Categories
Beaches

Wild and wonderful Elly Bay

Elly Bay, a few miles beyond Binghamstown, is the best-known beach on the Mullet peninsula in North West Mayo.

There are two beaches, divided by the main road to Blacksod. The east strand, facing back towards the mainland, is located along the main R313 road, where there is a car park.

Most days during July and August you can see students from the nearby Colaiste UISCE, an Irish summer school, learning water sports such as sailing and kayaking on the calm waters of this south facing inlet.

Surf’s Up

The rock-strewn west facing beach at Elly Bay on the Mullet in Co Mayo. Photo: Anthony Hickey
The rock-strewn west facing beach at Elly Bay on the Mullet in Co Mayo. Photo: Anthony Hickey

The calm, sheltered conditions make Elly Bay perfect for swimming and in stark contrast to the Atlantic facing beach at Elly Bay which is popular with surfers, but extremely dangerous for bathers.

The west facing beach which is located behind extensive sand dunes attracts surfers from all over the world, drawn by the massive, pounding waves, often as high as 3 metres, that roll in from the North Atlantic.

Swimming here, however, is not advisable due to a severe rip current which is so strong the outward surge of water is clearly visible from the shore.

This stretch of beach has taken a severe battering over recent winters and the rock-strewn strand can only be walked at low tide.

By Anthony Hickey

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

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