Highlights of County Mayo
HIGHLIGHTS OF COUNTY MAYO QUICK LINKS
TOWNS & CITIES QUICK LINKS
Achill Island is the biggest Island off the Irish coast, stretching 22km (13.5 Miles) long and 19km (12 miles wide) the island is accessible to visitors via a road bridge. It is once of the highlights of County Mayo. Attractions include several sandy beaches, Slievemore Mountain, Minaun Cliffs, the Cathedral Rocks of Keel Strand and the deserted Slievemore village which was forsaken during the Great Famine.
Ballintubber Abbey was founded in 1216 by Cathal Croyderg O’Conner who was one of the Kings of Connaught. The Abbey which will celebrate 800 years in 2016 is an impressive and important religious and historical site and was founded beside a holy well dedicated to Saint Patrick. Today the Abbey is still in use as a parish church and mass is celebrated daily.
Located along a windswept stretch of May Coastline, approximately 35 minutes drive from Ballina, and 8km (5miles) west of Ballycastle lies the Céide Fields. These well preserved ruins of a megalithic farming settlement that were swallowed up by the bog are almost 6,000 years Old and they are the most extensive Stone Age land enclosure in Europe. Guides are recommended to help visitors recognise what has been uncovered by archaeologists and there is an award winning visitor centre on site.
Clare Island found off the coast of Mayo at the entrance to Clew bay, is the largest of the Mayo offshore Islands. The Island’s most famous resident was the pirate queen Grace O’ Malley (Grainneuaile) and here castle and burial place on the Island are among its attractions. Other attractions and activities include archaeological remains, impressive cliffs, sandy beaches, hill walking and angling.
Cong Abbey is situated close to the main street in the village of Cong, County Mayo. Founded by Turlough O’Connor High King of Ireland and King of Connaught and built in 1120 the Abbey has many features of interest including Romanesque doors and windows, arches, clustered pillars and Gothic windows.
Croagh Patrick, deemed by many the holiest mountain in Ireland welcomes thousands of pilgrims every year. It is said that after 40 days of fasting that it was from this mountain Saint Patrick drove all snakes from Ireland. The mountain stands approx 2513 feet high and is located approx 8km (5 miles) from Westport in County Mayo. A Croagh Patrick climb has spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and Clew Bay.
Ballina is one of the biggest towns in County Mayo and is a world renowned fishing region due to its setting on the River Moy which is one of Ireland’s best salmon and trout rivers. Ballina attracts anglers from far and wide and many accommodation providers can provide facilities for fishing such as drying facilities, bait and fridges.
Castlebar is the county town of County Mayo and has the highest population in the County. The region is rich in tradition and history and the town is home to the Country Life Section of the National Museum of Ireland, here you can delve into the lifestyles of our rural ancestors. Castlebar also offers plenty of lively entertainment by night.
Foxford is a small market town located approximately 16km (10miles) from Ballina. The town is known for good fishing with its location on the River Moy and its close proximity to Lough Conn. Foxford is also famous for its woollen mills which has been making Foxford blankets since 1892.
Every year over 1 million pilgrims make their way to the holy ground of Knock. It was here on August 21st 1879 that 15 people saw an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Joseph and St John the Baptist. The vision was found to be genuine by the Catholic Church and Knock has been visited by Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
The heritage town of Westport is a charming and lively location with tree lined streets designed by architect James Wyatt in the 18th Century. The town is an attractive blend of old and new with traditional pubs and modern accommodations. Activity options include golf, horse riding, walking, surfing, hiking and cycling.