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Minaun Heights Achill: Map, Parking + Cliffs

Minaun Heights Achill: Map, Parking + Cliffs

It’s up at Minaun Heights on Achill that you’ll be treated to a 360 panoramic view that rivals many of the Wild Atlantic Way’s finest.

From the Mweelin Road, it’s around 2.9km to the top via a reasonably good, yet very steep, tarmac path.

Below, you’ll find some warnings (please take note of these) along with the different viewpoints. Enjoy!

Some quick need-to-knows about Minaun Heights


Although a visit here is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Minaun Heights sits more or less in the centre of Achill Island and stretches to the island’s west coast. It’s a 30-minute drive from Mulranny, a 45-minute drive from Newport and a 1-hour drive from Westport.

2. Driving, walking + cycling

When you take the turn off the Mweelin Road, it’s roughly 2.9km to the top. Here’s some key info:

  • Driving: 6 minutes
  • Walking: 58 minutes
  • Cycling: 35 minutes

2. Parking

You’ll find a spacious car park at the top of Minaun (handy for those with limited mobility). From the car park, you can walk to the summit in around 15 minutes or so.


3. Please drive slowly

The drive to the top follows a winding, narrow track that offers spectacular views as it steadily climbs the hill. Translation: it’s easy to get distracted. This road is used by walkers and cyclists, so please use caution.

4. The weather can make/spoil the view

The views from Minaun Heights on a clear, sunny day are fantastic. You can see across the entire island for miles, enjoying the sight of the sparkling blue sea crashing against golden bays and craggy cliffs. But, it can be foggy and misty up the top, which spoils the views if it’s too thick.

5. Part of the Atlantic Drive

Minaun Heights viewpoint is a key stop on the Atlantic Drive, a superb road that covers all the best sights and attractions on Achill Island. You can drive or cycle the route, but if you’re on a bike, be prepared for a lung busting ride to the top of Minaun.


What to expect from a visit up to Minaun Heights

Minaun Heights Achill

Photos via Shutterstock

It may be a little bit of a detour, but it really is worth checking out Minaun Heights if you find yourself on Achill.

Need a little more convincing? Here’s what to expect.

1. The narrow road that leads to it

For avid road trippers, the narrow road that takes you up to the viewpoint is a joy to drive.

I’ve done this several times and, while the road up is reasonably enjoyable to spin along, it’s the journey down that’s worth writing home about.

You’ll take in all the views that were behind you as you made your way up the road.


2. The 360 views

The panoramas from the top of Minaun Heights are unrivalled when it comes to showcasing the beauty of Achill Island.

On one side, you’ll see the stunning Keel Bay stretching out below the Minaun Cliffs, while looking behind you showcases the majestic White Cliffs of Ashleam.

On a clear day, you can easily see the tropical-looking Keem Bay and the peaks of both Slievemore and Croaghaun.


3. A sunset stunner

Get up to Minaun Heights to catch one of the best sunsets you could hope for.

Whether you’re planning to take an award-winning photograph or simply relish the sight of the sinking sun, there are few better places.

Being alone on the peak as the red disco of the sun sets or rises offers an almost mystical experience.


Things to do near Minaun Heights

One of the beauties of Minaun Heights is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit on Achill.

I’d recommend you follow the Atlantic Drive outlined in the map above as it’ll ensure you follow a logical route around the island.


1. Keel Beach (20-minute drive)

keel beach achill

Photos via Shutterstock

Keel Beach can clearly be seen from Minaun Heights, a long stretch of golden sand running from the bottom of Minaun Cliffs to Keel village.

It’s one of the most popular beaches on Achill Island and offers a clatter of things to do.


2. White Cliffs of Ashleam (20-minute drive)

Ashleam Cliffs

Photos via Shutterstock

The White Cliffs of Ashleam viewpoint is another place that’s well worth seeking out.

The jagged cliffs seem to slice into the crashing ocean, while the bright white rock face contrasts with the vivid blue ocean.

There are also fantastic views through the valley behind to the peaks beyond.


3. Keem Bay (30-minute drive)

keem bay

Photos via Shutterstock

The road to Keem Bay is another stunning one, cutting across the shoulder of the mighty Croaghaun. Keem boasts another Blue Flag Beach and almost tropical scenery.

The gorgeous golden sands meet an azure sea, all neatly tucked in between rolling green slopes.


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