The magnificent clifftop walk at Carrowtigue is located in the wild northwest tip of Mayo and offers a stunning 4 to 5 hour loop up to Benwee Head and back.
This trail is an excellent example of what Mayo has to offer the walker, with spectacular views of the county’s jagged coastline. To the west stands the Mullet Peninsula, while the huge cliffs of Benwee loom to the north. Further northwards still, the Stags of Broadhaven rise proudly from the ocean, forming a wonderful sight.
The lovely little sandy beach at Rinroe adds to the delight early on in the walk. As does the old graveyard at Stonefield and the huge dunes beyond in Sruwaddacon Bay (Sruth Fada Con, “stream of the long hound”) to the south.
However, having climbed a little to the higher cliffs beyond Rinroe, the most fabulous view of vertical, precipitous cliffs unfolds before your eyes. This is classic West of Ireland coastal landscape.
This looped clifftop walk at Carrowtigue is part of our annual Western Ocean Walking Weekend, based on the nearby Mullet Peninsula.
If you intend visiting this remote part of Mayo, do keep a look-out for the ‘notorious’ gas terminal at Bellanaboy, scene of much unrest some years ago.
More attractively, perhaps, go visit Belmullet town (Béal an Mhuirthead), where you might like to spend a night and discover other lovely walking routes in the area, including Erris Head on The Mullet itself.
If tackling the fantastic clifftop walk at Carrowtigue (Carrowteige) yourself, be sure to bring a packed lunch plus water and don’t forget your binoculars and camera. As is always the case in the West of Ireland, wear good hiking footwear and bring your rainproof jacket if you want to enjoy this great hike.
Length : 16km (there are several options, of which this is the longest)
Duration : 4 to 5 hours
Level : Moderate, with occasional tough but short uphill stretches
“The finest sustained coastal walk in western Ireland, with a profusion of precipitous cliffs, crags, caves,
chasms and islands along the remote North Mayo coast”.
(Lonely Planet Walking in Ireland 1999)