If you’ve a penchant for wilderness, water and a willingness to step off the traditional tourist trail then now’s the time to take a ride on the Wild Atlantic Way – a 2,500 km touring route that promises to share the secrets of Ireland’s seascapes, traditions and laid-back lifestyle.

Winding along the length of the Emerald Isle, from Malin Head, the northern tip of County Donegal, to the southern culinary hot spot of Kinsale in County Cork, this newly developed journey is now the longest fully-signposted driving route in the world, presenting a huge array of potential stopping-off points.

The most beautiful and celebrated part of the Emerald Isle, you definitely can’t claim to have experienced the real Ireland unless you have gone out west to cast eyes on its Atlantic loveliness, shared a yarn with the locals and experienced a pint of Guinness or the freshest of seafood platters in some old bar or café in some snug coastal village where the next stop looking out to sea is America.

This is spray-in-your-face, salt-on-your-windscreen territory to rival any of the world’s great coastal trips – although the bold could do it by bike, the extra courageous by walking.

The Wild Atlantic Way is designed to let you experience Ireland like a local, visiting off the beaten track places that are not traditionally tourist areas. It can be joined at any number of points along its length and the route can be completed in either direction or broken up into many shorter side loops and dozens of Atlantic related attractions, activities, experiences and places to side-track into.

Exploring the natural scenic wonders of coves and islands, beaches and bays dotted along this curvaceous coastline is an experience as real and raw as Ireland gets. This is a place to lose yourself, get that inner calm and learn to match the famously relaxed pace of the locals.