5 Day tailored itinerary
Things to do in Mayo
On your first day exploring Mayo we would suggest heading for Westport! Bustling, vibrant, colourful and cultural there is lots to see & do! Start off the day with a delicious coffee from This Must Be The Place. Another great spot is the Creel, best Pancakes in the west before heading for a walk in Westport House & Gardens.
Westport House & Gardens, Built on the ruins of the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley’s castle, Westport House and Gardens is brimming with antiques, artwork and examples of fine architecture. Step into the 18th century with a tour of the house’s historical exhibitions, before exploring the grand grounds.
Wander through forest trails and secret walled gardens, or let the little ones run free at the Pirate Adventure Park. A day pass for the house includes unlimited use of the rides and attractions, including the Cannon Ball Run Slide.
Great Western Greenway, Rent a bike in Westport and cycle along the Great Western Greenway - a 42km stretch of traffic-free cycle track that follows the old Westport to Achill Island Railway.
Drink in the spectacular views of the Nephin Beg mountains and across Clew Bay to Croagh Patrick as you travel from Westport to Newport, through Mulranny and on to Achill. The route can be done in reverse if you’re starting out in Achill, and you’re free to choose a smaller segment as pre-booked transfers will drop you off and pick you up at various stages along the way.
Once back at the McWilliam Park Hotel, treat yourself to a hearty meal in Kavanaghs Bar and lounge afterwards relax while reading a book from the hotels extensive collection of books.
After breakfast it's off to Achill Island for the day, home to The Banshees of Inisherin, dont forget your swimmers and your sunscreen, Achill Island Sea Salt is a great place to pick up a Souvenir or two.
Achill Island, If you’re not cycling to Achill Island, simply drive over the bridge – no boat needed to get to Ireland’s largest island. Starting at Achill Sound, the 40km Atlantic Drive is the ideal way to explore the island, as it guides you through small villages, around cork-screw bends, past epic seascapes – each one more impressive than the last.
While you’re there, hit the water for a taste of adventure, with surfing, diving, kayaking and kitesurfing or explore Achill’s rich history with a visit to the megalithic tombs, the 15th century Kildavnet Castle or the island’s poignant, deserted village; a mile-long stretch of over 80 ruined stone cottages on the southern slopes of Slievemore Mountain.
Keel Beach, Stretching for 3.5km to the cliffs of Minaun, Achill’s Keel Beach is blissfully secluded, surrounded by dramatic mountainous backdrops. Conditions are ideal for surfers and swimmers who find it hard to resist the clear waters on a sunny day. Look to the south and spot The Bill, a legendary arrangement of three rock stacks.
Keem Bay, You simply can’t leave Achill without taking in Keem Bay, one of the most special parts of the island. When the iconic view of the beach appears on the cliff-side drive up, you get a sense of the magic of this sheltered spot. You can swim, snorkel or hop in a kayak around the bay, or simply admire from the shore – you might even spot a basking shark out at sea.
Why not stop and have dinner in the most Westerly Pub in Europe, Gielty's Bar & Restaurant.
Starting off with an Early Breakfast (served from 7am) so you are fuelled for the day head to Croagh Patrick
Croagh Patrick, is a traditional pilgrimage known to many. It is the site where St. Patrick fasted for forty days and forty nights. Known as Ireland’s holiest mountain.
It takes three hours and 30 minutes approximately, to complete an up and down climb of Croagh Patrick and at the end you will be delighted with the hospitality at The Tavern Bar & Restaurant a renowned gastropub famous for its quality food! Try the Seafood chowder (you won’t regret it!). before heading to the Ferry too
Clare Island and Inishturk, While you’re out west, take a trip to at least one of Mayo’s untouched islands, via ferry from Roonagh Pier, just half an hour from Westport. Enjoy a picnic and a dip off Inishturk or travel across the blue waters of Clew Bay to Clare Island, and head for the pristine beaches first.
Back at the Hotel head for a swim in the hotel's pool or just relax in the Jacuzzi, Steam room or Sauna, resting those tired muscles, before heading to John Gray's Restaurant were It offers an eclectic mix of traditional and international dishes that have been chosen with consideration by our Head Chef. All of our ingredients are locally sourced and have been carefully prepared into sumptuous dishes by our experienced culinary team
Day 4 is all about the wonders, natural and the history of the West of Ireland.
Céide Fields, Journey back 5,000 years at Céide Fields, the most extensive Stone Age site on the planet, featuring ancient stone walls and tombs that survived beneath the bog. Before you leave, make sure to step up on the viewing platform with its uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean – you’ll feel like you’re standing on the edge of the world.
Ceide Fields Interpretative Centre, is the perfect place to enjoy a spot of lunch
Downpatrick Head, Discover Downpatrick head, experience stunning views of the Dún Briste sea stack, marvel at the coloured rock formations and spot the sea birds who call this place home including puffins, kittiwakes, and cormorants. Legend says that St Patrick struck the ground with his staff, causing the sea stack to break away from the mainland.
Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, Step into the wilderness at Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, home to one of Western Europe’s last intact active blanket bogs, Owenduff Bog. With trails to suit every walking level, keep an eye out for the local Greenland White-Fronted geese, golden plover and otters.
If a clear night is predicted, marvel at the wonders of the Milky Way – this is Ireland’s first Dark Sky Park and undoubtably the best. Wrap up warm and don't forget to get your hot chocolate and snacks from the Ginger & Wild Cafe
After a relaxing full Irish breakfast head too
Ballintubby Abbey, Ballintubber Abbey was founded by King Cathal Crovdearg O’Conor in 1216 – Cathal Mór of the wine-red hand. He was of the royal race of the O’Connors, King of Connacht and notable patrons of the arts. The Cross of Cong, one of our national treasures, was designed for his father, Turlach O’Connor.
National Musuem of Country living, is located in Turlough village, 8 km (5.0 mi) northeast of Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland. Established in 2001, the museum is part of the National Museum of Ireland and is the only national museum outside Dublin. The museum exhibits the way of life of rural Irish people between 1850 and 1950, and is in the grounds of Turlough Park House. There are displays about the home, the natural environment, trades and crafts, communities, and working on the land and water.
Time to head south into the wilds of Connemara, try and spot Mweelrea the highest peak in Connemara as you head into Leenane, top tip stop at Hamilton's Bar for the best steamed Mussel's before heading too
Aaleach Falls, is located a short distance from Leenane village, just north of the Galway/Mayo border. This is picturesque waterfall, located on the River Erriff, and is located just before the river meets Killary Harbour. Parking is available at a lay-by close to the falls on the R335 regional road. A pathway exists which allows visitors to make the short walk to the waterfall. Salmon fishing is very popular at this location.
Killary Harbour is Ireland’s only true fjord and extends 16km (10 miles) in from the Atlantic to its head at Aasleagh, below Aasleagh falls. It forms the border between Galway and Mayo and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the west of Ireland.
Killary Harbour is also extremely deep, over 45m at its centre. This offers a very safe, sheltered anchorage, because of the depth and the mountains to the south and north. It is a centre for shellfish farming, and strings of ropes used to grow mussels are visible for much of its length. Mussels and clams grown in Killary Harbour are sold at the Westport Country Market every Thursday morning.
Finish the day with dinner in Kavanaghs Bar and lounge and listen to the Irish Country Music being played in the bar, A feature the hotel is famous across Ireland.