Achill Island is the largest island off the island of Ireland, on the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s also the most accessible island, as you can cycle or drive on to Achill to enjoy its many attractions.
Achill is much larger than you might think, at 20 Km from east to west and 18 Km from north to south. It has a coastline of 120 Km and a permanent population of 2,500 islanders. The name Achill could have come from the Latin Aquila, but in 1235 there is a record of the plundering of Eccuill, which means ‘Eagle Island’. At that time there were large numbers of golden and white-tailed sea eagles living on Achill’s mountains. The last known breeding pair in Ireland lived on the peaks of Croaghaun prior to the species becoming extinct here in 1912.
Achill’s landscape is like a ‘mini-Ireland’, with mountains and cliffs around the coastline and Atlantic blanket bog and scatterings of fields in the middle. Amongst its several sandy beaches there are five EU Blue Flag beaches. Keem Bay is the most famous, receiving international accolades nearly every year, most recently being named the No. 1 beach for wild swimming in Britain and Ireland. Nearby at the sheer north-western face of Croaghaun mountain (688m) you’ll find the highest sea cliffs in Ireland and Britain, and the third highest in Europe.
Achill has been an Irish seaside resort since the early 1900s, so its villages have a wide range of accommodation for different budgets and needs, also plenty of pubs, cafés, restaurants, and services. The population of Achill can increase from 2,500 to over 5,000 in high-season – June to August - but there is always a bed and a meal available for visitors.
How to Get Here
Achill Island is perfect for leisure cycling!
Achill Bikes is located at Teach Cruachan B&B in Dooagh, only 3 minutes walk from the Bus Eireann Route 450 terminus and 4km from beautiful Keem Bay.
Eircode: F28 R2P7
You can arrive in Dooagh on the bus and you could be cycling on the island in 15 minutes - the perfect way to see the best of the stunning sea, cliff and mountain views all around you, and totally environmentally sustainable!
If you arrive by car there is ample free parking available at the rear of the B&B.
NOTE: We are 20km from Achill Sound and the Great Western Greenway, so we provide bicycle hire and roadside assistance on the island of Achill only.
How to Get Here
Achill is located off the west coast of County Mayo, Ireland, and it is accessible by road. It’s a 4-hour drive from Dublin, 3.5 hours from Shannon airport, or 5.5 hours from Belfast. You will access Achill via the third Michael Davitt Bridge, built in 2008 on the site of the original wooden bridge constructed in 1887.
For international visitors, Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) is only a 75-minute drive from Achill. IWAK offers flights to and from UK destinations that include Bristol, East Midlands, Liverpool, London (Gatwick, Luton & Stansted) and Manchester, meaning Achill is less than 3 hours away from the U.K. The airport also offers flights to several European destinations.
Rail services are available from Dublin to Westport or Castlebar. Bus services connect Achill to these two towns, to IWAK, and to the national bus network. See www.irishrail.ie or www.buseireann.ie and https://www.transportforireland.ie/plan-a-journey/ for details.