Leaving Connemara for Achill Island
Departing from Renvyle Peninsula, today's leg heads to Achill Island, preferably via the quickest route, the N59. If you would like to see Kylemore Abbey, you can stop there as a side trip. It is the oldest Irish Benedictine Abbey in Ireland, founded in 1665, and it is definitely worth a visit. Via the N59 and after Clifden, it is a good 80km to the Delphi and Dhulough Pass junction. Those not shying away from small roads can follow the R335 from here, instead of the N59: the route is great, although mostly "barely 2 lanes" and, in places, it is very narrow, particularly at the lakeside. Therefore, be careful, particularly at the start, where there are potholes at the edge of the road. Between the Mweelrea Mountains and Sheeffry Hills, follow the R335 through this amazing landscape. After Louisburgh, you drive along the coast towards Westport. The R335 offers a view of the pilgrims' mountain, Croagh Patrick. Those who have followed the N59 can see it, too, by leaving this road briefly, taking the R335 and then driving back. A side trip to the "mountain of all mountains" in Ireland is often one for the must-do list for visitors.
In the expanse of Mayo
It is not far from here to Westport. An opportunity to enjoy a stroll through this picturesque town or visit Westport House. Children particularly love it for the adventure park on the scenic campsite. From here, the N59 soon becomes a large coastal road, which passes through the town of Newport to the north, directly next to the Great Western Greenway – an old railway line that is now a car-free cycle path. From Newport, the N59 continues northbound. You're getting closer to today's destination of Achill Island. In Mullranny (also called Mallaranny on the map), you turn left on the R319 and cross the bridge to Achill Island. There is only another small stretch to cover before you reach dramatic Keel beach and the open water of the Atlantic. This is where you will spend your first rest day.