Aasleagh Falls In Mayo: Parking, Reaching Them + The David Attenborough Link

aasleagh falls galway
Photo left: Bernd Meissner. Photo right: RR Photo (Shutterstock)

If you’re debating a visit to Aasleagh Falls in Mayo, you’ve landed in the right place.

If you’re looking for somewhere to head for a picnic near Killary Fjord, Aasleagh Falls near Leenane village is just the job.

Especially impressive after rain, the cascade is located on the River Erriff just before it meets with the glacial fjord.

In the guide below, you’ll discover everything you need to know about visiting Aasleagh Falls, from where to park to how to reach them!

About Aasleagh Falls

Aasleagh Falls
Photo by Big Smoke Studio

Aasleagh Falls sit just 1km north of the Galway and Mayo County border. The wide cascade falls over a rocky ledge on the River Erriff and plunges just a few metres down.

The river continues and eventually meets with Killary Harbour not far away. Aasleagh Falls is a popular stop for people visiting the fjord (the Killary Harbour boats tours are worth doing).

It also makes for a great place to have a picnic and stretch the legs to the sound of flowing water. It’s also popular for salmon fishing, especially from June until September. 

Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Aasleagh Falls in Mayo

Photo by Kevin George on Shutterstock

So, a visit to Aasleagh Falls should be reasonably straightforward, but there are several important need-to-knows.

Pay particular attention to the safety warnings and the information on reaching the waterfall (there’s one entrance).

1. Aasleagh Falls parking

Just a couple of kilometres north of the village of Leenane, take the turnoff onto the R335. There are two parking areas on either side of the R335 within easy reach of the falls. There’s plenty of space there for quite a few cars.

2. Safety (take note!)

The parking area for Aasleagh Falls is located right on a sweeping bend in the road. This can be dangerous when you’re trying to cross over to reach the falls and the path to the viewing area. You should also be careful when driving on this road, as people tend to walk along the edge to try and view the falls from the road. 

3. Getting to Aasleagh Falls

After parking your car, you have to cross the road and walk towards the falls. You can see them from a distance, so it’s not too difficult to know where to go. There’s a gate you need to walk through which leads downwards towards the water (not the big metal gate with a no parking sign though!). 

4. Muck, muck and more muck!

There’s no official distinct path to get to Aasleagh Falls, which means that it can get VERY mucky, especially when the area has received a lot of rain. If you’re visiting during or after rain, be aware that you’ll get very dirty so you might want to take a change of runners with you.

5. The David Attenborough visit

If you’re a David Attenborough fan, then you might recall his visit to Aasleagh Falls. He was perched on top of the waterfall, recounting the life history of the eel with his BBC crew a few years ago.

Things to do near Aasleagh Falls

aasleagh falls galway
Photo left: Bernd Meissner. Photo right: RR Photo (Shutterstock)

One of the beauties of visiting Aasleagh Falls in Mayo is that it’s close to many other things to see and do.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to do near Aasleagh Falls, including where to grab some food and coffee.

1. Grab some lunch in Leenane

Photos via Blackberry Restaurant on Facebook

This small village at the head of Killary Fjord is your best bet for some lunch. It’s just 4km south of Aasleagh Falls. You can try the Blackberry Restaurant, which is right in the middle of the town, or the Leenane Hotel for fine dining with local produce. 

2. Try the Killary Fjord Boat Tour

Photo by Kit Leong on Shutterstock

If you want to enjoy the scenery of the nearby fjord, then Killary Fjord tour out on the water is the ideal way to do it. These tours run with multiple departures daily from April until October.

From Nancy’s Point, the boats take you out onto the harbour and towards the mouth. You can enjoy the spectacular scenery and even have the chance of seeing dolphins swimming alongside the boat.

3. Do the Leenane to Louisburgh drive

Photo by RR Photo on Shutterstock

The Leenane to Louisburgh drive is one of the best drives in Ireland. The incredibly stunning road trip goes from icy lakes to rugged mountains and even through open country.

The stunning landscape is out of this world and you’ll want to take your time to enjoy it. The drive goes from Leenane and conveniently passes by Aasleagh Falls which is worth a stop, before it continues on to Louisburgh.

4. Visit Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey Ireland
Photo by Chris Hill

The striking Kylemore Abbey and walled gardens on Pollacapall Lough in County Galway are an incredible sight. It was originally built in 1867 and then became a home to Benedictine Nuns in 1920.

The beautiful estate is open to visitors all year round so you can wander through the grounds and take in the church, abbey, gardens, tea room and craft shop.

There’s also heaps of other things to do in Connemara, like Dog’s Bay Beach, Inishbofin Island, Ballynahinch Castle, Omey Island and some of the best walks in Galway.

Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.

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