There are plenty of things to do in Belmullet, regardless of what time of the year you visit (although the drier summer months are best!).
Beautiful Belmullet is the capital of the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) region of Erris on the Mullet Peninsula in Mayo.
Visitors are drawn to the beautiful sandy beaches, Carne Golf Links, unspoiled natural beauty and Blue Flag waters teeming with marine-life. There’s something here for everyone!
In the guide below, you’ll discover lots of things to do in Belmullet along with heaps of places to explore nearby.
Our favourite things to do in Belmullet
The first section of our guide tackles our favourite things to do in Belmullet, from food and beaches to some of the most popular places to visit in Mayo.
The second section of the guide tackles things to do near Belmullet (within a reasonable driving distance, that is!)
1. Kick start your visit with something tasty from An Builin Blasta
An Builin Blasta is a café, bakery and hot bread shop owned and run by the O’Donoghue family. They’ve been practicing their baking and bread-making since 1932 and have pretty much mastered the art!
Using high-quality ingredients they create cakes for special events as well as everyday sweet and savoury treats – just right for picking up before a hike or road trip.
2. Then take a spin out to Dun na mBó
Speaking of road trips, Dun na mBó is 8km northwest of Belmullet and it’s a spectacular blowhole to check out (just be careful and keep your distance!). The site is overlooked by a massive sculpture/viewing point designed by American artist, Travis Price.
Appropriately, it is dedicated to those lost at sea off this stormy coast. Less well-known than the Downpatrick Head blowhole, it is just as fascinating at high tide and is one of the Discovery Points on the Wild Atlantic Way. There’s clifftop parking a short walk from the blowhole.
3. Or tip on out to Blacksod Bay
The Mullet Peninsula is home to some of the best beaches in Mayo. One of our favourites is the beach (and many little islets) at Blacksod Bay along with a granite lighthouse complex marking the bay’s entrance.
The sheltered bay offers safe anchorage and is backed by sand dunes. It’s a popular beach for walking, watersports and boat trips to the Inishkea Islands. Blacksod Lighthouse was built in 1864.
It was from here that the weather warnings from the lighthouse keepers fortuitously delayed the Normandy Landings by a day. The buildings were badly damaged by a rogue wave in 1989 but are still inhabited.
4. Take a spin over to the Inishkea Islands
Just off the Mullet Peninsula coastline, the two Inishkea Islands (north and South) may have been named after Saint Kea who once lived there. Inishkea means Goose Island, and the islands are home to many Barnacled Geese.
At one time the islands were noted for pagan traditions focusing on a terracotta statue known as Naomhog in Irish.
In summer, you can take boat trips to the islands with Belmullet Boat Tours. If you’re looking for unique things to do on the Mullet Peninsula, this should be right up your street.
5. Conquer the cold at the Belmullet Tidal Pool
If the Atlantic’s a tad choppy for a dip, you might prefer jumping into Belmullet Tidal Pool just a short walk from the town on Shore Road.
This man-made enclosed pool is tidal and deep enough to swim. Swimming and water safety lessons are offered in the summer and lifeguards are present during the tourist season.
Active things to do in Belmullet and nearby
Now that we have our favourite things to do in Belmullet out of the way, it’s time to look at some other great activities and places to visit in Belmullet and close by.
Below, you’ll find everything from walks and hikes to waterfalls, woodland walks and much, much more. Dive on in.
1. The Erris Head Loop Walk
The best way to explore the Erris headland is on the 5.1km Erris Head Loop. It’s a relatively quiet loop trail near Béal an Mhuirthead, suitable for most fitness levels with just a 172m total incline.
The trail provides you with the chance to see flora, sea birds and wildlife. Sea views extend to the watchtower and EIRE 64 marker. Note that dogs are not permitted due to sheep grazing.
2. Or the very rewarding Cross Loops Walk
Said to be where scenery and legend collide, the Cross Loops Walk on the Mullet Peninsula offers wonderful coastal scenery. The walk starts as you traverse Cross Beach at low tide to Corruan Point.
It takes about 35 minutes, providing lovely views of the holy islands of Inishglora (where the Children of Lir are said to be buried) and Inishkeeragh, both steeped in Celtic mythology.
Part of the Wild Atlantic Way, the walk offers a 5.7km Green Loop and a 7.6km Blue Loop. Both routes are signposted with stunning views are guaranteed.
3. Stroll along the sand at Elly Bay
Elly Bay is a lovely place for a ramble and you’ll find it about 9km from Belmullet. It runs along the Atlantic (east) side of the narrow peninsula for over a kilometre with views across to the Inishkea Islands.
