Achill Island vacation rentals
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Your guide to Achill Island
All About Achill Island
Located off the western shores of County Mayo, Achill Island is the largest isle in Ireland, known for its rugged beauty, rich history, and traditional Gaeltacht communities, where the Irish language plays an important role. You’ll discover untamed nature in the jagged cliffs of Croaghaun Mountain rising from the sea while the rolling windswept hills give way to peat bogs. The island’s coastal villages are full of thatched cottages, traditional pubs, and streetside cafes. Beyond the scenery, Achill hosts several important archeological sites like the 15th-century Kildamhnait Castle and the Neolithic tombs that dot the landscape. Achill Island attracts travelers looking to experience traditional Irish culture and seafood, including local salmon and oysters, and the area’s expansive beaches provide plenty of opportunities for surfing, paddling, and swimming. Another way to explore the mystical landscapes and dramatic vistas is by lacing up your boots and taking off on one of the many hikes the island offers.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Achill Island?
The chilly waters of the North Atlantic bring consistent rain throughout the year. In summer, the warmer weather, lighter rainfall, and stunning scenery come together for some of the most splendid conditions in Ireland. Winters tend to be long and cold with heavier rains. Regardless of the time of year, it’s crucial to pack a waterproof jacket and a few layers as there is always a chance of rain and brisk conditions. Summer sees a handful of festivities and events, including the Yawl Festival, a series of weekly races in traditional wooden sailing boats from July to September.
What are the top things to do in Achill Island?
Slievemore Deserted Village
Just outside of the village of Keel in the island’s northern region is Slievemore Deserted Village. Dozens of ruined stone cottages and farms sit on an archeological site that dates back more than 5,000 years. You can wander the area and explore the remains of Neolithic burial sites and the cottages at the base of Slievemore Mountain.
Slí Grainne Mhaol
More than four miles of hiking paths make up the Slí Grainne Mhaol loop, one of Ireland’s most beautiful walking trails. The route cuts inland on the sheltered southeast side of the island along undulating hills and stark coastal cliffs. For a post-trek reward, stop for a pint and a plate of oysters at one of the pubs near the trailhead.
You’ll find surfers, divers, beachcombers, and horseback riders on this sprawling sandy shoreline. Over two miles long, just outside of the village of Keel, the beach has become a magnet for ocean-bound adventurers. Keel Beach is also a scenic spot for sunbathing or simply enjoying a sunset picnic while the waves lap the shore.