Itend to find myself in Mayo more than any other Irish county.
Mainly because a friend of mine has family there and visits regularly, but it’s also due to the fact that it offers ample adventure and craic related opportunities.
An ideal sunny summers day for me is spent climbing Croagh Patrick in the morning, with the evening whittled away in a beer garden in Westport.
However, if you’re not the hiking type, or if you fancy skipping the pints and soaking up some fresh ocean air, there are countless numbers of great beaches in Mayo just waiting to be explored.
Here’s 9 of my favourite.
1 – Keel Beach
Keel Beach sits at the foot of Achill Head on Achill Island in Mayo. Places like this make me want to abandon life in Dublin and move to the coast.
There’s nothing like strolling along the shore at Keel with a friend, chatting shi*e and admiring the jagged cliffs that tower above you as the cool wind slaps your face.
A great spot for a ramble or, if it tickles your fancy, water sports.
2 – Mullaghroe Beach
You’ll find Mullaghroe Beach around 10km south of the town of Belmullet.
This secluded beach overlooks Blacksod Bay (what a name!) and is ideal for swimming, water sports and birdwatching.
Ramble along the sand and then nip into the the Club House Bar in the Carne Golf Links for a bite to eat after.
3 – Lacken Strand
If you’re after a long aul walk, then a trip to Lacken is a must.
This Mayo beach boasts miles after mile of glorious golden strand which make it perfect for walking… or for lashing around a frisbee.
You can pair a visit to Lacken Strand with the Ceide Fields or Downpatrick Head, as both are located a handy drive from the sand.
4 – Old Head
Old Head is a fine Blue Flag Beach that’s around 3.5km from the lovely little village of Louisburgh.
The beach is overlooked by a woodland to the west and Croagh Patrick to the south. When the tide goes out, countless rock pools that are home to a variety of animals are exposed.
Perfect for those of you with curious kids that are tricky to occupy.
5 – Keem Bay
Keem Bay on Achill Island is one of my favourite places in the world, never mind Ireland.
If you arrive here late in the evening (winter in particular) you’ll often have the whole place all to yourself.
The beach here is small, but it packs a mighty punch.
6 – Kilcummin Back Strand
I stumbled upon Kilcummin Back Strand by complete fluke early last year.
It was early on a Tuesday morning, the place was empty and the sun was shining. It was FREEZING, but my God was it special.
A proper hidden gem on the North Mayo coastline. Make sure you carve out some time in your Ireland itinerary for a visit here.
7 – Ballycastle Beach
Ballycastle is an often missed chunk of Mayo.
Which is crazy considering it’s home to the Ceide Fields, Downpatrick Head and LOTS more – like Ballycastle Beach.
Hit play on the video above and check this beach out. A place that’s guaranteed to banish early morning cobwebs.
8 – Carrowmore Strand
Carrowmore Strand is set between a rocky outcrop in a small bay off Clew Bay.
Those that visit this beach for a ramble will be treated to magnificent views of Clare Island and Achill Island as they trudge along the sand.
9 – Mulranny Beach
Mulranny Beach offers walkers breathtaking views across Clew Bay and out towards Clare Island.
This is another of Mayo’s Blue Flag beaches, so you can expect Lifeguards on duty from June to August every summer.
Another places that’s regularly missed. Make sure to pop it onto your to-conquer list for the year.
Is there a beach in Mayo that we’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below!