Achill Island, Co Mayo

Best Place to Holiday


Nominated by Elizabeth Hickey, who wrote: “At the end of my first Irish summer holiday in 15 years I was surprised that the days had been filled with activities. In Ireland you have to make your own fun … Achill offers the opportunity to do this no matter what the weather.”
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Achill is a beautiful natural landscape of mountains, sea, bog, gorse and heather. The beaches are lovely. The landscape beloved of Paul Henry is somewhat marred by once-off houses, and modern “holiday village” style estates in prominent locations. It seems poorly planned, with accommodation, mostly B&Bs and self-catering, plus a large caravan field in Dugort, dispersed across the island. Achill is a well-trodden tourist destination, and the locals are friendly and outgoing to visitors. The shopping experience is basic but sufficient.

There is a short bridge to the island at Achill Sound if travelling by car. Buses and coaches operate to Castlebar and Westport with connections to Achill. The nearest station is Westport.

The Great Western Greenway safe cycle route runs between Westport and Achill Sound, where it terminates and Clew Bay Bike Hire and Achill Bikes both rent cycles. Good roads for driving and cycling. Though not on the Greenway, it’s a cycle-friendly place (if you can manage the hills) and there are maps and bike stands in lots of prominent locations.

There are lots of low-priced accommodation options: self-catering, B&Bs, camping and hostels. Food prices are not high, but neither are the gourmet standards. The Supervalu and Lavelles in Achill Sound provide the basics

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