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Achill Island and the Curraun Peninsula offer a hillwalking paradise. Unlike many other popular walking destinations in the west of Ireland, where access to the land is becoming increasingly restricted, most of the countryside on Achill is in common ownership which means that it is freely open and accessible for hillwalking.
See our Guided Walks category for details of local guides available for guided hillwalks.
Achill Walking Guides
View and download detailed guides and maps for Achill Island self-guide walks.
Be prepared! Read a guide to Mountain Safety and tips on essential items to bring for a walking weekend.
Leave No Trace
We support and advocate the seven principles of ‘Leave No Trace‘. Please familiarise yourself with these before you take to the hills.
Achill Island offers two significant peaks, Slievemore mountain at 671m and Croaghaun at 668m. Croaghaun is remarkable for its north-east face which falls away dramatically from almost its peak down to sea level. These cliffs are said to be the highest in Europe. The north-east face of Croaghaun is also home to the highest corrie lake in Ireland, Bunnafreva Lough West, which perches precariously at over 1000ft above sea level. At its western edge, Croaghaun looks down on the beautiful and remote valley of Keem Bay, on the other side of which are the spectacular cliffs of Benmore and the promontory Achill Head.
Other peaks on Achill Island include Minaun (466m), which offers the much-photographed view of Keel strand and lake and lower Achill. Minaun is also accessible via a maintenance road for the transmissions masts located close to the top, hence the number of photographs taken from this spot! This drive also makes Minaun a very popular spot to visit at dusk on New Year’s Eve to watch the last sunset over Europe.
The Curraun Peninsula provides at least two significant peaks, Polranny Hill (452m) and Curraun Hill (524m), the latter of which also offers spectacular views across Clew Bay to Croagh Patrick and northern Connemara. The valley between Polranny Hill and Curraun Hill contains several small lakes and a large forested area, and is criss-crossed by a number of trails. You should not expect to meet many other walkers in this remote valley.
Further afield, Ballycroy National Park comprises some 11,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range. It includes a visitor centre located about 30km from Achill Sound (directions available on the Ballycroy National Park website).