The county of Mayo extends west across the Atlantic Ocean with an intricate coastline of craggy peninsulas, towering headlands and scattered islands. Travel between seaside villages and along the labyrinthine Atlantic Coast or explore the county’s interior, which careens from mountain peaks to lake-dotted valleys. Visit remote hamlets and bustling town centers, learning about the fascinating history that unites this captivating county.
Mayo’s largest town, Castlebar, is situated in the southeast. It’s where you can attend several festivals and experience cultural traditions. Visit the Museum of Country Life, which is part of Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland. The lively town of Ballina on the River Moy is celebrated for its fantastic salmon fishing. Enjoy fresh fish dishes in this riverside town or join the annual salmon-fishing festivities in July. Learn about the town’s history at the Belleek Castle Museum.
The region’s southwest has the coastal town of Westport. From here, you can follow in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims and walk to summit of Croagh Patrick. Sections of the path were notched into the mountainside in the pre-Christian era. Another significant religious landmark in the region is the National Shrine of Our Lady of Knock. Kids will enjoy the Pirate Adventure Park alongside Westport House.
Make your way west to experience the rugged beauty of Mayo’s Atlantic coastline. See the wave-lashed sea cliffs of Achill Island, as well as the dramatic peak of Mount Slievemore. The island is steeped in legend, such as the tale of Grace O’Malley the fearless pirate and sea captain. Go on an adventure of your own with Achill Island’s sailing, windsurfing, diving and abseiling opportunities.
Mayo is easily accessible by train on the Dublin-to-Westport railway, which connects with a railway network covering Mayo’s larger towns. Reach the county directly by air to Ireland West Airport Knock. Explore the region at your own pace by driving along some of Mayo’s scenic roadways. Follow the Wild Atlantic Way, which presents spectacular coastal views. With dramatic scenery, enchanting towns and fascinating local history, Mayo provides a vivid testimony of Ireland’s rich heritage.