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If you’ve been to Ireland, you can’t forget the wild waves crashing against the western shore. You remember the villages and towns where you stopped for a pint and a meal, or the high mountain pass where you stopped for an afternoon, looking out at green fields, with the sound of the ocean somewhere in the distance and massive white clouds hanging so close to the earth. You’ve hummed the beautiful air, Song for Ireland, whose lyrics read:

Living on your western shore,
saw summer sunsets asked for more
I stood by your Atlantic sea
and I sang a song for Ireland

2014 is the year to connect with Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, and tourism officials have put together a distinct road map to some of the most beautiful sights and sounds in all of Ireland. The trail covers 1,500 miles up and down the Atlantic coast, stretching across nine counties, and offers up to 156 ideas of stops along the way, where you can experience the serenity of nature, or jump into the festivities that take place all summer long.

The best news about the Wild Atlantic Way is that you can create your own itinerary, set your own pace, explore the things that interest you, stop and go when you please. It’s the way vacations are meant to be.

Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clary

Imagine the places you’ll see: Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal. Now imagine humming the Song for Ireland, or some melody you heard in the pub the night before. Imagine the Wild Atlantic Way, as you step into your best vacation yet.

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