Ireland’s Largest Island
Achill Island on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s largest island and is joined to the Irish mainland by a bridge at Achill Sound. The Island is about 20km east to west and about 18km north to south. Mountains form the backbone of Achill Island. They include Slievemore (672m) and Croaghaun (668m), which form the Achill Head that are the highest sea cliffs in Europe. The Cliffs of Minaun plunge spectacularly from the peak (466m) to the sea and are the scenic view from Fuchsia Cottage. Achill Island has five EU Blue Flag beaches, including Keel Strand and the strand at Keem Bay, a short drive from the cottage. There are many historical/ archeological sites to be explored on Achill Island such as Grace O’Malleys Castle and the Deserted Village.
Achill Island really is one of the most spectacular scenic areas in Ireland and Fuchsia Cottage is in the heart of Achill with shops, restaurants and pubs in the Village of Keel just a short walk from the front door. Achill Island is a traditional haven for artists, musicians and visitors seeking to get away to a slower pace. Walking and enjoying the breathtaking scenery are popular activities. Framed with sea cliffs below Minaun, Keel Beach, or the strand, is 3 km long and is a short walk from Fuschia Cottage. Keel beach is a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts.
Reach Out Today
- Lorna Carroll, Guest
Achill Island’s has great natural beauty and many outdoor activities including hiking, surfing, golf, swimming, diving, horseback riding, windsurfing, sea-kayaking and cycling. Equipment and classes are available for hire nearby. The waters around Achill Island are known for sea angling, with mackerel, pollock, cod, ling, and many other species being commonly caught. Shore fishing is also popular on Achill Island.
A great activity for any day is to walk to the strand and then walk as far as the tide will allow (2.4 km at high tide and the full length at low). The “deserted village” consists of old ruins and is one of several other good walks on the Island. The Atlantic Drive has spectacular scenery as the full force of the Atlantic comes ashore along Achill. The view from Minaun looking out to sea and across Achill is worth the drive up the mountain. Keem beach or strand is one of the most scenic spots in all of Ireland as it is a small beach surrounded on each side by cliffs rising up from the sea.
- The Wildy Family, Guests
A driving tour of the island with a local guide can be arranged if you prefer to see the island without driving and learn more about Achill.
There is music in the pubs of Keel and Doagh on several nights a week during July and August. Achill Sound is the village at the bridge to Achill Island, where there are restaurants and shopping facilities. A trip to Westport (about an hour away) is always fun as it is a very quaint Irish town with an old pub owned by Matt Malloy of Chieftains fame which is a must visit pub. The nearby Mountain is Croagh Patrick of St. Patrick fame.
July and August are the peak of the tourist season and the pubs are filled with visitors, many of whom come back to Achill year after year. The off- season is a slower time and an opportunity to enjoy a little more solitude. May, June, September and October offer pleasant weather and a great opportunity to visit Achill.
Achill Tourism offers a link for Achill Island that shows some of the rugged beauty of the area.