Visiting Achill Island – beaches, historical architecture and the Deserted Village

Trawmore Beach, ©chrispd1975/Flickr

Trawmore Beach, ©chrispd1975/Flickr

Achill Island is the largest island of Ireland which is located off the coasts of Mayo County. The island is abundant in history, packed with lots of evidence showing the presence of humans going back about 4000 years. Achill has beautiful and long sandy beaches which are never far away from any point on the island.

Visit the small deserted coves and walk along soaring cliffs. The island is surrounded by clear Atlantic water which peacefully shines in the summer sun. If you pick the right moment you can catch some huge waves and catch sight of the lovely visitors of the island, the whales and the dolphins.

Sights around the island

There are so many things to see on Achill Island: megalithic tombs, holy wells, deserted villages, ruins and early Christian monastic settlements, and others.

Achill Island, ©IrishFireside/Flickr

Achill Island, ©IrishFireside/Flickr

Granuiale’s Tower

Visit a tower house from the 15th century built by Grace O’Malley, an Irish pirate queen. Not far from the tower, at Kildavnet you will find a church from the 12th century and a medieval cemetery.

The Deserted Village

At Slievemore and its mountain there is a place called the Deserted Village, with about 100 stone cottages, which are abandoned since the second half of the 19th century. Its residents became mostly victims of eviction or famine and many of them emigrated to America. Around the village there are many megalithic tombs to be found dating back to the Neolithic period.

Deserted Village of Slievemore, ©Rambling Traveler/Flickr

Deserted Village of Slievemore, ©Rambling Traveler/Flickr

Best beaches

Some of the top beaches in Ireland can be found on Achill Island. The most significant and worth mentioning is Trawmore, the beaches of Dooega and the one at Keem. If you like surfing there are plenty of opportunities for it on Achill, especially on the beach of Trawmore.

Trawmore Beach, ©chrispd1975/Flickr

Trawmore Beach, ©chrispd1975/Flickr

If you prefer a swim in freshwater or you would like to try kite surfing for a change, we recommend you to visit Keel Lake.

Spectacular scenery

For those who like a challenge and enjoy walking, we strongly recommend Annagh, a remote and adventurous part of the island which can be accessed only by foot. After that you can visit the lowest glacial lake of Ireland: Lough Nakeeroge. You can set up your tent nearby but beware for there are several local tales about ghosts and strange happenings so if you are easy to be scared you might not want to take shelter under the open sky…

 

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