The 5 best waterfalls in Mayo and Galway, ranked

Heading West? We get you are excited about cliffs, beaches and the mountains – but don’t forget about the waterfalls! Here’s our list of the five best waterfalls in Mayo and Galway.

The 5 best waterfalls in Mayo and Galway, ranked

There’s something magical about waterfalls that’s hard to describe. However, every time we come across one (which happens a lot on the Emerald Isle!) we just can’t help but take out our phone or camera and snap some shots for our Instagram.

And if there’s a picnic place nearby, even better, expect to find us there with food and drinks looking at the water for hours. If you are traveling to the West coast and love waterfalls as much as we do, you are in for a treat.

Besides the widely known and photographed ones like the Aesleagh Falls, there’s also a couple of secret spots we are sure you will enjoy just as much. Check out our favourites of the best waterfalls in Mayo and Galway below.

5. Maumahoige Waterfall, Co. Galway – a hidden gem at the top of the mountains

Maumahoige Waterfall, Co. Galway - a hidden gem at the top of the mountains
Maumahoige Lake in Connemara, Co. Galway.

There might be taller, wider and more famous waterfalls in Ireland – but when we travel, we love to explore the hidden gems, which is exactly why we put the Maumahoige Waterfall on our bucket list of the best waterfalls in Mayo and Galway.

Set in the heart of Connemara, Maumahoige Mountain Lake is an attraction of its own best explored by hiking the area. However, its waterfall surrounded by breathtaking mountain panoramas is what really caught our eye.

Be warned that it can get freezing on top of the mountains though, so bring a jumper even in the peak of summer.

Address: Maumahoge Mountain Lake, Co. Galway, Ireland

4. Clifden Waterfalls, Co. Galway – right at the entrance of Connemara’s unofficial capital

Clifden Waterfalls, Co. Galway - right at the entrance of Connemara’s unofficial capital
The picturesque town of Clifden, Co. Galway.

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and home to one of the most scenic harbours in the area, Clifden is often referred to as the “capital of Connemara”.

Cute little shops, cosy coffee shops, spectacular views, you name it, the charming small town has it all. And, as you might have guessed from this list, it has a beautiful waterfall, too. It can be found on the Southside of town, between two bridges, and makes a great photo opportunity.

Wondering why the larger bridge looks slightly familiar? Some scenes of the Irish classic “The Quiet Film” were filmed there.

Address: Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

3. Lough Nafooey Waterfall, Co. Galway – for one of the best waterfalls in Mayo and Galway

Nestled along the border to County Mayo and overlooked by the Maumturk and Mayo’s Partry mountains, Lough Nafooey near Leenane is one of Connemara’s most Instagram-worthy landscapes.

The glacial lake features some volcanic rocks from 490 million years ago – and a stunning waterfall not to be missed.

There are walking and hiking paths leading around the lake and to the falls. This can get slippery there, so leave your flip flops and heels at home.

Address: Lough Nafooey, Co. Galway, Ireland

2. Tourmakeady Falls, Co. Mayo – a picturesque waterfall with a romantic picnic place

Tourmakeady Falls, Co. Mayo - a picturesque waterfall with a romantic picnic place
via Castlebar

Located on the shores of Lough Mask, Tourmakeady has one of the best waterfalls in Mayo and Galway. Follow the 2.5 km walking trail through the woodlands and along the Glensaul River and you will reach the falls after about 45 minutes.

The viewing area makes a great spot to rest your legs and enjoy a picnic – make sure to bring some lunch and drinks along as you might be ending up staying longer than you had originally planned. There’s also a large lake nearby.

Unfortunately, the hike to the waterfalls is pretty steep at times, so keep that in mind if you are traveling with small kids.

Address: Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo, Ireland

1. Aasleagh Falls, Co. Mayo / Co. Galway – a stunning waterfall right on the Atlantic Wild Way

Aasleagh Falls, Co. Mayo / Co. Galway - a stunning waterfall right on the Atlantic Wild Way

Tourmakeady Falls crash over the rocks from 3.5 metres near the borders between the County Mayo and Galway before joining the River Erriff on the way to Killary Harbour.

Our favourite of the best waterfalls in Mayo and Galway, they are located right on the Wild Atlantic Way, near Leenane village. There’s a pathway suitable for all ages, leading from the village directly to the falls.

And if you are lucky, you might see some leaping salmon in the water – the river and the falls attract anglers all year round.

Address: River, Erriff, Co. Mayo, Ireland

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Astrid Hofer works as a freelance journalist for media outlets around the world, mainly writing about travel, lifestyle, and pop culture. When she is not busy listening to live music in one of her favourite pubs, taking cheesy sunset pictures at the beach, or cliff walking, she can usually be found over a mug of hot chocolate planning her next trip.