Top travel blogger explores Mayo this week

Finnish travel blogger Satu Vänskä-Westgarth (left) and her cycling companion Anne-Marit Storødegård, on her challenge to cycle the entire length of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Finnish travel blogger Satu Vänskä-Westgarth (left) and her cycling companion Anne-Marit Storødegård, on her challenge to cycle the entire length of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Scandinavia, and elsewhere around the world, are set to read all about Mayo and the Wild Atlantic Way. Finnish travel blogger Satu Vänskä-Westgarth is taking on the “challenge of her lifetime” – cycling the entire Wild Atlantic Way, or some 2,500km along Ireland’s western seaboard, over the next five weeks.

Tourism Ireland invited Satu to undertake the marathon cycle – to experience our newest visitor attraction and then inspire her readers and followers to come and discover it for themselves. As a self-confessed “total newbie when it comes to bike touring or biking”, this is the challenge of her lifetime. Satu arrived in Mayo on Tuesday (August 12 ) this week and will spend six days exploring – and then blogging about – what this part of Ireland has to offer, staying in Ballycastle, Belmullet, on Achill Island, and in Westport.

Her plan is to cycle approximately 100km each day, five days a week, and then take the weekends off to rest. She aims to visit almost every corner of the west of Ireland, arriving in Kinsale, in early September. She has been joined by a Norwegian friend for the first two weeks and an English friend will join her for the final few weeks of the journey.

Satu is documenting her five-week journey, with daily updates on her Destination Unknown travel blog, as well as on the popular online magazine, Skimbaco Lifestyle. Tourism Ireland has set up a dedicated page on its website, Ireland.com, about Satu’s adventure – which she has named Ride Wild 2014. Readers can also follow Satu’s journey on her social media profiles, as well as on Tourism Ireland’s Facebook page and Twitter stream (using the hashtag #RideWild2014 ). Already, her adventure has sparked the interest of the travel media in her adopted country, Norway, with an article appearing on the popular travel website boarding.no

Aileen Hickey, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Nordic Region, said: “Satu’s five-week cycle promises to be a really effective way of engaging with people through social media, sparking their curiosity about the Wild Atlantic Way. She is looking forward to sampling some of the many activities on offer along the route – from surfing to sea kayaking, hiking to horse-riding. Her blog is extremely popular and she will be posting lots of great photos and details of her cycle online, as she explores the towns and villages of the Wild Atlantic Way and inspires her readers to come and discover this part of Ireland for themselves. Blogs and social media are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and we regularly work with them in promoting the island of Ireland.”

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