On the west coast of Ireland, is Irelandís third largest county and stretches from Lough Corrib to Killala Bay along the coast and borders with Counties Sligo and Roscommon. It is an unspoiled area of natural beauty and is an ideal location for many things to do in Mayo, including, sea and fresh water angling, golfing, walking and hill climbing. Croagh Patrick, which is 722 metres high, is the third highest mountain in Mayo, and each year on the last Sunday in July, known locally as Reek Sunday, over 25,000 visitors climb this peak as a pilgrimage to St Patrick. From the top of Croagh Patrick, take in the expansive view of the countryside and the rocky coastline in all its glory. Clew Bay is just one of the natural bays to be explored and one of the most popular things to do here is fishing, whether its sea angling or fresh water fishing, there is something for every keen angler amongst its many islands. Boats can be chartered locally and there are many traditional fishing lodges and guesthouses to be found. From here take a ferry to Clare Island. Only eight kilometres by five kilometres this little island is a very popular tourist destination and can easily be explored either by walking or cycling. A place of rugged charm, bird watching and scuba diving are among the many things to do in Mayo. Around the coast of Clew Bay are some beautiful, unspoilt beaches, which are ideal for time away with the family.
Westport, situated on the Carrowbeg River, dates back to 1730 when it was built on the ruins of a 16th century castle belonging to Grace O Malley. It is home to Westport House and Gardens which is now one of Irelandís national treasures housing magnificent architecture, paintings and original furniture. For more information please see Westport House.
Another of the worthwhile things to do in Mayo is a visit to Ashford Castle. Dating back to 1228 and once the estate of the Guinness Family, it first opened its doors as a hotel in 1939 and is today one of the top luxury hotels in Ireland. Located on the banks of the River Corrib, one of Irelandís best known fisheries, it is the perfect base for your fishing holiday. For details on accommodation and all other activities, please see Ashford Castle for the best offers.
As well as all the other things to do in Mayo, there is Knock Shrine, Irelandís national Marian Shrine. An international place of pilgrimage and prayer, it attracts over one and a half million visitors a year. The Shrine grounds incorporate five churches, including the Apparition church, where in August 1879, and apparition of Our Lady Mary was seen by fifteen people. Witness accounts of the apparition and other relevant information can be found on Knock Shrine.