10 BEST things to do in Mayo for 2024 (we tried them all)

Located on the west coast of Ireland, Co. Mayo is just packed with hidden gems. Here are the ten best things to do and see in County Mayo, Ireland.

The 10 best things to do in Mayo, Ireland (County Guide)

Mayo is the third-largest of the 32 Irish counties, which means there is ample space and uncapped nature to explore, as well as plenty of things to do in Mayo.

It is is the kind of place where you can experience tradition, be adventurous, and take in natural beauty all in the same day. If we had a top 100 list for Mayo, we bet we could fill it no bother, but for now, let’s start with the ten best things to do and see in County Mayo, Ireland.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for things to do in Mayo

  • Plan your visit in advance to make the most of your time in Mayo, considering the attractions, activities, and events that interest you.
  • Check the weather forecast and pack appropriate clothing and shoes.
  • Research the local traditions, music, and festivals happening during your visit to fully immerse yourself in Mayo’s vibrant culture.
  • Be sure to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure the best options that suit your preferences and budget.
  • Consider renting a car to have more freedom exploring Mayo’s diverse landscapes and remote areas.

10. Visit the National Museum of Country Life – learn Irish country traditions

The National Museum of Country life is a great free place to visit.
Credit: @expatalien / Instagram

This free museum will take up a good chunk of the day if you take it slow and really enjoy the experience of stepping back in time. We just love the showcases depicting life for country folk; what they used to wear, languages they used to speak, and how they are keeping these wonderful traditions alive. Truly worth a visit.

Address: Turlough Park House, Gortnafolla, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

9. Stop off in Westport Town – a beautiful Georgian town

The town centre of Westport is beautiful and well worth visiting.

Westport is known for its cute stone bridges, fantastic cuisine, and small-town feel. Explore craft shops, have a coffee in a corner café, or take a walk along the river. The whole town is easily explored on foot and is another of the best things to do in County Mayo.

Read more: Our guide to 24 hours in Westport

AND: The top 10 best things to do in Westport, Ireland

8. Downpatrick Head – stretch your legs

Stretch your legs and pay a visit to Downpatrick Head, a stack of rock in the sea.

What a place for a coastal walk! Don’t miss this breathtaking area, once a popular pilgrim destination.

Related: When to visit, what to see and things to know.

7. Climb Croagh Patrick – walk in the steps of St. Patrick

Croagh Patrick is anothe rof the top things to see, it's well worth climbing.

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 is just a short drive from Westport Town and is perfect for a day of adventure.

The views of the mountain from below, above, and on the journey up are all so breathtaking, so take your time and take your camera. It’s truly one of the top things to do in Mayo.

Check out: Croagh Patrick hike, the best route, when to visit and more.

6. Westport House – the most beautiful house in Ireland

A beautiful place to visit, Westport House has beautiful gardens and sights.

Having been built in 1650 by the great-great-granddaughter of Grace O’Malley and her husband, this house has 30 rooms ready to explore. Afterwards, head to the drawing-room for some Victorian afternoon tea to remember.

5. Visit the village of Cong – a wealth of activities

A visit to the village of Cong is one of the things to do in Mayo.

Movie lovers will know this village as the film location for the John Wayne classic, The Quiet Man, also starring our very own Maureen O’Hara. Apart from this, Cong is famous for being the home of the magnificent Ashford Castle, Moytura House – the residence of Oscar Wilde – and its 12th-century abbey. You’ll easily spend the whole day here!

READ MORE: Make the most of your time here and read IB4UD’s articled on Cong, Mayo: things to DO and what to KNOW

4. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way – one of the top things to do in County Mayo

Driving the Wild Atlantic Way is a great way to take in the country and one of the top things to do in Mayo.
Credit: Instagram / @markuniacke

With its Blue Flag beaches, rugged islands, and unspoilt nature, Mayo is right in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way and is a must-do for anyone in the region. Get in the car and explore the windy roads that hug the coastline, stopping off along the way to enjoy the beauty of the wild west.

For more ideas on the Wild Atlantic Way, you might enjoy these articles:

3. Visit Achill Island – escape to the island

Why not visit Achill Island for another of the top things to do in Mayo.

Try and spend as long as you can to explore the deserted village, Kildavnet castle, and Keem Bay, among others. Achill Island has the most stunning scenery, so grab a bike and take a trip around the island. You’ll be amazed!

To get really up-close and personal with the natural world, Achill Island is home to some of the best caravan and camping parks in all of County Mayo.

2. Greenway – Ireland’s longest trail and one of the top things to do in Mayo

The County Mayo Greenway is another of the top things to do in Mayo.

Mayo is the home of the famous stretch of cycling and off-road walking trail known as the Great Western Greenway. It begins in Westport and continues to Achill Island over the connecting bridge, so there’re plenty of activities for you to do, whether you decide to do the entire 42 km or just a section.

1. Clew Bay – an island for every day of the year

A visit to Clew Bay is one of the top things to do in Mayo.
via @paulbdeering instagram

Gaze over Clew Bay’s 365 islands from the shore side, or become one with the water and take a kayak or a boat trip out among the beauty. You will get a view of Clew Bay from the top of Croagh Patrick, but we encourage you to explore it from as many angles as you can. It’s just breathtaking and a true wonder of Mayo.

With these ten best things to do and see in County Mayo, Ireland, it will be a tough choice deciding what to do first. Still, we know whatever order you do things, you’ll be guaranteed to be swept away by this idealistic county. Be sure to try all of these things to do in County Mayo.

READ MORE: Discover the natural beauty of Ireland’s West Coast with Clew Bay

Other notable things to do in Mayo

Mayo is a must-visit for an unforgettable Irish experience. We have listed ten of the best things to do while in the county above. However, there are plenty of other amazing things to see and do while you’re here.

Some of our favourites are the Céide Fields, home to megalithic tombs and Ireland’s oldest field systems, Ballycroy National Park, Mayo Dark Sky Park, Athenry Castle, Doo Lough Valley, Lough Corrib, Erris Head Loop Walk, and much more.

Your questions answered about things to do in Mayo

What to do in Mayo when it’s raining?

While Mayo is known for its stunning scenery, there are plenty of things to discover in this county when the weather is bad. Some of our favourites are Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park, Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre, Connacht Whiskey Distillery, where you can learn all about the Irish whiskey-making process, Belleek Castle, and the National Museum of Country Life.

What is Mayo Ireland known for?

Mayo is known for being one of the most scenic spots along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Home to a number of islands, including Inishturk Island, Clare Island, and Achill Island, which is Ireland’s largest island,  a visit to Mayo will be a holiday experience you won’t forget.

Thanks to its prime location on the Atlantic coastline, Mayo is home to sandy beaches, including Keel Beach, and incredible sea stacks, like Downpatrick Head, Benwee Head in North Mayo, and Dún Briste, which you can view from the cliff edge. The Erris Head Loop walk will also allow you to enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic coastline.

Does Mayo have a beach?

Yes! Thanks to its location on the Atlantic coastline, Mayo is home to a number of gorgeous beaches. Some of the best are Keel and Keem Beaches on Achill Island, Elly Bay along the North Mayo coast, Silver Strand, Bertra Beach, and Ross Beach.

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