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Beaches

Doolough – one of the most scenic beaches in Mayo

In the south west of the barony of Erris, you will find Doolough Strand, located near the pretty seaside village of Geesala, and the beach is one of the most scenic in Co Mayo.

Doolough Strand, near Geesala, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Co Mayo. Photo: Anthony Hickey
Doolough Strand, near Geesala, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Co Mayo. Photo: Anthony Hickey

Doolough is most famous for the annual Doolough Horse Races that takes place there every August as part of the Geesala Festival that is one of the social focal points for returning emigrants and tourists visiting the barony of Erris.

The beach stretches for a few kilometres and has spectacular views of the Mullet, to the west, and the mountains of Achill Island to the south.

It’s the perfect beach for a family day out and when the sun shines on Doolough’s crystal clear waters, as the gentle waves lap the golden strand, it is an almost tropical experience.

Sheltered by the Mullet, the sea at Doolough is warm and silky soft for swimming in, especially when the tide full.

Doolough Horse Races

The annual horse racing on Doolough Beach, near Geesala, Co Mayo, is the highlight of the Geesala Festival every August. The horse racing takes place at low tide and attracts visitors from all over Ireland. Photo: Anthony Hickey
The annual horse racing on Doolough Beach, near Geesala, Co Mayo, is the highlight of the Geesala Festival every August. The horse racing takes place at low tide and attracts visitors from all over Ireland. Photo: Anthony Hickey

And if you are lucky you might spot a shoal of mackerel at your feet just waiting to be hooked for your supper.

Just one word of warning

At low tide, there is a channel visible at the end of Doolough strand, separating it from Dooyork strand. On no account enter this channel as it is extremely dangerous due to quicksand.

The nearby Gaeltacht village of Geesala is most welcoming and be sure and drop into one of the village’s hostelries for refreshments and a chat with some of the friendly and welcoming locals.

By Anthony Hickey

Follow writer and photographer, Anthony Hickey, as he travels around his native Co. Mayo, Ireland.

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