Ireland’s The Wild Atlantic Way is the perfect route along which to take a family Glamping road trip. Whether cherry picking different sections in weekend blocks, or completing the entire route in several weeks, you can be assured of seeing Ireland at its delightful best.
The Wild Atlantic Way
At over 1,600 miles in length, the Wild Atlantic Way is one of the longest coastal routes in the world. The route is designed to showcase the very best of Irish natural beauty. You can expect stunning views of coastline, countryside, enchanting villages and ancient monuments along the way. It is a great place for a family adventure, and there is a range of accommodation to choose from along the way varying from campsites to hotels. One form of accommodation growing in popularity with families travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way is glamping, and here’s why.
Glamping on the Wild Atlantic Way
Glamping is often referred to as posh camping, but that’s not really an accurate description. In reality, glamping has little to do with camping at all, apart from the fact that most glamping units or pods are normally located on a camping/glamping site. The reason why glamping is so different from camping, is that there is no need to set a tent up, or indeed to have any experience in sleeping outdoors. Instead, you will stay in a glamping pod or unit.
What is a Glamping Unit or Pod
Glamping units or pods are forms of permanent on-site accommodation. They can vary from yurts to treehouses and everything in between. On the Aran Islands, the glamping units are specially designed based on the shape of the island’s ancient stone huts known as Cochlans.
Glamping pods are normally self contained, having somewhere to shower, cook, and store food. Some may even have outdoor terrace areas and access to shared campsite facilities. In this respect they make an excellent choice for families travelling along the WIld Atlantic Way. Having somewhere the whole family can stay in the same building, being able to cook, and not having to worry about carrying camping gear and bedding is a great bonus when planning a road trip.
Glamping in Ireland
There are a number of glamping sites in Ireland, with perhaps the most unique one being on Inis Mor. The largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mor is located almost directly in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way, and an essential stopover point for visitors. Although many people choose to visit the Aran Islands during a day trip, it is by staying for a few nights that the true beauty and nature of the island is revealed.
Glamping on Inis Mor
The purposefully designed glamping units on Inis Mor are suitable for families of up to 4 people. Comfortable and cosy, they contain everything you need to make yourselves feel at home right away. Bedding is provided, there is a fridge to store food, cooking facilities inside as well as a shared camp kitchen, and a shower room. Outside, it is possible to make your own BBQ and enjoy dining al-fresco underneath the stars at night.
What to do on Inis Mor
Inis Mor is almost a microcosm of the Wild Atlantic Way itself. If you only have a few days of vacation, you could head straight to the island and have a full and memorable experience. Outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling are popular on the island, and there are a number of interesting archaeological sites and other notable places of interest to see. Kids will love renting bikes out and being able to cycle from one end of the island to the other, as well as seeing the pony and carts that trot along the roads.
Main Highlights of Inis Mor
Dún Aonghasa (Dun Aengus)
This is the most famous landmark on the island. An incredible fortress designed in a semi-circular fashion, the fort is thought to be over 2000 years old. The fort can be reached after leaving the visitors centre nearby, from where it is a 10 minute climb to the top. The views are certainly worth it though, and it is one of the most remarkable prehistoric sites and fortresses in Europe.
Dún Duchathair (The Black Fort)
The Black Fort is just as intriguing as the first fort, but receives only a fraction of the visitors. As such, it is a great place to explore when staying at the glamping site, as if you get there early enough, you may be the only people there! Inside the fort are the remains of beehive huts, and the walls reach 6 metres in height in some places.
The Worm Hole
A curious rectangular hole at the bottom of the cliffs, which is believed to have been created by natural erosion. From the top, it looks like it might even be a swimming pool! Waters ebb in an out of the pool from underneath, and it is fascinating spending some time there simply looking it at. Red Bull at one point held a cliff diving championship there. We certainly don’t recommend you try this yourselves!
The Puffing Holes
Again, a curiosity that has been created by natural erosion, the Puffing Holes get their name from the water which is pushed into caves and holes at sea level, and is then transferred up the cliffs above, spouting out when it reaches the top. The Puffing Holes are not very well marked, and so you will need to ask at the glamping site for accurate directions before you leave.
Find out more about Glamping on Inis Mor
For more details about glamping on Inis Mor with the family on the Wild Atlantic Way, contact us today. We can answer any questions you may have regarding things to see and do on the island, and also recommend the best time of year to go Camping or Glamping on the Aran Islands.