing on your own hand. Ireland’s largest and multi award winning Bird of Prey Centre offers incomparable experiences.

Lissadell House - Lissadell House & Gardens is situated on the shores of Sligo Bay, in north Sligo. The historic and literary associations of Lissadell and the natural beauty of its setting with sea, woodland and mountains makes Lissadell one of the top tourist attractions.

Sligo Abbey - This Sligo Town landmark was founded in 1252/3 and contains a great wealth of carvings including Gothic and Renaissance tomb sculptures and the only sculptured 15th Century high altar to survive in any Irish monastic church.

Our Mayo Top Picks

Westport House & Gardens - Built on the ruins of the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley’s castle, Westport House and Gardens is brimming with antiques, artwork and examples of fine architecture. Step into the 18th century with a tour of the house’s historical exhibitions, before exploring the grand grounds, where you can wander through forest trails and secret walled gardens.

Achill Island - Achill Island lies off County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland. Marked by rugged mountains and peat bogs, the island is known for its tall sea cliffs and clean beaches. From water sports to walking trails, kite flying to fishing, relaxing on a stunning beach to cycling the superb landscapes, Achill has it all to offer.

Céide Fields - Journey back 5,000 years at Céide Fields, the most extensive Stone Age site on the planet, featuring ancient stone walls and tombs that survived beneath the bog. Before you leave, make sure to step up on the viewing platform with its uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean – you’ll feel like you’re standing on the edge of the world.

Along The Way...

Indulge in Seafood Delights: Along the WAW, you'll have ample opportunities to savour the flavours of the Atlantic with fresh seafood caught daily by local fishermen. From succulent oysters to mouthwatering lobster, treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure as you dine in seaside restaurants along the route.

Experience Traditional Irish Music: Immerse yourself in the rich musical heritage of Ireland with live performances of traditional Irish music in cosy pubs and intimate venues dotted along the WAW. Tap your feet to the rhythm of the fiddle, bodhrán, and accordion as talented musicians showcase the soulful melodies of the Emerald Isle.

Visit the Aran Islands: Take a detour from the mainland and journey to the enchanting Aran Islands, located off the coast of County Galway. Explore ancient stone forts, cycle along scenic coastal roads, and experience the warmth and hospitality of the island communities as you discover their unique way of life.

Embrace the Wild Atlantic Way of Life: As you travel along the WAW, take the time to slow down, breathe in the salty sea air, and embrace the laid-back pace of life along Ireland's western coast. Whether you're savouring a pint of Guinness in a seaside pub or watching the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, let the beauty and tranquillity of the Wild Atlantic Way leave a lasting impression on your soul.

Returning to Fermanagh

After days of adventure and exploration along the Wild Atlantic Way, return to Fermanagh, where the warm welcome of its friendly locals and the serene beauty of its lakelands await you. Reflect on your journey, swap stories with fellow travellers, and relive the memories of your epic adventure along one of the world's most scenic coastal routes.

In conclusion, Fermanagh serves as the perfect basecamp for discovering the wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way. From its convenient location to its tranquil surroundings, Fermanagh offers everything you need to begin your journey along this legendary coastal route. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to experience the magic of the Wild Atlantic Way from the comfort of Fermanagh.

Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre
Visitor Centres & Museums
exterior image of the Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre, view from main road

When you step into the world of Belleek Pottery you enter one of Northern Ireland’s oldest and most fascinating attractions. Unique pieces are made using traditional methods passed down from generation to generation.

Dulrush Lodge
Guest House
Dulrush Lodge

Dulrush House, situated four miles from the world famous pottery town of Belleek and on the banks of River Erne with its own private access to the water and has private access to Castlecaldwell Forest Park with many walkways.

Courtyard Rooms and Studio Cabins at Lusty Beg
Guest Accommodation
Courtyard Rooms and Studio Cabins at Lusty Beg

What looks like a little row of cosy terraced houses hosts all of our Courtyard Bedrooms. Each house is uniquely structured to contain 3 to 4 individual courtyard bedrooms. Each are decorated in a true “Lusty Beg” style encapsulating the traditional comforts you would expect from a hotel. Our Courtyard rooms are made up of both Classic and Superior rooms.

Eagles Flying
Animal Collection
Eagles Flying

Nestled in the green hills of south Sligo, Ireland's largest sanctuary for raptors and owls, the Irish Raptor Research Centre / Eagles Flying.

Rossharbour Lodges and Glamping
Alternative Accommodation
Rossharbour Lodges and Glamping

Situated on 6 acres of land on the shores of Lower Lough Erne, Rossharbour Resort offers a choice of facilities for visitors to Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Voyage Motorhomes
Motorhome Rental
Voyage Motorhome Rental

A family run motorhome and campervan rental company based in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland with two modern, luxurious motorhomes and a modern and stylish campervan available for rent.