Wild Atlantic Way in Mayo
Near Mulranny Park Hotel
The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2500km (1500 miles) driving route, stretching from Malin Head in County Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork along Ireland’s western seaboard. It was launched in February 2014 by Junior Minister for Tourism Minister Michael Ring and it traverses the entire rugged and spectacular west coast of Ireland from Cork through counties Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim to Donegal. In Mayo, the Wild Atlantic Way is a 543km coastal drive and much of Mayo’s spectacular natural scenery lies along it. Travel from Mayo to Clare, taking in Killary Harbour, Derrigimlagh Bog and the Cliffs of Moher, part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark. This route is approximately 527km (327 miles). The closest airports are Shannon, Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) or Dublin. If you’re travelling by ferry, start your adventure in Belfast or Dublin.
In Mayo, there are thirty-one Discovery Points and two of them are indicated as Signature Points: Keem Strand, Achill Island and Downpatrick Head. Mayo County Council has outlined the early stage plan to construct the “Achill Skywalk” which is a glass lookout point extending out over Moiteóg Head, Keem Bay. Mulranny is situated in a prime location on the Wild Atlantic Way. Drive across the road bridge to County Mayo’s Achill Island, with its towering sea-cliffs, exposed mountains and sweeping sandy beaches. Sheltering under Slievemore Mountain, you can wander through a strange and long abandoned settlement known simply as the Deserted Village. If you’d like to find out more about this beautifully haunting place, you can book a guided tour with expert archaeologists from the Achill Archaeological Field School who work on a dig here every summer. Or, if you prefer, simply walk from cottage to cottage, imagining life here through the centuries in this remote and poignant spot.
Embracing the Wild Atlantic Way
Near Mulranny Park Hotel
With Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way Route, Clew Bay and the Atlantic ocean to one side and the majestic Croagh Patrick Mountain on the other side, be sure to visit the Old Head beach and nature reserve and woodlands for some relaxing walks or if you are feeling more energetic why not walk the famous Pilgrim Path to the summit of Croagh Patrick mountain at 764 metres (2,507 ft) or alternatively just have a look at the visitor centre or take a few photos from Murrisk viewpoint.
Originally a pagan pilgrimage mountain since 3,000 BC, in particular during the summer solstice, it like many pagan sites in Irelands, were adopted and converted to a Christian pilgrimage site and is associated with Saint Patrick who is said to have fasted on the summit for forty days in the 5th century. Sitting on potentially over 300,000 ozs of gold worth nearly €400m Croagh Patrick really is a special mountain.
Even if you haven’t cycled in years just go for it and hire a bike for the unmissable Great Western Greenway off-road walking and cycling path which starts in the picture-perfect town of Westport, heading north for nearly 45km (27 miles) along the coast passing Newport and Mulranny (or Mallaranny) all the way to Achill Island with great Clew Bay views for much of the ride and if fishing is your thing there are great coastal fishing spots along the coast. South of Mulranny visit the local Blue Flag beach or continue to a site commemorating the area where 5 ships from the Spanish Armada floundered in 1588.
The San Nicolas Prodaneli and El Gran Grin ships both sank here at the mouth of Clew Bay carrying nearly 700 men and it is thought that only 16 sailors survived and like many other old wrecks along Irelands Wild Atlantic Way coast, it is likely that the survivors were quickly enslaved or killed by locals.