Island in 🇮🇪Ireland

Achill Island

Wild waves and deserted village.

Explore Achill Island's historic sites, traditional festivals, and stunning Keem Bay for a unique Irish cultural and natural experience.

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Photo of Keem Bay in Ireland

Crystal-clear waters of Keem

Explore the clear waters of Keem Bay on Achill Island, famed for its marine life and historic sites. Enjoy hiking, water sports, and stunning views.

Achill Island, connected to the west coast of Ireland by a bridge, is known for its rugged landscape and coastal cliffs, particularly at Keem Bay. Its history resonates through sites like the Deserted Village at Slievemore and Grace O'Malley’s 15th-century Kildamhnait Castle. The island's cultural heritage comes alive in the Achill Yawl Festival, celebrating traditional sailing.

The Deserted Village at Slievemore

One of the most profound historical sites on Achill Island is the Deserted Village at Slievemore. Visitors will find the remains of over 80 stone cottages abandoned from a bygone era. It provides a poignant insight into the island's past, particularly the difficult living conditions and emigration that affected so many lives. Observing these empty homes against the backdrop of Slievemore Mountain is a compelling experience, one that offers both tranquility and reflection.

Kildamhnait Castle

The 15th-century Kildamhnait Castle is associated with Granuaile, or Grace O'Malley, a renowned sea captain and pirate of Irish folklore. This tower house, located on the southeastern part of the island, provides context to Ireland’s maritime history and the influence of powerful clans during this period. Visitors can explore the remains of the castle and imagine the commanding view it once held over the seas.

Traditional Irish Cuisine

Exploring traditional Irish cuisine on Achill Island promises delights for the food enthusiast. Local restaurants and pubs serve seafood freshly caught from the Atlantic, including mussels, salmon, and cod. A visit to The Beehive for its locally sourced menu offers a taste of island cooking, where dishes are prepared with seasonal ingredients.

Achill Yawl Festival

For those interested in local customs and festivals, the Achill Yawl Festival is a highlight. This event celebrates traditional sailing and features races of yawls—boats indigenous to the island. The festival often coincides with other cultural activities such as music and dance, giving visitors a vibrant taste of island life.

Keem Bay

Keem Bay should be at the top of your list for natural attractions. Known for its breathtaking coastal cliffs and turquoise waters, Keem Bay offers some of the most photographable scenery in Ireland. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely walk or a swim on a calm day. The drive to Keem Bay itself is notable for its stunning vistas.

Outdoor Activities

The waters surrounding the island provide excellent conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing, with schools offering lessons for beginners and equipment rental for the experienced. The Great Western Greenway cycle path, which extends from Westport to Achill, is perfect for cyclists looking for scenic routes off the main roads.

Transportation on Achill Island

Getting around Achill Island is most convenient by car or bicycle. Car rental options are available from nearby centers such as Westport or Castlebar. For those preferring public transport, limited bus services do operate to and from the island coordinating with train services to Westport.

Average temperatures during the day in Achill Island.

What people say about Achill Island


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