Fodor's Expert Review Clare Island

Westport Island

Clew Bay is said to have 365 islands, one for every day of the year. The biggest and most interesting one to visit is Clare Island, at the mouth of the bay. In fine weather the rocky, hilly island, which is 8 km (5 miles) long and 5 km (3 miles) wide, has beautiful views south toward Connemara, east across Clew Bay, and north to Achill Island. About 150 people live on the island today, but before the 1845–47 famine it had a population of about 1,700. A 15th-century tower overlooking the harbor was once the stronghold of Granuaile, the pirate queen, who ruled the area until her death in 1603. She is buried on the island, in its 12th-century Cistercian abbey. Today most visitors seek out the island for its unusual peace and quiet, golden beaches, and unspoiled landscape. There are two ferry services to the island, one year-round, the other seasonal; both depart from Roonagh Pier, near Louisburgh, a scenic 19-km (12-mile) drive from Westport on the R335 past several long sandy beaches.

Island Outdoor Views

Quick Facts

Clew Bay, Co. Mayo  Ireland

098-25045-for ferry info

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Ferry €17 round-trip (discounted online), Two ferry companies serve Clare Island. Your return ticket will only be valid on a ferry belonging to the company you came out with

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