Doolough, located in County Mayo, Ireland, is a small but picturesque area that offers a unique and unforgettable experience to anyone who visits. Nestled in the shadow of Mweelrea Mountain, the highest peak in Connacht, Doolough is a haven for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Doolough is renowned for its stunning natural scenery, with rugged mountains, tranquil lakes, and rolling green hillsides. One of the most popular activities in the area is hiking, with trails that cater to all levels of experience. One of the most famous hikes in the area is the Doolough Valley Walk, a 10-kilometer trail that winds through the valley and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Doolough Lake is another must-see attraction in the area. The lake is surrounded by towering mountains and offers a peaceful setting for fishing, kayaking, or simply enjoying the serene surroundings. The lake is also home to a variety of wildlife, including otters, herons, and swans.
History and Culture
Doolough is known for a tragic history that is still felt in the area today. The Doolough Tragedy, one of the most devastating events in Irish history, took place in the area in 1849 during the Great Famine. Hundreds of people, many of whom were starving, were forced to walk 12 miles to the nearest workhouse in Louisburgh. Many died on the journey, and the tragedy has become a symbol of the suffering endured by the Irish people during the famine.
Annual Geesala Festival (August)
The Geesala Festival has been running for 25 years, offering a wide range of events that cater to all interests. From heritage and culture events to horse show-jumping and classes, a dog show, boat racing, children’s activities, a fun fair, angling competitions, live music, clay pigeon shooting, and a 10km road race.
One of the most popular events of the Geesala Festival is the horse racing and greyhound racing on Doolough Beach. This stunning location is said to have inspired John Millington Synge’s 1907 masterpiece, ‘The Playboy of the Western World‘.
This year’s Geesala Festival runs from Sunday 13th August to Sunday 20th August. More details on their Facebook Page.
Doolough is easily accessible by car, with the N59 providing a direct route from Westport to Clifden. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Galway or Westport to Louisburgh, which is just a short distance from Doolough. If you are arriving by plane, Ireland West Airport Knock is the nearest airport, located approximately 60 kilometers from Doolough.
Once you arrive in Doolough, the area is easy to navigate on foot or by bike. There are also several local taxi companies that operate in the area for those who prefer not to drive.