Achill Island and Clew Bay

Belmullet to Westport

This section of the Wild Atlantic Way brings us through „Pirate country“ along the shores of Granuaile's or Grace O'Malley's pirate kingdom. The Pirate Queen's home of Carraigahowley Castle (also know as Rockfleet Castle) and Kildavnet Castle on Achill Island are well worth exploring.

Achill Island is Ireland's largest island and it is accessible from the mainland by bridge. The island represents the west coast in miniature form: majestic mountains, clear lakes, expanses of bogs, long unspoilt sandy beaches, picturesque villages and the highest sea cliffs of Ireland. The Atlantic Dive, boasting some of the most impressive views of the Atlantic, goes along the south west coast of Achill. This coast road along the cliff edge has fantastic views of Clew Bay. On Achill's west side lies the secluded Keem beach, a sight to behold coming down the cliff-top road.

Continuing the journey from Achill to Westport you pass along Clew Bay which, according to tradition, has 365 islands – one for every day of the year. No wonder Grace O'Malley, the fearless sea pirate used this bay as her own.