Travel Guide: A weekend in Achill Island, Mayo


Battle for the Lake Festival

We spontaneously decided to make a trip to Achill for the Battle For The Lake festival. The line-up was great and I love any excuse or opportunity to check out and support small, Irish festivals in magical parts of this island. It was totally worth the trip.

At €50 for a weekend pass or €35 for a one day pass. There was music happening from around 6pm onwards, some really great musicians and I got to boogie away to Daithi and some other great local acts.

There was a blazing and fabulous fire pit burning brightly all evening and it was so sweet to see such a nice vibe here, people all huddled together to get a piece of warmth as well as having the craic with those standing next to them ! The Saturday night fireworks display with the marching band playing around the fire was just wonderful.

As well as music there were watersports and various classes happening – Kitesurfing, SUP, surfing, yoga and fitness. You could sit and watch the heats of the Irish National Windsurfing Competitions. Sunday was lovely to sit on some beanbags with a tea in hand watching the kite surfers across the lake with the music in the background.

A really lovely crowd and atmoshpere here, the weather held up fairly well and yeah, I really really enjoyed it. The mix of things happening, the location and the size was perfect for me. We could dip in and out of the festival while exploring a bit of Achill as well.

There is no camping at the festival itself, but it is located less than 5minutes walking distance from Keel Campsite and there are lots of activities and competitions happening on Keel beach also.

To add in the food options here; if you are veggie- Nadurthda Soul Foods were on site all weekend serving vegan pea and potato curry as well as some delicious cakes and treats (I had the vegan friendly Cashew butter, coconut and cacao energy ball and a tumeric/cacao lattee).

The coffee truck also had plant based milk and there were a couple of more food trucks here for the meat eaters so all needs were catered for.


Pure Magic Achill

This is such a cosy and cute spot! It is literally like walking into a house and you sit over in the corner of a sitting room next to the fire, with surf videos playing silently in the background and then you can order some pizza from the lovely staff here.

We all ordered pizzas and I asked could I have mine minus the cheese and they were more than happy to oblige. They also had a vegan salad on the specials as well as a veggie burger. I went for the pizza with every available vegetable on top (and lathered in their chilli oil! Yum!)

It’s also a lodge and you can stay in one of their themed rooms and you can book some of the island’s offerings of watersports through the guys here. They also have live music happening sometimes, I couldn’t think of  nicer way to spend an evening after outdoor adventures than by the fire here, pizza in hand and seeing some musical talent at the same time.

Moyteoge Head 

We climbed/ walked up Moyteoge head at Keem bay. We wanted a nice walk/hike but something that wasn’t too strenuous or that took too much time (we wanted to get back to the festival by the afternoon). This was just right, it got the lungs working and the initial part of the climb woke up our legs nicely. When we reached the remains of the old watch house, the views were stunning.

It was a clear and bright day and the ocean was a crystal turquoise delight to behold from above. We kept going across the cliff edges where there is a worn path to take you further up to the sea cliffs. Magic Achill ! We got back down in less than 30mins, I had no hiking boots with me but it was fine in my runners – but just be mindful of the ankles and unsteady ground as well as a few marshy bits. All in all, its a really nice and accessible climb. You can actually keep walking along the cliff edges and do a loop if you have more time and want to walk a bit more.

There are a couple of coffee and sweet trucks at the bottom also.


Achill Camping

This is a perfect spot for camping. Right in front of the absolutely stunning Keel Beach – with the dramatic cliff views and one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve seen in along time.

I paid €6 per night to camp here in a tent and park my car next to me. You can use the kitchen which is a fairly good size, bring your own cutlery and plates/cups etc and you can use the gas hobs for €1 which lasts about 20 minutes. There is a toaster, kettle and microwave which are all free to use.

Nice and clean toilets (with a hairdryer) and showers which you can use for €1 for 5 minutes.

The sea view and sea sounds were a treat for me camping here and it helped to have the hot showers literally within walking (or running) distance from the ocean after a morning dip on a particularly cold day.

There is a Super Value supermarket and plenty of petrol stations ( I just need to add as I wasn’t sure and I had my car loaded with supplies before arriving.)

All in all, I love Achill so much! I can’t wait to get back there, it is less than a two hour drive from Tuam and the views along the way are just incredible.


The stunning views on the drive out to this magical part of Ireland.

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