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The top five festivals along the Wild Atlantic Way

From seafood to goats, boats and the arts, there’s an abundance of fun to be had this summer

Galway hookers sail off the coast of Kinvara during Cruinniú na mBád. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Galway hookers sail off the coast of Kinvara during Cruinniú na mBád. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy


1. Féile na Mara, Achill Island, July 1st-21st

This is a must on this summer’s calendar for seafood lovers. The three-week Festival of the Sea, as it translates, is a celebration of the Wild Atlantic Way’s world-renowned bounty of seafood on Mayo’s Achill Island, with a series of events and plenty of lip-smackingly fresh fish on the menu.

2. Earagail Arts Festival, Co Donegal, July 7th-29th

There is always a bit of mischievous magic to this Donegal multi-disciplinary arts festival as it showcases the finest local and international talent. The programme is jam-packed with wonderful theatre, music, visual arts, literature and film in both Gaeilge and English.

3. Galway International Arts Festival, July 16th-29th

A festival which needs no introduction, this perennial fixture on the Irish arts calendar is known worldwide for its cutting-edge drama, music and visual arts. It’s great for families, and a delightful way to fall in love with the electric Galway arts scene.

4. Puck Fair, Killorglin, Co Kerry, August 10th-12th

This unusual and wonderfully Irish festival takes place every summer in Killorglin, Co Kerry. Every year, a goatcatcher goes up the mountains to catch a wild goat who is brought back to the town and the Queen of Puck, usually a local primary schoolgirl, crowns him King Puck. On the third day, the goat, now crownless, is returned to his mountain home.

5. Cruinniú na mBád Festival, Kinvara, Co Galway, August 10th-12th

This famous festival of boats celebrates amazing vessels like the Galway Hooker and the rich maritime history of Kinvara, Co Galway. There are lots of other types of craft sailing and competing, too. It highlights the region’s great boating traditions and is a fantastic way to round off summer on the Wild Atlantic Way.

For more, visit wildatlanticway.com