12 Best Things to Do in County Mayo: Unmissable Attractions

by Jem
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County Mayo beckons with its stunning mix of natural landscapes and rich history. From the majestic Croagh Patrick offering panoramic views to the wild and rugged coastline of Achill Island, we’re exploring every corner. Gear up to discover the top attractions and things to do in County Mayo!

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If you’re looking for an adventure, County Mayo is the place to be. It’s a part of Ireland that surprises you at every turn. Imagine surfing with towering cliffs behind you, or finding peace as the sun sets over the sea.

Wondering what to do in County Mayo? The answer is simple: expect the unexpected. From thrilling outdoor activities to moments of serene beauty, Mayo has something for everyone. Here, it’s all about living in the moment and creating stories you’ll share for years.

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As we dive into the heart of Mayo, you’ll see why this hidden gem in Ireland is a place people return to time and again.

Ready to explore the coolest things to do in County Mayo? I’ve been there, done that, and I’m pumped to share all its secrets with you. Let’s dive in and make memories that’ll stick with us forever. Trust me, it’s going to be epic!

The top things to do in County Mayo, Ireland right now

Best Places to Visit in County Mayo

Ready to uncover the best places in County Mayo? From the spiritual heights of Croagh Patrick to the untamed beauty of Achill Island, this guide is your ticket to adventure. We’ll dive into all the fun and free things to do in County Mayo, showcasing both its hidden gems and popular landmarks.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history lover, or simply in search of Ireland’s captivating charm, County Mayo’s attractions are poised to mesmerize you.

1. Climb Croagh Patrick

Climbing Croagh Patrick is a top pick for anyone wondering where to go in County Mayo. It’s straightforward but rewarding, offering unbeatable views over Clew Bay. No need for expert gear – sturdy shoes and water are enough.

The path does get steep, so take it at your own pace. Reaching the top feels incredible, with the whole bay spread out below. It’s a great place for a quick snack and some photos.

An early start is best to avoid crowds and enjoy the morning quiet. The climb takes about two to three hours, but it’s flexible. You can take longer if you like to stop and enjoy the views.

For those asking about fun things to do in County Mayo, this hike is a winner. It combines a physical challenge with some of the best scenery in Ireland.

A great recommendation for anyone unsure of what to do in County Mayo is climbing Croagh Patrick.
A great recommendation for anyone unsure of what to do in County Mayo is climbing Croagh Patrick.

2. Surf at Keel Beach, Achill Island

Keel Beach on Achill Island is a paradise for surfers. With its long stretch of golden sand and consistent waves, it’s perfect for both beginners and seasoned surfers. The Atlantic Ocean rolls in with waves that can suit any level of experience. Hands down, it’s one of the best places to surf in County Mayo.

The surf school on the beach offers lessons and gear rental. I found the instructors knowledgeable and friendly, ensuring everyone gets up on their board with confidence. They cover everything from basic techniques to safety in the water, which is great for first-timers.

The scenery around Keel Beach is stunning, with towering cliffs and the wild Atlantic as your backdrop. It adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the surfing experience. After a session in the water, the beach is also perfect for a relaxing stroll or just to sit and watch the sunset.

Looking for fun places to visit in County Mayo? Keel Beach is a must. Whether you’re riding your first wave or adding to your surf adventure stories, Achill Island delivers an unforgettable experience.

Surfers' heaven is Achill Island's Keel Beach.
Surfers’ heaven is Achill Island’s Keel Beach.

3. Cycle the Great Western Greenway

The Great Western Greenway is a standout experience for cycling enthusiasts and casual riders alike in County Mayo. Stretching over 42 kilometers, it’s Ireland’s longest off-road cycling trail. It winds through some of the most scenic parts of the county, from Westport to Achill Island.

The trail is well-maintained and mostly flat. It’s accessible for all ages and fitness levels. Bikes are available for rent at several points along the route, with options for all sizes and preferences. I found a local shop in Westport that provided not only the bike but also helmets and a map. The staff were incredibly helpful, offering tips on the best spots to visit along the way.

Riding along, you’re treated to breathtaking views of the Nephin Beg mountain range, Clew Bay, and quaint villages. The route is dotted with spots perfect for a picnic or just to take a break and soak in the views. Signage along the Greenway makes it easy to follow.

Cycling the Great Western Greenway is one of the coolest things to do in County Mayo. It’s a scenic route that lets you see the best of the countryside, from mountains to bays. Plus, renting a bike is easy and a great way to spend the day outside. If you’re a cycling pro or just enjoy a leisurely ride, this trail offers a memorable way to explore this beautiful place in Europe.

In County Mayo, the Great Western Greenway offers a unique experience for both casual and bicycle enthusiasts.
In County Mayo, the Great Western Greenway offers a unique experience for both casual and bicycle enthusiasts.

4. Explore Ballycroy National Park

Ballycroy National Park is a hidden gem in County Mayo. This vast wilderness offers an escape into nature with its unique blanket bog landscapes, mountain ranges, and extensive wildlife. Walking through the park, you’ll feel miles away from the hustle of everyday life.

