Situated on the west of Ireland, Mayo is a popular place for both tourists and locals alike, and it’s easy to see why. Here are the five reasons why Mayo is the best county in Ireland.
Being the third largest county in Ireland, Mayo is lucky enough to be a terrain just covered in beautiful landscape, but that’s not all it has going for itself.
People from all over the world visit Mayo, many retracing their ancestry from famine times and others just fascinated by the scenery and history the county has to offer.
Mayo is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, bays and coves in Ireland and it is still a very popular holiday destination for people all over Ireland, but there’s a lot more to Mayo than meets the eye.
If we had to pick 5 reasons why Mayo is the best county in Ireland, these would be why.
5. It is home to Irelands largest Island, Achill Island – a place everyone is ‘Keem’ on
With records dating back to 3000BC, Ireland’s largest Island has some absolutely incredible history, which can be seen around almost every corner.
Achill Island has so much to see including the deserted villages, Slievemore Mountain, Kildownet Castle (Grace O’Malleys castle) as well as having one of the most idyllic coves in Ireland, Keem Bay.
4. It is where you will find the highest cliffs in the country – the third largest in Europe
Head to Croaghgaun and you will be blown away (not literally we hope) by the sheer height of these cliffs located on Achill Island.
Not only are these cliffs, standing at 688m high, the highest in Ireland but they are actually the third highest in all of Europe following Norway and the Faroe Islands. We guess it’s the rugged Atlantic we’ve got to thank for carving them out.
3. Birthplace of one of Ireland’s most famous people, Grace O’Malley – one of the reasons why Mayo is the best county in Ireland
Famed for her pirate ways, political activism and downright fearlessness, Grace O’Malley or Granuaile as she is also known, was a rebel of her time, which led people to call her the pirate queen.
Her life was so action packed and broke the mold of how women were supposed to be, that it inspired many playwrights, musicians and authors to write about her life.
2. The Quiet Man was filmed here – a famous filming location
The Quiet Man, starring our very own Maureen O Hara alongside John Wayne, was filmed in Cong, County Mayo and went on to win the director an Academy Award, another of the reasons why Mayo is the best county in Ireland.
The movie, depicting Ireland’s lush countryside, was so popular worldwide, especially in North America, that to this day it draws thousands of tourists to the town of Cong every single year.
1. The legendary Croagh Patrick is here – follow in St. Patrick’s footsteps
Just outside of the vibrant town of Westport lies the mountain of Croagh Patrick. It is known for its stories about St Patrick, who is said to have fasted there for 40 days and 40 nights, resulting in thousands of pilgrims following in his footsteps yearly.
Those who are not visiting for religious reasons still climb the steep mountain, for its incredible views over the bay where you can spot many islands dotted among the crystal turquoise water. You can be forgiven for thinking you are looking down on an archipelago somewhere in the Caribbean Sea.
We know what you’re all thinking now; ‘Man I need to plan a trip to Mayo soon’. Even if you have been there or not, there is something for everyone in Mayo and it’s just a pity we only had five reasons to list why Mayo is the best county in Ireland, because we can definitely think of a few more.
Surfing is a popular pastime in Mayo, with it hugging the Atlantic coast and getting huge swells in return, as well as it having one of the coolest museums in the country close to Castlebar, the Museum of Country Life.
Mayo is home to many breweries which are producing some of the counties best craft beer, such as Mescan Brewery, Reel Deel and West Mayo brewery. We think that this goes hand in hand, because at the end of a day, if you’re sightseeing around County Mayo, you will definitely be in need of a nice local beer.