Aasleagh Falls is located just north of the Galway-Mayo border, this beautiful waterfall provides some amazing views. It is perched on the River Erriff, just before it connects to Killary Harbour. It is a popular fishing spot for salmon when they are in season. Its name is derived from the Irish Eas Liath, meaning ‘grey waterfall’. Parking is available nearby due to the laybys accessible from the R335 Regional Road.
Doolough Famine Memorial
Located in the scenically breath-taking Delphi Valley, This memorial was created to mark the Doo Lough Tragedy, which occurred on 31st March 1849. Up to 400 people perished on a walk from Louisburgh to Delphi Lodge for an inspection to receive continued relief from the harsh conditions of the famine. Now there is a commemorative walk held annually from Louisburgh to Delphi Lodge.
Nestled away in rural Mayo 25km south of Louisburgh, Silver Strand is one of the most picturesque beaches in all of Ireland. It sits unspoiled at the base of Mayo’s highest mountain, Mweelrea. It is an area of great ecological importance, and acts as a wonderful spot to visit for a day at the beach with your family. Swimming in the sea here is highly recommended.
Carrownisky Strand is known for it’s excellent surfing conditions and the annual horse race on the beach, which was resurrected in 2010. Only 7.5km southwest of Louisburgh, the site is especially popular during the summer for family activities and watersports. It is a vast expanse of sea and sand, although several large rocks were washed ashore in 2013/14 changing the landscape slightly.
Planning to head to either Clare Island or Inishturk? then you’ll need to get the boat from Rooangh Pier, located a short distance from Louisburgh. Ferries run more frequently during the summer, with only 2 trips daily during the winter months. There is a large car/ coach park opposite the pier. The voyage to either Clare Island or Inishturk allows for some astounding views of Mweelrea, Croagh Patrick and Achill.
A charming, quaint island 15 km off the coast of Mayo, Inishturk can be accessed from Rooangh Pier. It has been inhabited on and off since 4000BC, granting it a long history. This history can be seen in the form of the ruins of churches and fulacht fiadh which are dotted across the island. It is an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts, with delightful landscapes to explore.
Located 3.5km off the west coast of Mayo, Clare Island is one of the biggest islands in Clew Bay. It is littered with notable attractions, such as the now defunct Clare lighthouse, a 12th century Cistercian Abbey and the Napoleonic Tower. The island was the former home of Gráinne O’Malley, the pirate queen, and the Granuaile Castle can still be visited today. The island also boasts festivities throughout the year, making it a prime location to visit along the west coast.
Old Head is an attractive hamlet located just 3.5km east of Louisburgh. The beach has a small harbour, an attractive and popular sandy beach and a woodland walk. Its boasts one of the last native woodlands in Ireland as well as a Blue Flag beach, with lifeguards on duty during the summer months. The beach features rock pools that are visible when the tide goes out, while the woodlands are a Special Area of Conservation. There are also kayak and snorkelling trails at the beach.
Croagh Patrick View
This viewpoint is located just opposite the hostel and cottages of Croagh Patrick and is accessible from two different paths. The area provides some exquisite sights, with its position overlooking Clew Bay. One can see the Murrisk Abbey, Murrisk Cemetery, a close-up perspective of Croagh Patrick and the haunting National Famine Monument that is also in Murrisk.
An elevated viewpoint, Dumheach Bheag or Dooghbeg is just 2km north east of Mulranny. It provides a panoramic vantage point of Clew Bay. Here the driving route stretches along the northen edge of Clew Bay, and marks the start of 10km of premium coastal driving, with its scenic nature prevalent throughout. Croagh Patrick can be seen across the Bay and Clare Island and Achill Beg Island are visible off shore.
Spanish Armada Point
The monument erected here was put in place in memorial of the five Spanish ships that sunk off the coast of Mayo in 1588 (La Rata Santa Maria Encoronada, El Gran Grin, Ciervo Volante, Santiago and San Nicolas Prodaneli). Approximately 1,300 Spanish soldiers died as a result. The monument consists of two plaques placed into a rock. This spot provides a lovely view of the Clew Bay region and Clare Island to the southwest.
This pier on the south of Achill Island serves as the ferry point to Clare Island. The pier is a popular location for anglers and features moorings for the many fishing boats that visit the area. There is also a castle formally used by Granuaile just 150m north of the pier. The tower is 12m in height and has 3 storeys. You can enter the tower, take a break, admire the bay and use the opportunity to take some pictures before you continue your journey to Aashleem bay.
This Discovery Point, along the southern coast of Achill Island serving as a vantage point for Ashleam Bay, which is a small pebbly cove sometimes known as Portnahally. This discovery point presents great views of the recently returned beach with its exquisite panoramic and raised viewpoint. It is surrounded by cliffs, some of them up to a 100ft high and it is a lovely destination to visit on Achill Islands southern coast and offers one of the most breathtaking views on Achill Island.
