From date is bigger than To date
Mayo is fast becoming an adventure hub. Rugged coastlines, rivers, and mountains provide ample opportunity for a wide range of land and water-based activities.
Since the development of the Greenway, cycling is no longer only the purview of the lycra-clad, but has taken hold of the mainstream imagination. Hiking and walking never went out of fashion in this county and the Western Way has long been enjoyed by serious walkers. Beginning in Galway, its Mayo portion extends to a 150 km walking route from the fjord of Killary Harbour near Leenaun to Lough Talt at the base of the Ox Mountains on the Sligo border. Rugged mountains and dense forests are just some of its pleasures. Wandering down leafy lanes and alongside streams, treading carefully through desolate bogs, this 5-day walk slows time and brings nature into full focus. At the end-point, you will see and hear a wide range of birds, wild ducks, swans and dippers around Lough Talt, a lake which boasts an abundance of brown trout.
Mayo’s 10 blue flag beaches--among the most beautiful in Europe-- entice swimmers and walkers and the stunning sight of horses trotting through the low tide is not uncommon. For the regulars at Carrowniskey Strand, just south of Louisburgh surfing is not just a hobby, but a way of life. So much so that a full service surf school operates all year round from here. Along the coast you will encounter people engaged in all forms of water-based activities including sailing, kayaking, water-skiing, wakeboarding, scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and water trampolining. Around Achill Island don’t be surprised to see hang gliders soaring from the high cliffs of Minaun Heights and landing on Trá Mór Beach, beside Keel. Windsurfers are also drawn to Achill, as well as to Westport and Killary Harbour.
Mayo is a natural centre for outdoor pursuits. With stunning scenery, from fields to forests to mountains and cycle paths to nature reserves, locals and visitors alike have fully embraced the extraordinary opportunities Mayo’s natural surroundings offer for hiking, climbing, horse-riding, walking, cycling, fishing and golfing.
Mayo’s wide open spaces are conducive to the traditional sports of clay-pigeon shooting which takes place in Erris and archery. Mayo Archery Club meets around the county. To get a sense of the unflinching loyalty and commitment whcih Gaelic football and hurling inspire, just drop in to any club match and have your allegiance tested. GAA is at the heart of sporting life and is important to the identity of Mayo people.
To try something a little different, a short ferry to Clare Island, home of the notorious pirate queen Grace O’Malley, will open up a world of outdoor adventure pursuits such as abseiling, raft building and racing. An afternoon snorkelling introduces the beautiful underwater world in all its glory. For high energy adventure, Clare Island offers coasteering, a sport which combines rock-scrambling with cliff jumping, sea-swimming and exploring caves. If fishing, rambling, running, cycling or horse-riding is more your style, take your pick of places to engage with nature while enjoying your sport of choice in spectacular terrain. And whatever floats your boat--if it involves water--Mayo is an ideal place to dive in.