The West coast of Ireland offers some of the best scenery the country has to offer making it the ultimate Irish staycation destination! If you only have a couple of days to explore this part of Ireland then here are some of the highlights to make the most of your time here.
DAY 1- 2:
Doolin, County Clare
Doolin is quaint town in County Clare, known as the gateway to the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands. Here you can enjoy scenic cliff walks along the Wild Atlantic Way, join a cruise to the Islands or along the famous Cliffs or simply enjoy a pint and live music in the well known O’Connor’s pub. The famous pink thatched roof house is where you can pick up a genuine Aran Sweater and other Irish merchandise.
EAT: O’Connor’s pub for pub grub
Cliffs of Moher
If you have not been to the Cliffs of Moher yet, you should definitely make the trip whilst exploring Clare. The Cliffs are UNESCO world heritage site and for good reason, you can walk along the cliffs for stunning views of this unusual rock formation. Get here early to avoid the crowds! Check out the visitor centre for stunning photography exhibitions and gift shop.
Lahinch, County Clare
Lahinch town has a resort feel with many people holidaying here throughout the summer months so expect it to be busy. Lahinch Beach is one of the most well known surfing beaches in Ireland. Here you will find numerous surfing schools where you can either rent a surf board or book in for a lesson.
EAT: Dodi Cafe do a great coffee and loaded avocado toast.
STAY: There are a ton of airbnbs in the area with gorgeous coastal views.
On your journey towards Galway, you will pass through the unique landscape of the Burren region where you can visit the Ailwee Caves or stop off at the Hazel Mountain Chocolate factory where the air is filled with the smell of chocolate. Here you can have a look in their chocolate shop, see a chocolate making demonstration or grab a hot chocolate or coffee from their beautiful cafe.
If you have never explored Galway city, it is worth a stop off! Take a walk up the pedestrianized streets to find Irish pubs with a lot of character. Stop off in Galway for a swim in Salt hill or dive off from the Blackrock diving board.
Westport, County Mayo
The town of Westport has a lot of character and is located close to the popular Croagh Patrick Mountain hike. On a clear day, you can take in the views of the Islands from the top. The hike takes approximately 3 hours and is suitable for the intermediate hiker. The start point of the Croagh Patrick hike is from the Croagh Patrick car park. Get here early as the trail can get really busy!
EAT: The Corkscrew & Pantry have a delicious Mexican menu // This Must Be The Place do a great lunch // The Creel is a gorgeous spot for brunch.
STAY: Croagh Patrick Hostel and Cottages are located at the bottom of the mountain close to the start point.
Achill Island, County Mayo
If there is one place you should go to along the west coast, its Achill Island County Mayo, located just an hour from the town of Westport.
Things to do & see:
Rent Electric Bikes: If the weather permits, one of the best ways to explore the Island is to rent electric bikes. (Highly recommend opting for electric bikes as the Island is pretty hilly).
Keem Bay: One of the most beautiful, underrated beaches with crystal clear waters. On a sunny day you will find it hard to believe you are still in Ireland.
The Deserted Village: Walk through the deserted villages where you will find the remains of 100 stone cottages and megalithic tombs built during early Medieval times.
EAT: Amethyst Bar // Pizza at Pure Magic Lodge
STAY: Pure Magic Lodge – the lodge also offer water sports activities!