Lough Corrib is thought to be named after Oirbsen, the sea deity of Ireland’s pre-Christian mythology. It’s not quite as big as a sea, but at 35 miles in length and 8 miles across at its widest point, the lough is certainly deserving of its name.
As well as being extremely scenic, Lough Corrib is also one of the best game fisheries in the world, famous for its salmon and trout. The waters vary greatly in depth and there are numerous underwater hazards, so if you fancy a spot of fishing, it’s advisable to enlist a local guide to help you navigate the lough waters. The optimal times for fishing are in May, when the mayflies hatch and drive the fish (and anglers) into a frenzy, and in June when the salmon start running.
A commonly repeated fact about Lough Corrib is that it has 365 islands – one for every day of the year. A recent cartographical survey, however, puts the figure at well over a thousand. It is thought that St. Patrick was banished by local druids to the largest of these islands, Inchagoill, when he came to spread Christianity in the area. Inchagoill is home to many ancient remains, including two churches and an obelisk with a 5th century inscription, marking a burial site.
Scenic cruises of the lake are available from Ashford Castle to Inchagoill and Oughterand. A cruise also runs from Galway City to Lough Corrib, via the River Corrib.