Keem Bay, at the western tip of Achill Island, has been selected as one of the world’s top 100 beaches by prestigious travel magazine Lonely Planet. In its forthcoming book ‘Best Beaches: 100 of the World’s Most Incredible Beaches’, Lonely Planet describes Keem as “one of Ireland’s most glorious, secluded strands”. It continues, “sloping green hillsides spill down to a deep-set horseshoe bay, where a Blue-Flag delight of a pale-blonde beach sits framed by the Croaghaun Cliffs – Ireland’s highest sea cliffs – and the thundering moody-blue Atlantic”.
While the detail there may be a little skewed – Croaghaun Cliffs are at the rear of the mountain that visitors need to skirt around to reach Keem; the cliffs on the western side are Benmore – there is no denying the book’s claim that the journey to Keem is a “vertiginous yet jaw-droppingly beautiful 8km drive from Keel village”.
This description was highlighted by Chris McCarthy, Manager of Achill Tourism, who said: “that journalist is correct in writing about the drive to it – it’s as breathtaking as down on the beach itself”. Speaking with Mid West Radio, McCarthy continued: “when you’re down there, there’s something really special about Keem, you’re just surrounded by your thoughts and mountains and the wild Atlantic in front of you. Its a place where dreams and memories are made of. We’re just delighted to be able to promote it once again.” In the same interview, he commented on Keem’s worldwide recognition has made the job of marketing Achill a little easier: “We are delighted again – its not its first accolade – and we’re very proud of Keem Bay. Its just a wonderful location and it makes selling Achill all that easier, its just a phenomenal place. We’re delighted to have got the recognition once again but its duly deserved”.
Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland, echoed the sentiment that Keem has deserved its place in the global Top 100 Beaches, the only Irish beach to be featured. She was quoted in The Irish Times saying, “Keem Bay is a magnificent natural asset enjoyed by locals and visitors alike and represents the true essence of the Wild Atlantic Way – breathtaking in its wild beauty”.
Keem Bay sits at the western tip of Achill Island, Ireland’s largest island off the coast of County Mayo. Achill is accessible via a road bridge and in addition to Keem boasts four more Blue Flag beaches and spectacular seascapes and cliffs, including Ireland’s highest sea cliffs at 687m.