Keel Beach is another Blue Flag certified beach found on Achill Head. Ideal for surfing, swimming, bathing and so on, it is monitored by lifeguards during the bathing season. The beach is of extreme ecological importance, owing to its very unique habitat, and it is afforded special protection and conservation due to its status as an Annex I habitat. Alongside this, the beach is starkly beautiful and provides some excellent views of the nearby areas.
Golden Strand, Doogort
Doogort Beach is tucked away beneath the majestic Slievemore mountain in the north of Achill Island. It is sometimes known as Golden Strand and it provides some scenic views of the Mullet Peninsula and Blacksod Bay, such as seals basking in the nearby caves on hot summer days. Doogort Village is also nearby the Deserted Village, a popular destination on Achill Island due to its scope and mysterious nature.
This pier serves as the main access point to Inisbiggle, with a ferry service running twice daily out to the island. There are expansive views of Ballycroy National Park to the East with the profile of Achill Island commanding the Western horizon.There is a bus that goes between here and Ballycroy. Finally, there is a small portacabin located on the pier, used by the ferry operation.
Located just northwest of Achill Island, Inisbiggle or Inis Bigil (Island of Fasting) is a small island with less than 20 inhabitants. They used to work through fishing or farming but that is not the case anymore. There is a festival held every August on the island which is quite popular. It can be inaccessible in the winter due to the force of the Bullsmouth Channel, which separates it from Achill. The island is a treat for the eyes, ideal for walkers who desire a serene walk undisturbed by others.
Doohoma is found just 15 miles south-west of Bangor Erris and it is one of the most beautiful penisulas in Ireland. It boasts spectacular all encompassing views of the sea, sky and mountains due to its prime location and a delightful beach that doesn’t suffer from overcrowding or pollution because of its remote nature. The area is famed for its prominent fishing industry, with the Eagle Isles Seafood building in the town serving as the distributor and exporter to Europe and the USA.
Only being officially recognised as an island in 1991, Claggan Island or Oiléan Choligeann is the newest island in Ireland. It is roughly 12km from Belmullet, out in the north-east of Blacksod Bay. It is surrounded by beautiful beaches from all sides, except for a narrow sandy causeway that stretches between it and the mainland.
Blacksod lighthouse is situated at the southern tip of the Mullet Peninsula and guards over the entrance to Blacksod Bay. It is most famously known as the location from where a report of incoming bad weather delayed the D-Day landings in Normandy by one day. History changing stuff by all accounts!
Elly Beach is found 9km south of Belmullet in Erris, Co. Mayo. It is a Blue Flag beach that is ideal for all sorts of aquatic activities, such as swimming, kayaking and surfing. The beach is lovely and sandy and makes for a pleasant day trip. It also serves as a crucial piece of the biodiversity in the region, playing a massive role in the endemic birdlife and is of international ecological importance.
Found on the Mullet Peninsula, Annagh Head provides some exceptional views of the nearby Eagle Island and Inis Gluaire. The gneiss rocks found here are the oldest in mainland Ireland, dating back some 1,753 million years. The area has deep ties with Irish mythology and folklore, with several myths such as the Children of Lir tying into the land.
Dún Na Mbo
Found in Erris, this blowhole allows visitors to experience all the power and majesty of the Atlantic Ocean. It features a sculpture built around the blowhole, one of the five to be found on the North Mayo Sculpture Trail. It was designed by an American, Travis Price, and it is devoted to all those who have lost their lives at sea off the Erris Coast. Locals describe a grimmer aspect of the blowhole, that being that it used to be used for the disposal of dead cows.
A 5km walk along the Mullet Peninsula will take you to Erris Head, a stunning area overlooking the sea. It offers a great sense of tranquillity with the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs and the soft sounds of the birds chirping overhead. It is another Special Area of Conservation under the European Union’s Habitats Directive. Isolated as it lacks road access, Erris Head is a gorgeous vista to experience which is worth the effort to reach.
If you are looking for some of the most emphatic seaside vistas, then Benwee Head is a must. It is laden with cliffs, arches, stacks and islands to observe, with the cliff itself standing at 255m, making it taller than the Cliffs of Moher. It is also the most northerly summit in the North Mayo region. Its name comes from the Irish ‘An Bhinn Bhuí’, which means ‘the yellow cliff’.
Initially discovered in 1930 but not fully excavated until 40 years later, the Ceide Fields are the oldest known field system in the world. Located 7km northwest of Ballycastle in northern Mayo, the fields date back roughly 5,500 years. The site is an important window into understanding the plight of Neolithic farmers in Ireland and how they lived.
Famous for its connection to the ‘Year of the French’, when French soldiers landed in Killala Bay to aid the Irish in the 1798 rebellion, Killala Quay is a picturesque locale which is near several other destinations, such as the Ceide Fields and some of the most impressive abbeys in Mayo. The area has great beaches, walking, fishing and is well provided with pubs, restaurants and accommodation.
Situated just a few minutes outside Ballina, this Quay is the last discovery point in Mayo on the Wild Atlantic Way. Located on the River Moy, there are many boats here, with the option for boat hires and sea angling trips available. Walks through the Belleek Forest Park are popular, as there is 6km of serene woodland to wander through just beside the River Moy.