Mayo is the third largest of Ireland's 32 counties, which means there's plenty of space and limitless nature to explore, as well as plenty of things to do in Mayo.
It's the kind of place where you can experience tradition, be adventurous and enjoy natural beauty all in the same day. If we had a top 100 list forMayo, we bet we could easily fill it, but for now, let's start with the top ten things to do and see in County Mayo, Ireland.
10. Visit the National Museum of Rural Life –learn the traditions of Irish country
This free museum will take a good part of the day if you take it slow and really enjoy the experience of stepping back in time. We love window displays depicting country life; what they wore, the languages they spoke and how they carry on these wonderful traditions. Definitely worth the detour.
Address:Turlough Park House, Gortnafolla, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
9. Stop at Westport Town –a beautiful Georgian town
Westport is known for its pretty stone bridges, fantastic food and small town atmosphere. Explore the craft shops, grab a coffee at a local cafe or stroll along the river. The whole town is easily explored on foot and is another of the best things to do in County Mayo.
8. Head of Downpatrick –stretch your legs
What a place for a coastal walk! Don't miss this breathtaking region, once a popular pilgrimage destination.
7. Montez Croagh Patrick –walk in the footsteps of St. Patrick
Croagh Patrick is a traditional pilgrimage known to many. This is the site whereSaint PatrickFasted forty days and forty nights. Known as Ireland's holiest mountain, it's a short drive from Westport Town and is perfect for a day of adventure.
The mountain views from below, above, and along the way are breathtaking, so take your time and take your camera. It really is one of the best things to do in Mayo.
6. Maison Westport –the finest house in Ireland
Built in 1650 by Grace O'Malley's great-great-granddaughter and her husband, this house has 30 rooms ready to be explored. Then, head to the drawing room for an unforgettable Victorian afternoon tea.
5. Visit Cong Village –a multitude of activities
Movie buffs will know this village as the filming location of the John Wayne classic, the quiet man, also featuring our ownMaureen O'Hara. Apart from that, Cong is famous for being home to the magnificent Ashford Castle, Moytura House - the residence of Oscar Wilde - and its 12e-century abbey. You will easily spend the whole day here!
4. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way –one of the best things to do in County Mayo
With its Blue Flag beaches, rugged islands and unspoiled nature, Mayo sits right in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way and is a must see for anyone in the area. Hop in the car and explore the windy roads that hug the coast, stopping along the way to take in the beauty of the wild west.
3. Visit Achill Island -island escape
Try to spend as much time as possible exploring the deserted village, Kildavnet Castle, and Keem Bay, among others.Île d'Achillhas the most beautiful scenery, so grab a bike and ride around the island. You will be amazed!
2. Greenway –Ireland's longest footpath and one of the best things to do in Mayo
Mayo is home to the famous stretch of off-road cycling and walking track, known as the Great Western Greenway. It starts at Westport and continues to Achill Island over the connecting bridge. There are therefore many activities to do, whether you decide to do the whole 42 km or just a section.
1. Bath of Clew –an island for every day of the year
Admire the 365 islands of Clew Bay from the shore, or become one with the water and take a kayak or boat trip among the beauty. You will have a view of Clew Bay from the top of Croagh Patrick, but we encourage you to explore it from as many angles as possible. It's just breathtaking and a true wonder of Mayo.
With these top ten things to do and see in County Mayo, Ireland, it will be a tough choice deciding what to do first. Still, we know that whichever order you do things in, you'll be sure to be swept away by this idealistic county. Be sure to try all of these things to do in County Mayo.
Other Notable Things to Do in Mayo
Mayo is a must visit for an unforgettable Irish experience. We've listed ten of the best things to do in the county above. However, there are plenty of other amazing things to see and do while you're here.
Some of our favorites are Ceide Fields, home to megalithic tombs and the oldest field systems in Ireland, Ballycroy National Park, Mayo Dark Sky Park, Athenry Castle, Doo Lough Valley, Lough Corrib, Erris Head Loop Walk, and more.
FAQs for things to do in Mayo
What to do in Mayo when it rains?
While Mayo is known for its stunning scenery, there's plenty to experience in this county when the weather is bad. Some of our favorites are Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park, Foxford Woolen Mills Visitor Centre, Connacht Whiskey Distillery where you can learn all about the Irish whiskey making process, Belleek Castle and the National Museum of Country Life.
What is Mayo Ireland famous for?
Mayo is known to be one of the most scenic spots on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way. Home to a number of islands including Inishturk Island, Clare Island and Achill Island, which is Ireland's largest island, a visit to Mayo will be a holiday experience that you won't forget.
Thanks to its prime location on the Atlantic coast, Mayo is home to sandy beaches, including Keel Beach, and incredible sea stacks, like Downpatrick Head, Benwee Head in North Mayo and Dún Briste, which you can see from the edge of the cliff. The Erris Head Loop promenade will also allow you to enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic coast.