The visitor center is a great starting point, providing maps and information about the park’s trails. There’s a variety of paths, too. Whether you’re up for a challenging hike or a gentle stroll, you’ll find something that suits your pace.

Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, including the rare red grouse and the majestic Irish red deer. The views here are incredible, with unspoiled landscapes stretching as far as the eye can see. Trust me, Ballycroy National Park is one of the best places to go in County Mayo to experience the wild side of Ireland.

A little-known treasure in County Mayo is Ballycroy National Park.
A little-known treasure in County Mayo is Ballycroy National Park.

5. Walk Along Downpatrick Head

Taking a walk along Downpatrick Head should be on everyone’s list of things to do in County Mayo. This striking headland offers some of the most dramatic coastal views in Ireland, where the Atlantic Ocean meets sheer cliffs.

The standout feature here is Dún Briste, a sea stack that rises majestically out of the ocean. The history and legends surrounding this place add an extra layer of intrigue as you explore. There’s a sense of calm and majesty that envelops you, which makes it a perfect spot for reflection or a peaceful walk.

Visitors can follow the well-marked paths leading to viewpoints that offer breathtaking vistas. It’s a photographer’s dream, with the changing light casting the landscape in different hues. Downpatrick Head is an experience that connects you with the raw beauty of County Mayo’s coastline.

There are some of Ireland's most breathtaking coastal vistas from Downpatrick Head.
There are some of Ireland’s most breathtaking coastal vistas from Downpatrick Head.

6. Visit the Ceide Fields

The Ceide Fields are a fascinating stop for anyone exploring County Mayo. This ancient site, over 5,000 years old, gives you a rare glimpse into Ireland’s Neolithic past. The fields are home to the world’s oldest known field systems, preserved beneath a blanket of peat.

What’s remarkable here is the combination of cultural history and natural beauty. The on-site visitor center does a fantastic job of explaining the significance of the Ceide Fields, with interactive displays that are both informative and engaging. It’s a place where history feels alive, and you can really imagine the ancient communities that once thrived here.

Walking around the Ceide Fields, you’re treated to stunning views of the surrounding coastline and countryside. It’s a peaceful place, where the vastness of the landscape and the weight of history come together. For a deeper connection to Ireland’s ancient past and some of the best views in County Mayo, the Ceide Fields are a must-visit. It’s no wonder this site is among the top things to do in Mayo!

For anyone visiting County Mayo, a fascinating stop is the Ceide Fields.
For anyone visiting County Mayo, a fascinating stop is the Ceide Fields.

7. Enjoy Fresh Seafood in Killala

For a delightful taste of local cuisine, enjoying fresh seafood in Killala is one of the coolest things to do in County Mayo. This charming fishing village is renowned for its catch of the day, served up in cozy, welcoming restaurants and pubs along the harbor.

I recommend visiting The Sea Rod Inn, where the seafood chowder is a must-try. It’s a dish that warms the soul, packed with flavors of the ocean and locally sourced ingredients. The atmosphere here is just as inviting, with friendly locals sharing stories and the catch of their day.

After your meal, I recommend taking a stroll along the quay to digest and soak in the views of the bay. It’s a simple pleasure that captures the essence of coastal life in Ireland.

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For anyone looking to savor the authentic tastes of County Mayo, Killala’s seafood scene is a standout. It’s a fantastic way to connect with the local culture and enjoy the bounty of the sea.

The seafood scene in Killala is a great way to experience the abundance of the sea and the local way of life.
The seafood scene in Killala is a great way to experience the abundance of the sea and the local way of life.

8. Kayak on Lough Mask or Lough Corrib

Kayaking on Lough Mask or Lough Corrib is a thrilling way to see some of the best natural scenery in County Mayo. Both lakes are massive, offering plenty of space to explore, with Lough Corrib being one of the largest in Ireland. The water is crystal clear, reflecting the sky and surrounding landscapes. Believe me, it’s a serene paddling experience!

I found a great spot for rentals near Lough Mask, where the staff were super helpful, getting me set up with everything needed for a day on the water. They even suggested a route that took me past ancient castles and hidden coves, perfect for a picnic stop or a swim.

What’s fantastic about kayaking here is the peace and quiet. It’s just you, the water, and the occasional fish jumping. It’s a chance to disconnect and immerse yourself in the raw beauty of County Mayo’s lakes.

For a fun and active day out, kayaking on these lakes is hard to beat. It’s a unique perspective on the county’s landscape and a great way to get up close with nature. These spots are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland, and I highly recommend you check them out on your next trip.

The most breathtaking natural scenery in County Mayo may be seen by thrillingly kayaking on Lough Mask or Lough Corrib.
The most breathtaking natural scenery in County Mayo may be seen by thrillingly kayaking on Lough Mask or Lough Corrib.

9. Attend the Ballina Salmon Festival

Don’t miss the Ballina Salmon Festival, a highlight for anyone in County Mayo from 7th to 14th July 2024. This week-long celebration is all about the town’s deep connection with salmon fishing, packed with activities that showcase local culture and community.

I was struck by the variety of events on offer, from street performances and live music to workshops and the famous salmon tasting. The whole town comes alive with energy and color. It’s a perfect time to experience the local community spirit.

