"Oilean Acla -- Oilean Draíochta" Top 5 Page for this destination Achill Island by RhineRoll

Achill Island Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 61 photos

Achill Island -- Magical Island!

As I am writing this, my visit to Achill Island is only a week old and I am still overwhelmed with impressions from the island, the sky and the sea.

Let's start with some general information:
Achill Island is Ireland's largest off shore island. It is part of County Mayo at the very northwest end of scenic Clew Bay. A popular, though not (yet) overcrowded holiday destination, Achill Island offers great beaches and excellent coastal scenery. The island's principal settlements, Keel and Dooagh are wound up like a snake along the Island's main road from Achill Sound to Keem Bay. The infrastructure is sufficient for holidaymaking, but when the weather going gets tough, there's not a whole lot to do besides staying inside a (hopefully) cosy cottage or pub.
I was a bit wary about too many fellow Germans visiting the Island but that wasn't the case at all -- most people come from within Ireland (mostly Dubliners, it seems), being followed by the Brits and the French.

Access to Achill Island is via a small bridge across Achill Sound which also is the name of the adjacent settlement, one of the two commercial centres of Achill (the other one being Keel/Dooagh). In theory, this is a turning bridge, but it doesn't look like it's being turned very often!!!

It takes about an hour to get to Achill Island by car from Castlebar, Mayo's county seat. Westport is about the same distance. Galway in the south is roughly 120 km or a two hours drive away. Well, if you are a picture taking maniac like myself it's going to take A LOT longer!!! ;-)

The north eastern corner of Achill is a Gaeltacht (an area where Irish is considered the first language). The Gaeltacht extends itself across the sound to the very wild and bog-dominated landscape of Erris and the Belmullet peninsula which is sealed off from the rest of Mayo by the Nephin Beg range and which is considered one of the few remaining stretches of authentic unspoilt Ireland, whatever that may mean. It's not necessary to know any Gaelic, but a good bilingual map will certainly come in handy!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:stunning scenery reminiscent of the Scottish Outer Hebrides
  • Cons:far out in the west, self sufficiency needed, especially in bad weather
  • In a nutshell:A wonderful holiday experience
  • Last visit to Achill Island: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (15)

Comments (29)

  • May 6, 2011 at 7:13 AM

    Sheep is the evidence! :)

  • Elena77's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    Fabulous place and great photos, too! I've just added this lovely island to my list of places to visit... soon! ; )

  • PALLINA's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2008 at 5:24 AM

    I had never heard about this amazing place; I wish definitely to visit it after reading your page and looking at your stunning pics

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2007 at 8:04 AM

    Great nature & photos! I love the clouds too.

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:45 AM

    Hello Winfried Nice report on colorful Achill island greetz from ghent

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2007 at 8:58 AM

    Glorious colours here. What a lovely place, shame Ireland is so expensive.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2006 at 2:08 PM

    Fabulous stuff. Loved the opening pic, as I'm sure you did. Re the rainbow pic, have you tried cropping the right hand third of it? Cheers.

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2006 at 10:32 PM

    Ireland must be my favourite country in Europe (after Finland) but I have not been to Achill Island yet. I've travelled with my disable sister in Tunisia, Jamaica, Portugal, Crete, St. Petersbourg so your tips were interesting fro me.

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2006 at 12:25 PM

    beautifully writeen and photographed. great stuff

  • Feb 18, 2006 at 2:04 AM

    Your photos here are just stunning - I really must try to visit Ireland again! Great page (and good advice, Uncle Winfried! :))


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