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.
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.
10. Visit the National Museum of Country Life – learn Irish country traditions
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
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.
8. Downpatrick Head – stretch your legs
What a place for a coastal walk! Don’t miss this breathtaking area, once a popular pilgrim destination.
7. Climb Croagh Patrick – walk in the steps of St. 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 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.
6. Westport House – the most beautiful house in Ireland
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
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!
4. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way – one of the top things to do in County Mayo
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.
3. Visit Achill Island – escape to the island
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!
2. Greenway – Ireland’s longest trail and one 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
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.
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.
FAQs 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.