Mayo's Wild Atlantic Way
Mayo’s Atlantic coastline is a playground for those with an adventurous spirit, offering world class deep-sea fishing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, coasteering, kayaking and many beautiful Blue Flag beaches.
The Blueway Trails at Old Head, Killary and Achill offer the opportunity to experience world-class snorkelling and ocean kayaking.
And what better way to discover Mayo’s charm than by taking to the great outdoors. The Great Western Greenway, connecting Westport to Achill Island, offers an award-winning family-friendly biking trail with stunning scenery, historic villages, ancient ruined abbeys, arts & crafts.
For something more low-key, Mayo is a haven for walkers and anglers alike, offering a myriad of spectacular walks and journeys -including Croagh Patrick, the lake district area of Cong, and the rivers Moy, Furnace & Owenmore (internationally renowned for salmon and sea trout angling).
The hiker can escape the bustle of urban life by climbing one of many mountain ranges including Mweelrea, the highest peak in Connaught. At Wild Nephin and Ballycroy National Park spring is heralded by the call of the elusive corncrake. Get to grips with its vastness by rambling its highlands, on the Bangor Trail.
As you move deeper into the wilderness, all signs of civilisation are left behind. And when you’ve had your fill and are ready to rejoin the human race, the locals in Mayo’s rural towns and seaside villages will offer you a true and authentic céad míle fáilte.
Top 10 things to do along Mayo's Wild Atlantic Way
1. Climb Ireland’s most famous holy mountain - Croagh Patrick – which is 764m high. The route is approximately a 12km return trip and the views of Clew Bay are extraordinary. For those less able to reach the summit, the midway viewpoints are equally beautiful.
2. Cycle the 42km Great Western Greenway, from Westport to Achill, one of Ireland’s longest off-road cycling and walking trail, most of which is traffi c-free – ideal for exploring some of Mayo’s lovely villages & spectacular scenery.
3. Visit Westport House & Adventure Park for a day of family fun! The house, built in 1730, is a treasure trove of artefacts & artwork, and the Pirate Adventure Park is great for kids under 12.
4. Explore Ireland’s largest island, Achill Island. The island offers rugged landscape, dramatic cliffs and secluded beaches. Achill is a fantastic location for those wanting to explore the great outdoors!
5. Explore some of Ireland’s most spectacular walks, some of which include loop walks at Erris Head and Ceathrú Thaidhg – both located in Erris, a region that has been voted by The Irish Times as the ‘best place in Ireland to go wild!’
6. Fearless Grace O’Malley is the 16th century legendary Irish Pirate Queen whose castles & forts can be still seen all over Mayo. The stunning 40km Atlantic Drive is a wonderful way to explore some of her former sites.
7. Ireland’s fi rst gold-tier International Dark Sky Park encompasses the Wild Nephin Wilderness and Ballycroy National Park in northwest Mayo. The majestic mountains, the meandering rivers and the wild Atlantic coastline provide a stunning background in which to enjoy a spot of star-gazing or astrophotography.
8. Check out the Céide Fields & Downpatrick Head along the dramatic north Mayo coastline. With megalithic tombs and ancient settlements, the fields are older than Egypt’s pyramids. You cannot help but appreciate this prehistoric landscape as you look out over the Atlantic Ocean to the Dún Briste sea stack and beyond.
9. Enjoy a boat trip along the Monasteries of the Moy and visit some of Mayo’s ancient abbeys, chapels, towers, churches, refectories and cloisters.
10. Mayo has so many fascinating islands – each with its own unique history & heritage. Some are still inhabited and some are deserted, but nearly all of them are home to some of the world’s most endangered species – wildlife, birdlife, flora & fauna. Discover Clare Island, Collanmore Island, Inishturk, Inis Gé, or Achill to name just a few.