THE WEST MAYO DRIVE
This route begins at the cosmopolitan, award-winning town of Westport and then continues north and west along the inner and northern shores of Clew Bay to Newport, Mulranny and Achill Island before returning to Westport, a distance of 86km (54 miles), approximately. As you take this drive to Achill Island you will notice that the 42km Great Western Greenway runs close to the road for much of the journey.
START YOUR JOURNEY
From Westport first take the N59 northwards to Newport, a friendly coastal town with an imposing viaduct bridge over the Newport River. With this area of Mayo also showcasing a host of superb cross-country looped walks of varying grades, you'll find plenty to explore.
Mulranny village boasts, amongst other things, a unique variety of Mediterranean heather, some of the last remaining old native Irish goats and a causeway across Trawoughter Bay built in 1889 to give access to the beautiful beach. Leaving Mulranny follow the R319 along the northern shore of Corraun Peninsula and enjoy views across Annagh Island and Inishbiggle, to Dugort on Achill Island in the distance. Alternatively take the Atlantic Drive route from just west of Mulranny along narrow cliff-top roads on the south coast of the Currane Peninsula with its spectacular Atlantic Views out to Clare Island. When you rejoin the R319 just turn left and continue to Achill Sound where a sculptural swing bridge joins the mainland to Achill Island, Ireland’s largest offshore island.
Achill Island is famed for its rugged landscape, dramatic cliffs and impressive array of Blue Flag beaches and it is a very a popular location for watersports of all kinds. Follow the R319 all the way to its end at Keem Bay, a stunning, sheltered horseshoe-shaped beach nestled between Benmore cliffs and Croaghaun Mountain, and a Wild Atlantic Way Signature Point.
If you’re really lucky the dolphins will be in situ to provide the entertainment as they often spend hours here practicing their aerial gymnastics!