A couple of weeks back I spent the guts of five hours spinning around Achill Island in County Mayo, dodging sheep, and soaking up what is, in my opinion, the most beautiful of Ireland’s islands.
[EDIT: I realise I’ve made the exact same statement about Valentia Island… it’s also deadly, to be fair!]
An ever-changing tapestry of rugged mountains, windy roads, and long windswept beaches make it an absolute joy to explore.
Here’s a peek at Achil Island in County Mayo via my eyes.
Craggy coastline as far as the eye can see!
I’ve absolutely no idea who these two people are – they were just stood there taking it all in, so I decided to try and be a bit, eh, arty, and started snapping away.
This picture pretty much sums up Achill for me; you just find yourself constantly stopping, staring, and letting your eyes gorge as much of the scenery on offer as physically possible.
An abandoned house with the best view on the West Coast
This could easily be a shed… I’ll be honest, it started raining so I legged it before getting a chance to stick my head inside the window.
If I ever win the lotto, this building is first on my to-buy list!
The road that leads to the white sandy shores of Keem Beach 😍
Keem from afar
I snapped this after managing to pull in at a tiny little gap at the side of the road on the way down to the beach.
It’s insanely tough to get a spot to pull in here, unfortunately, so keep your eyes open for somewhere to stop safely.
This article could just as easily be titled ‘I went to Achill Island and managed to encounter every sheep on the planet’, but I decided it’d probably be a bit dramatic…
Honestly, though, they’re all over the place!
Keep vigilant as you’re spinning about the island as they tend to just appear out of nowhere.
Like a masterfully crafted oil painting
I’m not talking about my photography skills because, let’s call a spade a spade, they’re average at best – I’m talking about the scene.
One of the deadly things about Achill is the seemingly endless encounters with raw natural beauty you have as you explore the island.
You feel like the island couldn’t possibly have anything more to offer and then BAM you turn a corner and it’s mind blown time all over again.
Like a scene from the Lord of the Rings
I stopped in this spot to stretch the legs and to sip away at a cup of coffee.
As I was kicking back and taking it all in, it struck me how much the road looked like a scene from a Lord of the Rings flick.
I was half expecting Frodo and the boys to come rambling around the corner, cloaks bustling in the wind and feet on full display.
A gap out to the Atlantic
Roads that meander
I’m 28 years old, and all I could think of as I stared through the lens was how brilliant it would be to jump on a skateboard and go batin’ down this road…
An ever-changing tapestry
As you drive around Achill, you find your eyes constantly shooting from left to right, as the scenery in front of you transforms over and over again.
Endless chunks of craggy coastline
Yep, more sheep.
I could never take a photo to do Keel justice; the towering cliffs that hug the beach were just impossible to take in with the camera.
The beach itself isn’t overly long (roughly 4km), but it boasts beauty in abundance.
You find your eyes following the waves as they crash and rush as far as momentum takes them, all the way along the sandy shores and up to the sloping cliffs.