County Mayo is located in the West of Ireland. Mayo contains a diverse landscape from pastureland, mountains, to jagged peninsulas, estuaries and bogland, to sandy beaches and a breathtaking coastline.
The Céide Fields, Europe’s largest Stone Age land enclosure, are located along a bleak, dramatic stretch of north Mayo coastline. These megalithic tombs and dwellings date back 5000 years. A museum and interpretive centre is located on site and guided tours are provided.
Achill is Ireland’s largest island and is linked to the mainland by bridge. It boasts spectacular scenery and the island’s breath-taking Keem Bay has excellent beaches.
Croagh Patrick is a mountain outside Westport and it is said that Saint Patrick once fasted on the mountain for forty days and nights. The last Sunday in July is known as Reek Sunday, as on this day each year, thousands of pilgrims climb the holy mountain while fasting in order to retrace his steps.
Knock is another religious destination in County Mayo. An apparition of the Virgin Mary and Saints Joseph and John appeared to a group of locals here in 1879. A century later, in 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Ireland and made Knock the focal point of his trip. To this day, thousands visit the shrine at Knock each year.
Top Attractions in County Mayo
Ballintubber Abbey & The Celtic Furrow – Ballintubber – Ballintubber abbey was founded in 1216 by King Cathal near the site of the church built by St. Patrick in 441 AD. The Abbey’s facilities that include guided tours, a video display and interpretative centre.
Ballycroy National Park – Westport, Ballycroy –
Céide Fields – Ballycastle – Céide Fields lie beneath the wild boglands of North Mayo. These are the oldest known stone-walled fields and date back almost 6000 years. Located on the Wild Atlantic Way, this extensive neolithic monument contains field systems, dwelling areas and megalithic tombs.
Croagh Patrick – Murrisk, Westport – Croagh Patrick has been a pilgrimage site for hundreds of years in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, who fasted for forty days on the summit of the mountain in 441 and built a church there.
Foxford Woollen Mills Source Foxford – Foxford –
Granuaile Visitor Centre – Louisburgh – Relive the fascinating story of this ruthless, domineering and famous 16th Century pirate Queen of Clew Bay through a visual and audio visual tour.
Knock Folk Museum – Knock – The Knock Folk Museum depicts life in rural Ireland at the end of the 19th Century. It also reports and accounts the Apparition which occurred in 1879 to fifteen people.
Michael Davitt Museum – Straide, Foxford – The Michael Davitt Museum is dedicated to the life & legacy of one of Ireland`s greatest patriots – father of the Land League, Humanitarian, Author, Social reformer, and patron of the GAA & Glasgow Celtic FC.
National Museum of Country Life – Turlough Park, Castlebar – Turlough Park House is set in spectacular surroundings, framed by magnificent gardens, reflected in the still waters of its own lake. This is the first branch of the National Museum to be located outside of Dublin, and complements its three sister venues in Dublin.
Quiet Man Heritage Cottage – Circular Road, Cong – The Quiet Man Heritage Cottage is a novel concept which gives the visitor a total “Quiet Man” experience. The Centre also houses a permanent exhibition detailing the immense wealth of archaeological and historical material in the Cong area.
Turlough Round Tower – Turlough – Turlough Round Tower stands 70ft. high and is one of the best preserved towers in the country.
Westport House – Westport – One of Ireland’s most beautiful historic homes that is open to the public. In a parkland setting overlooking Clew Bay.
Main Destinations in County Mayo
Castlebar is the administrative capital of Co. Mayo. Originally a market town, it has kept this tradition and is renowned for its variety of interesting shopping areas. It also offers a variety of activities and exciting locations – both indoor an
Towns and Villages in County Mayo
Achill Island is an island off the coast of Mayo and a popular tourist destination.
Ballina is a seaside town in the north of the county.
Claremorris is the gateway to Mayo from Galway.
Cong is a small village, perhaps most widely known as the location where The Quiet Man was filmed, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.
Foxford is located on the river Moy, is home to the famous Foxford Woollen Mills and is a popular fishing destination.
Inishturk Island is an island off the west coast of Mayo.
Westport is another popular tourist destination, not far from Croagh Patrick, a mountain that is an important pilgrimage site.
Popular locations to stay in Co. Mayo are Achill (8 places to stay), Ballina (9), Ballinrobe (1), Ballintubber (2), Belmullet (5), Castlebar (9), Charlestown (1), Claremorris (3), Cong (1), Dooagh (1), Kiltimagh (2), Knock (5), Louisburgh (1), Mulranny (2), Murrisk (1), Newport (1), Partry (1), Rossport (1), Swinford (2), Westport (31).
Other towns include Balla, Ballycastle, Ballycroy, Belderrig Beg, Breaffy, Bun an Churraigh, Castlehill, Clare Island, Clonbur, Crossmolina, Foxford, Inishturk Island, Islandeady, Keel, Killala, Leenane, Tourmakeady, Turlough.
Getting Here and Around
Mayo is located on Ireland’s west coast.
The Westport/Ballina-Dublin railway line provides rail connection to Dublin, with stations at Westport, Ballina, Castlebar, Claremorris and Ballyhaunis.
Ireland-West Airport Knock offers flights to the UK and continental Europe. There are bus services connecting the airport with nearby towns, and car hire is also offered at the airport.
The N5 national route runs through the county, connecting to the east with the N4/M4 and on to Dublin. Secondary routes connect the county with Galway, Sligo and other nearby towns and cities.
More detailed information on getting to and around County Mayo can be found in our Co. Mayo Transport Guide.