One of the highlights is the fireworks display over the Moy River, creating a stunning backdrop to the festivities. It’s a sight that brings everyone together, locals and visitors alike, under a sky lit with colors.

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One of the best things in County Mayo to do, the Ballina Salmon Festival is your chance to jump into local traditions, enjoy great food, and feel the community spirit. It’s a week where County Mayo truly shines, offering fun for all ages.


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The town bursts into vibrant, lively life.

10. Explore the Mayo Dark Sky Park

For a night unlike any other, head to the Mayo Dark Sky Park. Tucked away in the wild beauty of Ballycroy National Park, this spot is a stargazer’s dream. Here, away from city lights, the sky opens up, revealing stars, planets, and galaxies in incredible clarity. This designated area is one of the best attractions in Ireland to enjoy the night sky, free from light pollution.

The park offers guided night walks where astronomy experts help you navigate the heavens, pointing out constellations and sharing stories behind them. It’s both educational and magical, perfect for anyone curious about the universe.

Just imagine lying back under the vast, star-filled sky, wrapped in a blanket. It’s a moment of pure wonder, making you feel both tiny and connected to the cosmos.

Visiting the Mayo Dark Sky Park is a unique opportunity to see the beauty of the universe unfold above you. It’s a reminder of the wonders that lie beyond our daily lives, making it a perfect addition to any County Mayo itinerary.

Visit the Mayo Dark Sky Park for an unforgettable night.
Visit the Mayo Dark Sky Park for an unforgettable night. | Image Credit: mayodarkskypark

11. Relax at the Thermal Spa in Mulranny

One of the most unique things to do in County Mayo is to spend a day unwinding at the thermal spa in Mulranny. This exceptional spa uses warm seawater rich in minerals, offering a rare chance to relax in a setting that’s both luxurious and natural.

My visit here was unforgettable. Floating in the outdoor pool, you’re surrounded by the breathtaking landscape of the Atlantic coast. It’s relaxation and scenic beauty all rolled into one. The treatments, from seaweed baths to massages, all tap into the natural resources of the area.

The warmth and expertise of the staff make you feel right at home, ensuring your spa day is perfectly tailored to your relaxation needs.

For those seeking relaxation with a twist, the thermal spa in Mulranny stands out among the best County Mayo things to do. It’s an experience that combines the therapeutic benefits of natural seawater with stunning views, which makes for a truly memorable escape.

This thermal spa in Mulranny provides a unique opportunity to unwind in an opulent yet natural environment.
This thermal spa in Mulranny provides a unique opportunity to unwind in an opulent yet natural environment.

12. Visit the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

If you’re curious about how people lived in Ireland back in the day, the National Museum of Ireland in County Mayo is a treasure trove. Tucked away in the stunning Turlough Park, this museum takes you on a journey through Irish rural life from the 1850s to the 1950s.

I was completely drawn in by the collections here — from the handwoven baskets to the vintage farming tools, every piece tells a story. It’s fascinating to see how folks made do before the digital age, and the museum does a fantastic job of making this history feel alive and relevant.

What’s really cool are the live demonstrations. Ever seen real butter churning? It’s like stepping into a time machine. These hands-on experiences are not only fun but give you a real appreciation for the skills of the past.

Dropping by the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life is one of the best attractions in Europe for history buffs or anyone looking to spice up their trip with a bit of learning. The blend of gorgeous grounds and captivating exhibits makes for a perfect day out.

A veritable gold mine is the National Museum of Ireland, located in County Mayo.
A veritable gold mine is the National Museum of Ireland, located in County Mayo.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in County Mayo, Ireland:

Looking for more content on the top things to do in County Mayo? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Ireland’s gem, County Mayo.

Is it worth going to Achill Island?

Definitely! Achill Island is definitely worth visiting with its wild beaches and cliff views. Surfing at Keel Beach was a blast, but there’s so much more to enjoy, from hiking to chilling in cozy pubs. It’s a slice of paradise in County Mayo that you shouldn’t miss.

What is the main town in Mayo?

Castlebar is the go-to town in County Mayo. It’s got everything — great shops, buzzing pubs, and it’s close to some fantastic historical spots. It’s lively yet laid-back, making it a perfect pit stop or base for exploring the county.

Mayo offers something for everyone, from exhilarating outdoor pursuits to peaceful moments of beauty.
Mayo offers something for everyone, from exhilarating outdoor pursuits to peaceful moments of beauty.

Is Belmullet worth visiting?

Yes! Belmullet is this quiet little spot with amazing coastal views and outdoor activities. Kayaking, walking the cliffs, or just soaking in the local scene, it’s a peaceful escape that shows off Ireland’s natural beauty at its best.

What is the County Mayo famous for?

County Mayo stands out for its breathtaking landscapes, like the majestic Croagh Patrick and gorgeous coastal lines. It’s rich in history too, with places like the Ceide Fields taking you back in time. The county’s vibe is all about embracing nature, celebrating history, and diving into the local music and festivals. Mayo is the heart of Ireland’s natural and cultural beauty, hands down.

The top things to do in County Mayo, Ireland for all type of travelers
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