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Overview

Mayo, Ireland's third-largest county, has stunning scenery ranging from the beautiful beaches of Clew Bay to dramatic coastal cliffs and isolated headlands to huge expanses of lonely bogland. Two famous religious sites are located here. Knock Shrine, where visions of the Virgin Mary were seen in 1879, attracts 1.5 million pilgrims a year. Thousands more ascend Croagh Patrick, the holy mountain where St. Patrick prayed. The climb is worth it for the fantastic views over Clew Bay and its islands. Achill Island is the largest in Ireland, with excellent sandy beaches and the spectacular Atlantic Drive. The castle on Clare Island was the ...

Mayo, Ireland's third-largest county, has stunning scenery ranging from the beautiful beaches of Clew Bay to dramatic coastal cliffs and isolated headlands to huge expanses of lonely bogland. Two famous religious sites are located here. Knock Shrine, where visions of the Virgin Mary were seen in 1879, attracts 1.5 million pilgrims a year. Thousands more ascend Croagh Patrick, the holy mountain where St. Patrick prayed. The climb is worth it for the fantastic views over Clew Bay and its islands. Achill Island is the largest in Ireland, with excellent sandy beaches and the spectacular Atlantic Drive. The castle on Clare Island was the stronghold of the pirate queen Grace O'Malley. The village of Cong, with its lovely abbey ruins, stands on an isthmus between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. Along the stark north coast, the world's largest Stone Age settlement lies beneath the blanket bog at Céide Fields. Opposite are breathtaking views over the Céide Cliffs. Mayo's key towns include Castlebar with its museum of rural life, Westport, Newport, and Ballina, a salmon- and trout-fishing center.

Donna Dailey
About the Expert

Donna Dailey is the author of Thomas Cook’s Ireland driving guide, coauthor of DK’s Back Roads Ireland and several other titles, as well as the author of Thomas Cook’s HotSpots Costa Blanca and a contributor to AA Publishing’s Key Guide Spain.

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Donna Dailey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A county located in the west region in the province of Connacht named after the village of Mayo.
  • Language: English, Irish
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer, autumn