Westport in County Mayo sits right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It remains s somewhat hidden holiday spot despite its beautiful location next to mountain and ocean retreats and its exceptionally friendly locals.
Here are 5 favourite recommendations to make the most out of the town and countryside.
1. Summit Croagh Patrick, the Holy Mountain
The Holy Mountain
is located just outside of Westport Village. It has been a significant place of pilgrimage for many centuries and continues to attract thousands of pilgrims every year on Reek Sunday
, when many devotees make the hazardous climb in bare feet.
It takes an average climber about 4-5 hours to summit and descend the mountain. The mountain is not very tall (2510 feet/765m), but it is quite steep in many places (especially on the ascent) and covered in slippery loose rock. Good footwear and walking sticks are highly recommended. The constant sliding on stone makes the climb more difficult than it looks on first glance, but the views from the summit are certainly worthwhile.
2. Westport House
Sunflowers at Westport House
, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland
353 (0)98 27766
Historic Westport House
was built upon the foundations of a castle belonging to Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connacht. Thirty rooms are on display inside the house and visitors may also walk the grounds, which contain gardens and a boating lake. The house caters to families with young children offering a Pirate Adventure Park
, train tour
, and family-focused camping
3. Ruins of the Wild Atlantic Way
Along the Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way
is a coastal route winding through exceptionally stunning scenery across 9 counties. You can pick up part of the route in Westport to enjoy the seascape, explore abandoned ruins, and encounter country village life.
4. National Famine Monument
At the base of Croagh Patrick, is the sombre National Famine Monument
. The coffin ship sculpture composed of skeletons points toward Clew Bay. Despite its remembrance of a ghastly time in Irish history and its setting in famine lands, the monument is quite picturesque.
5. Coffee at The Creel
Westport is home to many delightful cafes and award-winning restaurants. The Creel
, located at Westport Quay overlooking the water, specializes in breakfast, brunch, and lunch
. Selections include full Irish breakfast (€10.90), American blueberry pancakes (€9), seafood chowder with home-baked bread (€6.50), and gourmet sandwiches.