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The North Mayo landscape offers some of the most beautiful scenery for hiking in Ireland. From the tallest standalone mountain in the country to breathtaking coastal cliff walks, North Mayo has a hike suitable for all levels of fitness and ability. Here we have listed 11 of the best hikes in North Mayo.
Distance: 18km Loop
Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
If you long for breathtaking cliff walks virtually undiscovered, this is the hike for you. Throughout your hike, you will be treated to beautiful white sandy beaches, cliffs up to 255m high, and some of the bluest waters in Ireland. Keep an eye out for the Eire 63 sign along your hike and some out-of-this-world swim spots.
We started at Portacloy beach and followed the trail up along the cliffs. Good navigational skills and experience in hiking are essential to tackle this hike.
Find Out More: Portacloy Loop
Distance: 10km Loop
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
This is the perfect North Mayo hike to catch a sunset along with some beautiful rock creations and even a secret beach. It can be tackled as a loop or as an out-and-back trail with starting points at both Lacken Strand and Kilcummin Harbour.
The full loop will take between two and three hours, not including stops, but we recommend stopping off as much as you can to really take in the beautiful scenery along this coastal hike.
Find Out More: Hiiker
Distance: 6.5km Out and Back
Taking a break from the breathtaking coastal routes and moving onto Ireland’s tallest standalone mountain. Nephin is one of those trails that needs perfect conditions to truly appreciate its beauty, but if you get them the views from the summit are unrivaled. On a clear day, you can see a total of seven counties from the peak of Nephin.
Nephin is definitely one of the more challenging hikes on this list but the views from the peak are worth the tough ascent.
Inishkea South Island is one of the most unique hikes on this list. The history of the island is a story everyone should learn before visiting as it truly allows one to appreciate the significance of the islands and the suffering the islanders had to endure before being relocated to the mainland.
As well as the encapsulating history the island offers some of the most breathtaking landscapes you will find in North Mayo. It is home to beautiful white sandy beaches on the east and sheer cliff faces on the west with a hill in the centre of the island that will treat you to beautiful 360 views.
Find Out More: Geraghty Charters
Distance: 6km Loop
If you’re looking to fully escape from civilization then the Drumleen Loop is the trail for you. It is located in one of the most remote areas of North Mayo.
With a wide variety of trail types and taking in a glacial lake below Tristia mountain, it is the perfect “introduction to hiking” trail for young children. However, no dogs are allowed on this trail as it is on farmland.
Distance: 5km Loop
A must-do short loop on the Mullet peninsula. Erris Head is not about a challenge it is all about the views. With the Eire 62 World War II coastal watch sign and views of Eagle Island, this hike is bucket-list-worthy for every nature and history lover.
The Bangor Trail is one of the most isolated hiking routes in Ireland. It’s often described as “the loneliest place in Ireland” and if you decide to tackle this immense hiking route you will see why. The silence and isolation along this trail are part of its appeal, it’s nearly other worldly.
Find Out More: Mayo North
Distance: 3.5km Loop
This is the perfect family woodland hike. Introduce your children to the beauty of nature by tackling the grassy paths and woodland tracks of this trail, keeping an eye out for the openings that reveal the beautiful Lough Conn. Not only are the views spectacular, you also start and end at Kaffa Coffee, so you’ll never be too far from a treat and refreshment.
Find Out More: North Mayo Heritage Centre
Distance: 12km Loop
Trek through forest paths, cattle roads, and scenic riverbanks as you navigate your way through the breathtaking North Mayo countryside. Feel free to enjoy a picnic at the Brogan Carroll Bothy before or after your walk. The bothy is often used by campers hoping to catch a glimpse of the stars in the Mayo Dark Sky Park.
Find Out More: Sport Ireland
Distance: 14km Loop
This route takes hikers through the beautiful Ox Mountains. You’ll take in grassy boreens, boggy mountainsides, and views of the surrounding mountains and countryside on this trek. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the many goats that roam these mountains. This hike perfectly showcases the natural beauty of North Mayo.
Distance: 11km Loop
Starting and finishing at Porturlin Pier this is yet another stunning cliff walk along the North Mayo coast. Take in the beauty of the rugged coastline and all the inlets, bays, and coves, including views from Downpatrick Head to Benwee Head including the magnificent sea arch on Pig Island.
Good navigational skills are essential for this trail due to the rugged coastline and sheer cliff faces.
Find Out More: Porturlin Loop
By Killian Andersen
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