So this weekend we got a very pleasant surprise. National Geographic Traveler magazine has published a list of the top ten activities along the Wild Atlantic Way. That’s a whole lot of coastline, offering a whole lot of attractions. A lot of competition…
So, while curiously perusing the list, imagine our joy to find Clare Island on it! Well, we do know this, and we keep bragging about it, but it sure is affirming to have the likes of National Geographic endorsing us. To save you the trouble of reading the full post (he he, we don’t want you distracted by the other nine places), this is what they had to say about us:
Cruise to the Island Stronghold of a Pirate Queen, Mayo
In the 16th century, Grace O’Malley, known as the pirate queen, wielded power and exacted payment from ships for passage through her waters with a fleet inherited from her chieftain father upon his death. Her home base was Clare Island in Clew Bay, where you can see her tower house and her grave in the nearby 13th-century Cistercian abbey cemetery. While there, check out the abbey’s well-preserved medieval roof and wall paintings depicting dragons, musicians, and men on horseback. The sites are part of the Clew Bay Archaeological Trail that also includes a megalithic court tomb, Bronze Age promontory forts, and ancient cooking mounds on the island. Rent bikes to get around, or take a taxi tour of the mountainous isle. The 1806 Clare Island Lighthouse, perched atop high cliffs, is now an inn and provides guests with 360-degree views of O’Malley’s fiefdom from the lantern tower, as well as unique rooms with turf stoves or fireplaces. Head to Sailor’s Bar and Restaurant for fresh pollack in beer batter and traditional music. The island is a 20-minute cruise from Roonagh Pier; Clare Island Ferry offers a shuttle from Westport.
As you can imagine, we’re delighted with this recommendation. If you have yet to see for yourself why National Geographic was so drawn to the island, don’t you think it’s about time you made a plan to come visit us?
And because we’re in a good mood, we’ll even share the other points of interest with you after all… click on the link to read the full list – the top ten places to visit on the Wild Atlantic Way, according to National Geographic!