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County Mayo remains unique as one of Europe's most unspoiled regions in environmental terms. Clean coastal and inland waters, Blue Flag beaches, flora and fauna and the splendour of superb natural scenery are treasures which must be protected. Mayo County Council has prime responsibility for protecting the environment in consultation with other state bodies, local community and interest groups.



You’ve tried the Greenway, why not try a Blueway?

Blueways are coastal sites that offer water activities such as snorkeling and sea kayaking, along a clear blue marine trail. Ten Blueway Taster Days have been organised over June, July and August. On these days, activity providers offer snorkeling and sea kayaking at a reduced cost. Outside of these dates, several activity providers offer equipment hire and instruction for water-based sports at these sites.

Blueways are an exciting new tourism offering that support the Wild Atlantic Way initiative and give visitors the opportunity to explore our fabulous blue resource.

Frequently Asked Questions


There are few regions in Europe to match the quality of County Mayo's beaches and the County is the proud holder of no less than 10 Blue Flag awards. The beaches, recognised as being among the most outstanding in Europe, are each served with a comprehensive information panel, giving full details of amenities, flora and fauna. . Blue Flag beaches meet 32 strict criteria for water quality, management, safety and environmental education.

Beach Locations - Blue Flag Awards Louisburgh, County Mayo for 2017

Bertra Blue Flag Beach 

Near the foot of Croagh Patrick, 12 km (7 miles) west of Westport on the Louisburgh Road (R335), Bertra beach is one of the best beaches in Ireland for walking and bird-watching, as well as kite-surfing and windsurfing.

Walk along the wide strand, on a mixture of sandy or occasionally rocky stretches, or along the sometimes narrow paths in the dunes. This Blue Flag beach has a lifeguard in the summer months, and there are toilets. The northeastern point of the beach, farthest away from the carpark, is a popular spot for shore-angling.

Old Head Beach 

For a picturesque beach, Ireland offers very few to beat Old Head, 16 km (10 miles) west of Westport on the Louisburgh Road (R335). Overlooked by a woodland to the west and Croagh Patrick to the south and east, this beach has beautiful rock-pools that are exposed when the tide is out.

The beach is sheltered from the south and west and is therefore well-suited for swimming. Lifeguards are on duty through the summer months, the beach is accessible for wheelchairs, as are the toilets. There is a pier at the western end of the beach, sheltering a small anchorage popular with local sailors and fishermen.

Carrowmore Blue Flag Beach 

1.5 km (under 1 mile) from Louisburgh, 25 km (16 miles) west of Westport, lies Carrowmore beach, overlooked by cliffs where various seabirds nest. There are lifeguards in the summer, as well as toilets, though there are no ramps or other facilities for disabled people. There is a pier at the west end of this Blue Flag beach, while the eastern border is the mouth of the Bunowen River. This beach has received the International Blue Flag award for 2017.

Clare Island Blue Flag Beach 

A short ferry ride from Roonagh Pier, 10 km from Louisburgh, leads to Clare Island, where the sandy blue flag beach lies adjacent to the pier. While there is no lifeguard, there is life-saving equipment available, so the beach is suitable for swimming.



Clare Island

Situated at the entrance to Clew Bay, Clare Island is the largest of the Mayo offshore islands. Located off the West Coast, Clare Island is 3.5 miles from the mainland and is also the largest of the possible 365 islands in Clew Bay - it is 5 miles long and 3 miles wide.

With its varied landscape of spectacular cliffs and inland mountain terrain, Clare Island is an ideal destination for hill-walkers and nature lovers who will enjoy exploring large colonies of sea birds, alpine flora and neolithic and bronze-age archaeology.

Boasting a rich topography of hills, bogs and woodland on the inner parts of the island, it is an ideal holiday destination for hill-walking, cycling and sight-seeing. The island is full of amazing scenery and visitors can explore it on foot, by bike (bike hire nearby) or by taxi.


Inishturk is a small beautiful island, 5km x 2.5km, located 9 miles (14.5km) off the west coast of Mayo. It rises boldly from the wild North Atlantic in wall-like cliffs to the northwest and steep hills to the north on which stands the ruins of the old signal tower 722 ft above sea level.

Welcome to the official website for the town of Louisburgh where to go for some of the most wonderful beaches in the world.

Old Head

Louisburgh Beaches, County Mayo. Ireland

  Louisburgh. Cluain Cearbán - Meadow of Buttercups