Europe Ireland

Achill Island, Co. Mayo West of Ireland

Achill Island

Co Mayo, Ireland

Achill Island, Irish: Acaill, Oileán Acla in the  County of Mayo is the largest island off the coast of Ireland, situated just off the west coast and has a population of approx. 2,700 and was first settled about 5000 years ago. Of course this population fluctuates wildly with the seasons as it has long been a popular second home holiday destination for many Irish. A small road bridge connects the island to the mainland crossing the Achill Sound.

Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (26)

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (21)The remains of what would have been a pretty much traditional cottage, although in times past the roof would have had a straw thatch.

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (22)There is scarcely a road on Achill that does not have commanding views and gorgeously rugged landscape.

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (24)

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (32)

Close to Dugort, at the base of Slievemore mountain lies the Deserted Village. There are approximately 80 ruined houses in the village. The houses were built of unmortared stone, which means that no cement or mortar was used to hold the stones together. Each house consisted of just one room and this room was used as kitchen, living room, bedroom and even stable. The village was abandoned at the time of the Potato blight in Ireland 1845 when residents either moved closer to the sea in order to live off fish and fishing, or emigrated. The village has been unoccupied since 1845 the ruins standing as a haunting reminder of one of the greatest, and unavoidable tragedies, of Irish history.

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (30)The remains of megalithic tombs and monuments suggest settlement by Neolithic man in the 3rd or 4th centuries BC. This pathway leads to the tomb at the base of Slievemore.

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (29)And the view from there back down to the sea!

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (1)The rugged coastline of Achill Island.

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (2)

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (3)And the fantastically sheltered beach and turquoise waters at Keem

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (23)One of the few creatures that can cope and are adapted to the extremes of Achill Island, you will encounter many many sheep as you travel around Achill. Best to drive slowly as you will often find one sitting comfortably in the middle of the road.


Getting There & Away


Achill and Co Mayo can be reached by car from Dublin and takes approximately 4 to 4.5 hours to drive.

By Bus

Bus Éireann  summer service to Achill  This service offers day return trips from Ballina, Castlebar and Westport to Achill and operates 5 days per week (Tuesday to Saturday inclusive) until Saturday 30 August. Further info on Bus services by clicking this link


Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Flybe all fly to Knock from the UK. Search Skyscanner for the best deals by clicking this link

About Achill Island

Further general information about Achill Island and events can be found by clicking this link

This link will take you to a site focusing on the history of Achill 


Also Worthy of Note

Mayo has been classified as one of the western world’s top star-gazing spots by the International Dark-Sky Association.

More on Dark Sky by clicking this link

I spoke to a Polish woman at Keem beach who told me herself her husband and their beautiful dog head here virtually every spare weekend when the are not working, staying in a tent with a simple fire scarcely any people and on clear nights the blanket of stars above. Her husband was off out in a small rented boat fishing for their supper!! Simple pleasures!

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  • Reply
    Beth @ Twinderelmo
    June 30, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Certainly is a rugged coastline and the secluded beach is so pretty. I love that the sheep just sit in the road too!

  • Reply
    Rhian Westbury
    June 30, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Such a pretty secluded place, looks like you had beautiful weather while you were here x

    • Reply
      June 30, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      Hi Rhian,
      Yes i could not quite believe how fortunate we were with the weather. As we know it can be so touch and go in Ireland and the UK so to get 4 full days of sunshine was a wonderful treat and certainly added to the enjoyment of our stay 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah Bailey
    June 30, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Wow what an absolutely stunning place – Ireland is somewhere I would love to visit, my Gran was from there and yet it is one place I have never been. x

    • Reply
      July 1, 2016 at 6:43 am

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for the comments. Ireland truly is a spectacular place and should be on everyone’s bucket list. Has some of the best scenery and landscape in the world.

  • Reply
    Camilla @FabFood4All
    July 1, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    What an absolutely stunning, rugged island, certainly a place to get far from the madding crowd!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Oh my! The island speaks by itself – A Chill. Lol. Every corner is relaxing and looks like a paradise.. I could stay here for a month or so. Haha

  • Reply
    Rachel In Real Life
    July 3, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    I would love to explore Ireland. My parents were born and brought up in Northern Ireland, with some of my mum’s extended family being from the south but I’ve never been. It looks absolutely beautiful and you were incredibly fortunate with the weather. Whenever I’ve visited family in Northern Ireland it’s always been wet and miserable!

    • Reply
      July 4, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      Hi Rachel,
      Thanks for stopping by and glad you liked the post. I couldn’t quite believe the weather myself, such a stroke of absolute luck. I really must get to Northern Ireland at some point too. I have traveled extensively all over the world and can honestly say when the sun shines it is hard to beat Ireland for the sheer beauty of its landscape and the warmth of its welcome, neither of which is myth. Watch the weather and make the trip 🙂

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