The Irish Travel Guide to Magical Mayo

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Explore Magical Mayo

County Mayo has been in the news lately – and for good and ‘picturesque’ reasons. Tourists are flocking west to the coast and making their way to Achill Island. All thanks to the stunning locations showcased in The Banshees of Inisherin. Plus, it also helps that US President Joe Biden’s visit to Ireland will include a public address in Mayo.

If you are enthralled by what Mayo offers and why everyone wants to be there, here’s a handy travel guide to Mayo.

To begin with, let’s get the accommodation sorted. That makes sense, right?

Where2stay

Westport Coast Hotel

A cosy sitting area at a hotel in Mayo

Reviews for this hotel often mention its gorgeous location. It’s situated at the trendy Quay Side overlooking Clew Bay. Just 3.2 km from Westport centre, it has a bar and the award-winning Waterfront Restaurant with spectacular views of the Clew Bay. Guests can also relax in the on-site spa and indoor swimming pool.

The Coast Bar and Bistro offers a full bar menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. It also has an extensive wine menu and live entertainment on selected nights.

Roman Island is home to the Clew Bay Heritage Centre and is just a 5-minute walk from the hotel. The Westport Golf Club is a 5 minute drive away. These are some of the reasons why it makes the cut for our Mayo destination guide.

Find a booking link here.

The Dolphin Hotel

Exteriors of the Dolphin Hotel which makes it to the Mayo destination guide

Located just 3km from Mayo North Heritage Centre, The Dolphin Hotel provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking and a bar.

Breakfast is available daily, and includes à la carte, continental and Full English/Irish options.

Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre is 27 km from the accommodation, while the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life is 32 km away. The nearest airport is Ireland West Knock Airport, 50 km from The Dolphin Hotel.

Again, this hotel’s convenient location works very well for itself and for its guests. And with its clean and comfortable rooms, and also reasonable pricing, it makes it to Travel2Ireland’s destination guide to Mayo.

Find a booking link here.

Belleek Castle

Belleek Castle at dusk - it is on the destination guide to Mayo

If you are looking for a luxurious stay, this will be your choice.

This beautiful and historic castle is set within 1,000 acres of woodland. On the banks of the River Moy, it boasts a restaurant made from the remains of a 17th-century Spanish galleon.

With stunning views of the forest and castle garden, each spacious room is elegant and richly furnished. Rooms include a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee facilities. Plasma-screen TVs are available on request.

Granuailes Candlelight Grill Room serves fresh country house cuisine, with Connemara lamb and steak flambéed at the table. The Tween Decks provides fantastic, 17th-century nautical decor, and the Armada Bar is built from the salvaged, 400-year old wood of shipwrecked Spanish ships.

Guests can enjoy the 13th-century Norman fireplace of the Great Hall, or relax in front of the many open fires throughout the castle, with its suits of armour and numerous antiques.

A room with fourposter bed at Belleek Castle

We thought this photograph (from Booking.com) is really tempting – it showcases one of the rooms at the castle. Isn’t the four-poster bed along with the soft blue shade of wallpaper truly pretty and inviting?

If this is what you are looking for, find a booking link here.

What2do

Westport House and Gardens tour

Aerial view of Westport House and Gardens in Mayo

Westport House and Gardens are pretty famous, and most tourists make it a point to head there when they are in Mayo. Obviously, they had to be first on our list, and the Irish destination guide to Mayo couldn’t have been complete without it.

So here’s a little bit about Westport House. It’s a 400-year-old historic house set within 400 acres of unspoilt beauty. One of the few privately-owned historic houses left in Ireland, Westport House was built by the Browne family whose connections to Mayodate back to the 1500s.

The historical importance of Westport House means that in 2021, it was awarded Fáilte Ireland’s Platforms for Growth grant for Heritage and Cultural Attractions, worth €20.2 million. The funding is part of an ongoing, ambitious master plan that will transform Westport Estate into a world-class tourism destination and visitor attraction. 

So, how can you visit this beautiful house and its gardens?

One of the ways of doing so is to buy a Viator Westport House & Gardens ticket.

This way, you will be able to take in all three floors of this historic house, the formal rooms on the main floor, the bedroom floors and exhibitions as well as the basement which even features dungeons. With over 30 rooms on show in this family-owned home, you’ll love getting an insight into life in the big house.

Go horseback riding in the Irish countryside 

A mother and daughter with their horses in Mayo

This small-group tour from Viator promises an amazing time. You can choose between two different tour lengths and set out on horseback to ride along with the beach with sweeping views of Clew Bay. Explore the coastline at a leisurely pace and admire views of local landmarks including Croagh Patrick and the Seals Rock.

Isn’t this a perfect addition to the Mayo destination guide?

Electric bike hire to explore the Wild Atlantic Way

Two electric cycles outside a place of tourist interest in Mayo

You can hire an electric bike and make the most of your trip exploring the Wild Atlantic Way. This offer from Viator helps you do exactly that.

You will be using quality electric bikes with a 100-mile range. The tour operators pick you up from where you are at your time and drop you back when you want. No waiting for a bus or others. You are given choices and advice on local trails that only you will be on. They will also have a support vehicle that will help if needed and replace a bike quickly so you can just enjoy the scenery.

Where2eat

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Mayo. Just to get you going, we have three suggestions, and of course, you will find yourself exploring and trying out more. You will find that these places offer Irish as well as international cuisine and will keep you happy and well-fed during your trip!

Let us know what you think about our destination guide to Mayo, and if there’s something you want us to include or elaborate on, give us a shout!

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