Highest Sea Cliffs in Europe: Achill Island, Co Mayo


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Keem Bay – Photo by Corey Taratuta

Depending on how you define sea cliffs, Achill Island’s Croaghaun Mountain could hold the title of the highest in Europe. At over 600m, it is double the height of the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare and even taller than Co Donegal’s Slieve League which advertises itself as Europe’s highest. An extremely scenic drive to the car park at Keem Bay on the western edge of the island will take you to the foot of Croaghaun… then it’s all uphill on foot from there. Watch out for sheep droppings.

Written by Corey Taratuta

Corey Taratuta

Corey hosts the Irish Fireside podcast and blog. His writing appears on www.Lonely Planet.com and www.WanderingEducators.com, he has been nominated for Irish Blog and Web Awards, and his Irish travel program ranks in the iTunes Top 50 Travel Podcasts. Corey’s Tips | Website

11 Responses

  1. Norma Brock June 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Stunning….I’m adding this as a destination for my next visit!

  2. Suzette June 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    An amazing place! My husband and I were talking just last night about our favorite places in Ireland. It’s so hard to choose from so many stunningly beautiful places, but his choice for most beautiful was Keem Bay!!! We have been in every county in Ireland and Northern Ireland and have many, many favorites. But for sheer beauty, my husband may be right……… Keem Bay is a “must see”.

  3. Christy Nicholas June 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    This is definitely on my list for next trip. We lazed out last trip :)

  4. Sue June 7, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Keem is a beautiful spot alright. I was there just this weekend in fact, though didn’t climb the cliffs I’m afraid. The drive up and down to the beach is spectacular itself – hard to keep your eyes on the road with glimpses of the mountains, the inlet itself, sheep hopping in and out along the way. Gorgeous, silver white sand and mountain streams running down on to the beach. The whole Achill island is a real joy to discover in fact.

  5. Christy Nicholas June 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    How long of a hike for an amateur hiker, would you say? I plan on visiting this spot next trip, but need to plan :)

    • Corey Taratuta June 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      It only took about 15 minutes to get to the ridge, but it was very steep and I was quite winded. There wasn’t really a trail there… I just followed the sheep tracks. There were also some trails accessible from the Keem Bay car park.

  6. Christy Nicholas June 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    15 minutes? That’s nothing – I was thinking of a couple hours. Definitely need to go up next time!

    • Corey Taratuta June 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      Yeah, you can basically see the top from the car park…it’s just really steep.

  7. Stephen O'Leary January 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Sorry but the highest cliffs in Ireland are in Donegal, Slieve liagh, there actually the highest in Europe.

    • Corey Taratuta January 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

      As noted in the first line… there’s plenty of debate on this title. I guess the definitions of “cliffs” and “sea cliffs” and the like get in the way. Some folks also claim Hornelen in Norway and Cape Enniberg in the Faroe Islands could wear the crown as well.

      Regardless, it’s an amazing place to visit! :)

    • Colleen Kilbane May 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      Sorry! You’re wrong. According to official geographical & geological criteria Achill has the highest cliffs in Europe.

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