This Blue Flag beach has a bank of smooth stones and golden sand exposed at low tide. It’s fairly sheltered and is popular for swimming, sailing, kite-surfing and watersports. The sand dunes are an area of ecological importance and has a wealth of wildlife and birds.
4. Or ramble along the often overlooked Cross Beach
Just west of Binghamstown, Cross Beach is a quiet beach often overlooked as most folks stop at Belderra Strand which is popular for surfing.
But press on to Cross Beach and you won’t be disappointed. Park at the graveyard surrounding the ruins of Cross Abbey Church.
Stretching out, Cross Beach looks across to the Inishkea Islands. Walk the sandy beach at low tide (there’s a Loop Walk back through the dunes) and time your visit for sunset – it’s magnificent!
5. Try one of the Carrowteige Loop Walks
The remote Carrowteige Loop Walks are considered by hikers to be among the most spectacular in Ireland (especially the Benwee Head Loop). The trails runs along the clifftop overlooking beautiful Broadhaven Bay and end near the impressive Stags of Broadhaven.
Park in the village of Carrowteige at the Summer School and take one of 3 colour coded routes. The Green Loop is the shortest; the Blue Children of Lir Loop (highly recommended!) is 10km and the Red Black Ditch Loop is 13km.
6. Saunter along Doolough Strand
Doolough Strand near the village of Geesala is one of the prettiest in Mayo, and that’s saying something!
The curving sand stretches for several kms with views of the Mullet Peninsula and Achill Island. The firm sand hosts the Doolagh Horse Races each August.
7. Or the very fine Aughleam Beach
At the southern end of the Mullet Peninsula, the startling white sands of Aughleam (Eachléim) Beach are a hidden gem.
Just past Aughleam village on the R313, there’s a car park and picnic area overlooking the beach which stretches away into the distance. It’s a lovely spot for swimming and picking cockles and mussels in season.
8. Give watersports a crack
There’s a modern UISCE Adventure Centre in Erris which teaches both the Irish language and adventure sports. What a great combination!
Experienced trainers offer lessons and equipment for canoeing, certificated sailing classes (ISA 1, 2 and 3) and windsurfing. Surrounded by breathtaking coastal beauty it’s a wonderful place to learn a new sport.
Things to do near Belmullet
If you’re looking for places to visit near Belmullet, you’re in luck – there’s lots of nearby attractions that are well worth a visit.
Below, you’ll find everything from Wild Nephin and Dun Briste to the Ceide Fields and much, much more.
1. Ballycroy National Park (30-minute drive)
Ballycroy National Park is 36km or so southeast of Belmullet and this expansive park in the Owenduff/Nephin Mountains is famous for its huge peatland (over 117km2). Ideal for hiking, salmon fishing and nature-spotting, Ballycroy is also a breeding site for rare birds. Keep your binoculars handy to spot whooper swans, corncrakes and peregrine falcons.
2. The Ceide Fields (35-minute drive)
Head 40km east along the coast from Belmullet to reach the Ceide Fields, a remarkable prehistoric site which stands on cliffs 113 metres above the Atlantic Ocean. The stone enclosures are thought to be the oldest-known field system in the world.
Along with the foundations of a settlement, the field system was discovered by accident in the 1930s. It is now a top visitor attraction with an award-winning Visitor Centre and guided tours of this ancient site.
3. Downpatrick Head (45-minute drive)
Another stunning coastal attraction nearby is the incredible Downpatrick Head and it’s beautifully impressive sea stack – Dun Briste. The sea stack is a short walk from the car park, and the area is steeped in history. Learn more here.
What to do in Belmullet: Where have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant things to do in Belmullet from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about the best things to do in Belmullet
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from active things to do in Belmullet to where to visit nearby.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best things to do in Belmullet?
I’d argue that the best things to do in Belmullet are to take a spin out to Dun na mBó, visit one of the peninsulas’ many beaches, conquer the cold at the Belmullet Tidal Pool and take a spin over to the Inishkea Islands.
Is Belmullet worth a visit?
If you’re looking to experience wild, unspoiled scenery and a quieter side to Ireland, then Belmullet is well worth considering.
Where is there to visit close to Belmullet?
There’s an endless number of places to visit near Belmullet, from Downpatrick Head and the Ceide Fields to Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park and more.
Gillian Birch is a travel writer and published author. She has travelled the world and uses her personal journals and memories to write about her many travel experiences, particularly those that involved adventures in Ireland.