Louisburgh is a quaint town on the Bunowen River, on the southwest corner of Clew Bay. It was built in 1795 and enjoys some of the most panoramic views in Ireland; Clew Bay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean on its western front, Croagh Patrick to the east and the Sheefry Mountains to the south. A truly stunning place and an essential on any visit to Mayo.
Top 10 Things to Do in Louisburgh
- Some of the most beautiful beaches of the Wild Atlantic Way are to be found in the Louisburgh region, such as Carramore, Carrowniskey, Cross, Old Head and Bertra.
- Louisburgh is a mecca for watersports such as SUP (Stand Up Paddling), snorkeling and kayaking. You can also try fishing on the Bunowen & Carrowniskey rivers.
- Learn about the life and times of the legendary Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, at the Granuaile Visitor Centre, or fi nd out more about the Great Famine which ravaged rural Ireland in the 19th century. The nearby Doolough Famine memorial, located at the picturesque Doolough Pass, is also worth a visit.
- There are several walking & cycling loops in the region, including a Heritage Trail which features the ruins of Kilgeever Abbey, which was once an important pilgrimage site from Croagh Patrick to Caher Island.
- Visit one of Ireland’s largest sheep farms on the Wild Atlantic Way - Glen Keen Farm. Experience historic Ireland in this unique habitat, an area that has been designated a Special Area of Conservation. Enjoy the tearooms, the craft shop and the historic photo exhibition in the visitor centre.
- The oak woods Nature Reserve at Old Head is popular for birdwatching, and the Bunowen River is home to a variety of fish & birdlife, and of flora & fauna. Likewise, the coastline around Louisburgh has a range of habitats for coastal & migratory birds. Seals & dolphins are regularly seen here.
- One of the features of the Heritage Trail is Killeen Graveyard, which is home to a large standing stone with Ogham inscriptions. Ogham pillars can date back from 300 AD to 700 AD.
- Visit the Croagh Patrick Visitor Centre, and climb the Reek itself. Only 10km from Louisburgh, this historical place of worship is said to be the location at which Saint Patrick completed a 40-day ritual of fasting & penance. Thousands of people climb the mountain on the last Sunday of July every year – a day which has become known as Reek Sunday.
- Take a boat trip to the islands from the local pier (Roonagh). Exploring Clare Island or Inishturk by bike or by foot is highly recommended. Ferries leave several times a day.
- There are a few traditional arts & crafts stores in Louisburgh – ask anyone in the town about where to find some locally made goods.