Does Mayo have a beach?
Yes! Thanks to its location on the Atlantic coast, Mayo is home to a number of stunning beaches. Some of the best are Keel and Keem beaches on Achill Island, Elly Bay along the North Mayo coast, Silver Strand, Bertra Beach and Ross Beach.
Mayo is renowned for being one of the most picturesque parts of Ireland. It is home to some of the most beautiful islands off the coast of the county in Clew Bay as well as its bogland and heather. Ireland's largest island, Achill, lies off Mayo's west coast.Why visit County Mayo? ›
Climb a sacred mountain, visit a stately home and explore an island-studded bay: Westport is the perfect base for your Mayo adventure. Of course, there's more to Mayo than Westport. Think of cosmopolitan Castlebar town, or the National Museum of Country Life nearby.What does County Mayo mean in Irish? ›
County Mayo (/ˈmeɪoʊ/; Irish: Contae Mhaigh Eo, meaning "Plain of the yew trees") is a county in Ireland.What is Mayo Ireland known as? ›
The Irish name for Mayo is Maigh Eo , which means 'plain of yew-trees'.What is the famous house in Mayo? ›
Westport House in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland, is a country house, historically the family seat of the Marquess of Sligo and the Brownes and designed by notable eighteenth century architects Richard Cassels, Thomas Ivory and James Wyatt.What is the oldest town in Mayo? ›
Some say that Ballinrobe is the oldest town in Mayo, dating back to 1390, and Cong village is where the last High King of Ireland died in 1198. With a wealth of heritage and archaeological sites, this beautiful region is considered to be Ireland's Lake District – there's an adventure for everyone here.What are the most common surnames in County Mayo? ›
County Mayo Most common names: The more common surnames in the North Mayo include Gallagher, Durkan, McHale, Barrett, McNulty, McNicholas, Brennan, Henry, Doyle, Harkin, Dogherty, Foy, Kelly, Loftus, Gaughan and Lavelle.What surnames are common in County Mayo? ›
Common Mayo Surnames
In South Mayo common surnames includes Walsh, Burke, Gibbons, Prendergast, Joyce, Murray, Gallagher, Lydon, Heneghan, Jennings, Feerick, Langan, Murphy, O'Malley, Kelly, Moran, Duffy, O'Connor, Waldron, Farragher, McNicholas, Brennan, Kelly, Loftus and Keane.
County Mayo is home to three Gaeltachts: Erris, Achill and Toormakeady. In these areas the local dialects of Irish-Gaelic are still spoken.What Irish surnames come from County Mayo? ›
Surnames commonly associated with the county include: Walsh, Burke, Gibbons, Prendergast, Joyce, Murray, Gallagher, Lydon, Heneghan, Jennings, Feerick, Langan, Murphy, O'Malley, Kelly, Moran, Duffy, O'Connor, Waldron, Farragher, McNicholas, Brennan, Kelly, Loftus and Keane.
Mayo, Irish Maigh Eo (“Plain of the Yew Trees”), county in the province of Connaught, western Ireland.What is the symbol of Mayo Ireland? ›
The word Maigh Eo means Mayo in English. The crest consists of nine yew trees around the edges representing "the plain of the yews"; there is one yew for each barony in the county with four crosses, a ship and waves in the centre.What is Mayo's nickname? ›
|County (GAA link)||Nickname|
|Mayo (GAA)||The Maritime County|
|Mayo (GAA)||"Mayo, God help us!"|
|Mayo (GAA)||"The Green above the Red"|
|Meath (GAA)||The Royal county|
Distance from Dublin to County-mayo
The shortest distance (air line) between Dublin and County-mayo is 128.10 mi (206.16 km). The shortest route between Dublin and County-mayo is 145.96 mi (234.90 km) according to the route planner. The driving time is approx. 3h 8min.
Mayo Celtic Holidays Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of IRD Kiltimagh CLG. Its primary functions are the operation of the Maghus Castle Indoor Play Centre and the operation of the Outdoor Playground, Tir na nÓg.What are popular names in County Mayo? ›
County Mayo Most common names: The more common surnames in the North Mayo include Gallagher, Durkan, McHale, Barrett, McNulty, McNicholas, Brennan, Henry, Doyle, Harkin, Dogherty, Foy, Kelly, Loftus, Gaughan and Lavelle.What surnames are in County Mayo? ›
Surnames commonly associated with the county include: Walsh, Burke, Gibbons, Prendergast, Joyce, Murray, Gallagher, Lydon, Heneghan, Jennings, Feerick, Langan, Murphy, O'Malley, Kelly, Moran, Duffy, O'Connor, Waldron, Farragher, McNicholas, Brennan, Kelly, Loftus and Keane.What clans are in the County Mayo? ›