Tour the Islands
Thanks to its ideal location, Westport is the perfect place to base yourself if you wish to explore the stunning Clew Bay and its islands. Legend has it that this natural bay contains 365 islands, one for every day of the year. The most famous of these is Clare Island which boasts a spectacularly rugged coastline and cliff top views of the surrounding bay. The island is steeped in history as it is closely linked to Grace O’Malley the legendary pirate queen who ruled the seas around Mayo in the 16th century and lived in a castle on the island. Allegedly she is buried on the islands Cistercian Abbey which also houses some of the finest medieval wall paintings in Ireland making it well worth a visit.
Further afield is Achill Island which is located about an hours drive from Westport, presenting an excellent opportunity to take in some of the breathtaking scenery along the way. Although it is connected to the mainland by bridge at Gob an Choire it can also be accessed by ferry depending on your preference. Achill has so much to offer in terms of landscape, its towering cliffs are some of the tallest in Europe and its blue flag beaches are the perfect setting for a gentle stroll.
Situated nearby is the unspoiled Inis Bigil a unique island which is seemingly untouched by modernity, whose culture harks back to the time-worn traditions of small farming and fishing, where the locals are relaxed and visitors are become enamoured with the scenery. A haven for walkers, there is much to explore on this quaint and peaceful island.
All of these islands can be accessed by ferries leaving from Roonagh Quay which is a leisurely 30 minute drive from Westport.