Beach in Achill Island

Keem Bay

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.

Keem Bay, located on Achill Island off the coast of County Mayo, Ireland, is known for clear blue waters and crescent of white sand, framed by grassy cliffs. The bay is also home to a variety of marine life, including a colony of basking sharks, which often can be spotted from the shore during certain times of the year. Historically, the bay features the remains of a British Coastguard station and a booley village, evidencing past human settlement and activity in this remote locale.

Wildlife and Marine Life Viewing

Keem Bay hosts an array of marine life, notably the basking sharks, dolphins, and seals, which attract nature enthusiasts. Visitors can often observe these gentle giants from April to August. Keep a lookout for them from the beach or consider a boat tour for a close-up experience. Bird watchers will also find Keem Bay rewarding with various seabird species along the cliffs.

Water Activities at Keem Bay

The bay's clear waters are ideal for water sports. Swimming is popular, and the beach is known for its safety and cleanliness, having been awarded Blue Flag status. For the more adventurous, kayaking and paddleboarding allow an intimate exploration of the bay's waters and the sea caves around the cliffs. Equipment rental is available during the summer months when conditions are most favorable.

Hiking Around Keem Bay

For those who prefer land-based activities, the area offers scenic hikes with breathtaking views. The cliff-top walk to Achill Head provides panoramic seascapes and an opportunity to see the abandoned village and coastguard station. The landscape around Keem Bay transforms with the seasons, showcasing different aspects of its natural beauty throughout the year, though late spring and summer offer the most comfortable hiking conditions.

Getting to and Around Keem Bay

Accessibility to Keem Bay is primarily by car, with limited public transportation options. The bay has a parking area near the beach, but it can fill up quickly in peak season. Cycling is another way to enjoy Achill Island's scenery, with bike rentals available in nearby villages.

Visiting Keem Bay Throughout the Year

Keem Bay is accessible year-round, but the experience varies by season. Summer is ideal for water activities and leisurely beach days, while winter offers a solitary landscape with dramatic waves and fewer visitors. Spring and autumn hold their own charm with moderate weather and a lower likelihood of overcrowding.

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