Skip to main content

Cong and Ballinrobe

Some say that Ballinrobe is the oldest town in Mayo, dating back to 1390, and Cong village is where the last High King of Ireland died in 1198. With a wealth of heritage and archaeological sites, this beautiful region is considered to be Ireland’s Lake District – there’s an adventure for everyone here.  

Top 10 Things to Do in Cong and Ballinrobe

  1. Visit the award-winning Ashford Castle, voted best hotel in the world! (Condé Nast) Enjoy an afternoon on the magnificent grounds of this 5 star hotel and try your hand at fishing or falconry!  
  2. The picturesque village of Cong is the location of the famous 1951 movie, The Quiet Man, with Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne. Experience The Quiet Man Cottage Museum and visit the various beautiful locations that featured in the film.  
  3. Oscar Wilde’s father built a summerhouse on the banks of the Lough Corrib and he also wrote a book about it. Enjoy fishing or cruising on this unique waterway - the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland (176km).  
  4. Cong is a top quality food destination, with a community of people who are passionate about growing, producing, cooking, sharing and eating food!  
  5. Take in the sights of the incredible Augustinian Cong Abbey. Its remains feature some of the finest examples of medieval ecclesiastical architecture in Ireland.  
  6. Inchagoill Island (Island of the Foreigner), in Lough Corrib, is home to many ancient monastic ruins, some dating back to the 5th century. According to legend, the Church of the Saints was built to provide peace & quiet for the 3,000 people in the Cong monastery at that time!  
  7. There are some spectacular caves and underground caverns to explore, such as Pigeon Hole Cave, Captain Webb’s Cave and Kelly’s Cave! (Some caves have gates, so you should ask a local where to get a key!)  
  8. Research your family genealogy at he South M ayo Family Research Centre which holds over a million records, going back to the Famine (and even further back to 1744).  
  9. Ballinrobe Racecourse is nearly 100 years old and is one of Ireland’s most scenic. Enjoy the craic at a race here – it is a truly unique Irish experience, not to be missed!  
  10. Cloonacastle Estate, which dates back to 1238, became the new home for Ballinrobe Golf Club in 1995. The Estate House and its farm buildings have been tastefully renovated to provide modern clubhouse facilities. This beautiful championship parkland course is well worth a visit!  
Back to top