Mighty Mayo truly is the heartbeat of the Wild Atlantic Way and it is not hyperbole to say that it has endless offerings for visitors. Mayo can offer you heritage, family fun, wilderness, the Wild Atlantic, paganism and pilgrimage as well as angling. It was tough to whittle them to a Top 10…please read on and tell us what you think.
Climb Croagh Patrick
Croagh Patrick Irelands most famous Holy Mountain stands at 764m (2,507ft) and is best
known for its association with Saint Patrick, who is said to have fasted for 40 days at the summit. In its entirety, the route is a 7km long round-trip but there are viewing points along the route that allow the less active to enjoy stunning views of Clew Bay without the strenuous climb. Plan your visit at www.croagh-patrick.com.
Cycle the Great Western Greenway from Westport to Achill
Escape the bustle of urban life on the longest off-road cycling and walking trail in Ireland. Cycle along the old Westport to Achill railway line which closed in 1937, this 42 km almost entirely traffic free route is ideal for getting out on a bike for a spin and is perfect for a day of family fun. Plan your visit at www.greenway.ie
Visit Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park
There has been a ‘big house’ on this site since the 1500’s, when Grace O Malley, the famous Pirate Queen, built one of her many castles here. The current House – built in 1730 by the same family who still own and operate it today – has an abundance of artefacts, artwork and treasures that will fascinate all culture-vultures! The Pirate Adventure Park – perfectly suited to children under 12 – will leave the kids screaming for more with rides, slides, boats and trains. And the more adventurous can enjoy everything from archery to zorbing! Plan your visit at www.westporthouse.ie
Visit Ireland’s largest Island- Achill Island
Achill is one of Ireland’s most spectacular and unique places. Its rugged landscape features dramatic cliffs, soaring mountains, remote lakes and secluded beaches. Explore one of the Wild Atlantic Way signature discovery points at Keem and tryout some water based activities at our newly established Blueway location. Plan your visit at www.achilltourism.com
Experience some coastal walking at Ceathrú Thaidhg Located along the North Mayo Coast
Enjoy one of the many spectacular walks in the Ceathrú Thaidhg area, providing an exhilarating escape into the wilderness of this remote region. The lonely Planet walking Guide described it as “The finest sustained coastal walk with a profusion of cliffs, crags, caves, chasms and islands along the remote North Mayo Coast”. Plan your visit at www.mayotrails.ie
Visit Ballycroy National Park
Ballycroy National Park is Ireland’s sixth National Park and is located in Northwest Mayo. It comprises 11,000 hectares of Atlantic Bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg Mountain range. The views are suitably captivating, offering stunning views over the Landscape of Co Mayo. Plan your visit at www.ballycroynationalpark.ie/
Visit Downpatrick Head and the Céide Fields
The Fields are the oldest known field systems in the world – they’re even older than Egypt’s pyramids. The remnants of the ancient
settlements and megalithic tombs have been preserved thanks to a protective bog environment. Here you can indulge yourself in a vast prehistoric landscape, a natural wild ecology of blanket bog, dramatic cliffs and coastline and of course the majestic Downpatrick Head, one of the signature points on the Wild Atlantic Way. Plan your visit at Downpatrick Head and www.ceidefields.com
Take a boat trip along the famous river Moy renowned as Ireland’s premier Salmon River, and experience Monasteries of the Moy
Step into the past with a visit to Rosserk Abbey and Moyne Abbey, the beautifully preserved religious sites of North Mayo, witnessing one of the finest preserved Franciscan Friaries in Ireland, Rosserk. . Follow the River Moy to its estuary and you’ll find Moyne Abbey, founded in 1460 for the Franciscans. The extensive ruin includes a cruciform church, chapel, tower and cloisters. Visitors can also explore the sacristy, chapter house, kitchen and refectory. Plan your visit at Monsateries of the Moy.
Visit the National Museum of Ireland Country life
Visit the Museum of Country Life situated in the stunning grounds of Turlough Park, Turlough, and Castlebar. The Museum comprises the estate’s original house which has been fully restored as well as a purpose build Exhibition Gallery. The innovative exhibits on show at the Museum tell the story of Irish country life between 1850 and1950. Plan your visit at www.museum.ie/Country-Life
Visit to Knock Ireland’s Holy Shrine
Visit Knock Shrine, the site of an Apparition of Our Lady, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist, in 1879. , Knock is just one of just nine Marian Apparition sites worldwide officially approved by the Church. It has been described as the “spiritual heart of Roman Catholic Church”. Knock Shrine is revered by Catholics around the world as a special place of prayer and pilgrimage, healing and hope. In 1979, St John Paul II described Knock Shrine as “the goal of my journey to Ireland”. Plan your visit at www.knockshrine.ie
What do you think? Did we leave out anything? Or can you recommend a true Mayo experience to other visitors? Please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.