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The 2024 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

The 2024 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

Day 16 (Mayo) – Croagh Patrick, beaches, the most extensive Stone Age monument on earth and lots more

Day 16 sees us head off and conquer one of my favourite hikes in Ireland, before heading for lunch in Westport and then heading out to see the Céide Fields and Donwpatrick Head.

We’ll be sleeping in Sligo (there’s a grand aul ring to that) on night 16 of our Ireland road trip.

1 – Croagh Patrick

// Achill Island to Croagh Patrick – 1-hour drive (arrive for 09:00) //

Climbing Croagh Patrick is hands-down one of my favourite things to do in Ireland.

Considered to be Ireland’s holiest mountain, Croagh Patrick is renowned for its Pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron Saint.

Stretching back a whopping 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption, the pilgrimage takes place on the last Sunday of July.

The last time I visited, it took us around 3 and a half hours to get to the top and back down again.

2 – Lunch in Westport

// Allow 4 hours to finish the hike and arrive in Westport for 13:00 //

Westport co mayo

Photo by Tourism Ireland

You’ll be in need of a serious feed after that hike.

I’m going to recommend you head to J.J O’Malleys Bar & Restaurant for a bite to eat but here’s a map of all of the best places to eat in the area – just zoom in on Westport.

Fuel up and have a ramble around the town before heading back to the car.

3 – The Céide Fields

// Westport to the Céide Fields – 1 hour and 20-minute drive (arrive for 15:30) //

Beneath the boglands of North Mayo lies the incredible Céide Fields – the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world.

the Céide Fields county mayo

Photo by Peter McCabe

The Céide Fields consist of field systems, dwelling areas and megalithic tombs.

The magnificent stone walled fields, which extend over thousands of acres, are a whopping 6,000 years old.

the Céide Fields

Photo by Peter McCabe

Enjoy the drive on the way from Westport and then nip into the Céide Fields visitor centre for a ramble around.

4 – Downpatrick Head

// The Céide Fields to Downpatrick Head – 20-minute drive (arrive for 16:50)

Downpatrick Head is one of my favourite places to visit in Mayo.

Jutting out of the ocean and rising roughly 40m above the wild Atlantic waves, Downpatrick Head treats visitors to unparalleled views of the enormous Sea Stack known as Dún Briste.

Dun Briste and the surrounding cliffs were formed 350 million years ago when sea temperatures were higher.

There’s something incredible about standing out near the edge of the cliff (be very damn careful!) and gazing out at 350 years’ worth of exposed rock.

Enjoy every minute.

5 – Rosses Point for the evening

// Downpatrick Head to your hotel for the night – 1 hour and 30-minute drive (arrive for 19:00) //

We’ve a long aul drive to finish off the day.

We’re going to point the car in the direction of Sligo and check into Yeats Country Hotel, Spa & Leisure Club for the night.

Enjoy the spa, chill in your room and head down for a feed in their restaurant for the evening.

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Leeann Nolan

Wednesday 15th of November 2023

Hi Keith Thank you so much for all the work you have done on The Irish Road Trip. I have used much of it to plan my 7 week trip to Ireland in 2024. It has been invaluable :)

Mick Bourke

Sunday 24th of September 2023

G’day Keith-thanks for your trip. My wife and I will be over there in late April and most of May (about a month in total before heading to Scotland for a couple of weeks). I think I’ll be using your trip (which is great (as also is the additional info at the bottom)) as the basis for ours, however, I would like to do abit more of the inland (like a figure eight of the island). Do you have any suggestions?

Keith O'Hara

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Hey Mick,

Is there anywhere in particular you have in mind with the inland section?



MIchael Katekar

Tuesday 11th of July 2023

A big thank you for all of the time and hard work you have put into this blog. Great information. I don't think we can keep up with your pace but will certainly take up many of your suggestions.

Isabella Dennison

Sunday 26th of March 2023

Good day Keith,

Wow, what an amazing work you've done! I'm forever grateful!!! Please can you email this to me. We are planning to explore Ireland for the first time this year 2023, all the way from South Africa.

Thank you

Keith O'Hara

Monday 27th of March 2023

Thanks Isabell!

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply!

I've tried to get this converted to PDF on a number of occasions, but the result is very messy due to the volume of photos in it.

If there's any specific questions that I can help with, please fire them on and I'll do my best to answer them.


Jodie Wilson

Sunday 26th of March 2023

First retirement trip. Ireland for a month! Go big or go home. So excited to start this new chapter in our lives - and to hit the roads of Ireland. This guide is perfect - but I’d love a more readable copy if you could email it to me.

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