Looking to experience the best of Western Ireland? Add Westport to your list of things to do before you die. This charming town in County Mayo is full of beautiful scenery and unique cultural attractions. It is therefore no wonder that thousands of visitors a year come here from afar. While you could easily spend weeks exploring this wild side of Ireland, I recommend that you experience Westport in a weekend. Read on to find out why!
Located on the west coast of irelandWestport is definitely worth a visit. It’s the quintessential Irish city, offering a dose of nature, culture, history and (as it should be in Ireland) a lively and authentic pub scene. A beautiful river runs through the town with tree-lined promenades and cafes on both sides. It is just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean and Ireland’s most sacred mountain, Croagh Patrick. However, it is the local way of life that draws people to Westport rather than other destinations.
Although this Georgian town is small, there are plenty of things to do in Westport. I recently spent 48 hours here on a guided tour with Globus Journeyswhere I was able to explore the city center and its surroundings. It was one of Globus Choice Tourswhich combines a typical trip with a more local and immersive experience. It was a fun, hassle-free way to travel, and it introduced me to some amazing places I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Ready to soak up the beauty and timeless charm of Westport? Here is my guide to visiting Westport in a weekend.
Ride along the Wild Atlantic Way
When you visit Westport and the West of Ireland (in general), the star of the show is undoubtedly the Wild Atlantic Way.
This route stretches 2,500km along the west coast of Ireland, offering stunning views of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, lush mountains and plenty of sheep. It takes you through Westport, where many visitors grab a bite and a pint before continuing up the coast. However, I think you’ll want to spend at least two nights in Westport to get a good feel for the area.
On my trip with Globus, we traversed several parts of the Wild Atlantic Way. The dramatic sea cliffs coupled with the winding roads and grazing sheep made this a magical trip. I’ve done a lot of great coastal drives, including the Pacific Coast Highway in California and the Road to Hana in Maui, and I think this one is the wildest of them all.
If you’re looking for epic coastal views, don’t miss the Wild Atlantic Way when visiting Westport.
Visit the beaches and cliffs of Achill Island.
As the largest of the Emerald Isles, Achill Island is a must-see destination near Westport. It is home to soaring sea cliffs, secluded beaches and a variety of flora and fauna. The landscapes are vibrant and verdant, making the scene totally unforgettable.
Achill Island is the crown jewel of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. My favorite place was Keem Bay with its rugged coastline and crystal clear waters. On a clear day, it’s a great place for swimming and water sports, including surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing. When we visited, the weather was typical for Ireland – cloudy, rainy and windy, which made the waves all the more powerful and relentless when they hit the coastline.
Achill Island is connected to the mainland by a bridge, so it’s easy to get there from Westport. Considering the size of the island, we spent most of the day exploring it. A Westport Co. Mayo itinerary wouldn’t be complete without it!
Where to stay in Westport, Ireland?
On my trip with Globus Journeys, I stayed at Westport Plaza Hotel, which is conveniently located near Westport town centre. I loved the breakfast and dinner here, plus the amenities like the spa and fitness center. The staff was also super friendly and the room was modern and comfortable. Highly recommended!
Looking for a base in this quaint Georgian town? Here are some of the best stays in Westport: