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Clew Bay – Sailing in the Wake of Granuaille

The view from Ireland's Holy Mountain - Croagh Patrick

Wishing you could find a remote place to breathe fresh air, swim in clear waters, and eat your dinner fresh out of the sea? Our own Clew Bay is a remarkably scenic sailing and exploring venue. The Southern shore is dominated by Croagh Patrick, the holy mountain from which St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. The mouth of the bay to the west is protected by Clare Island, a majestic towering Island with a small fishing harbour. Achill Island, the Curraun Peninsula and the Nephin mountains flank the Northern shores. It is on this majestic Bay that the O’Malley Clan, and more specifically, Grace O’Malley (Granuaille) the great Pirate Queen, ruled the seas and shores. There are many remnants of O’Malley strongholds and historical treasures to explore, yet Clew Bay remains remote, unspoilt and wild.

There are two distinctly different parts of Clew Bay. The larger, western portion, marked by Clare Island and Achill, Ireland’s largest island and westernmost point, are dramatic landscapes where mountains come down to the sea. It offers wide open sailing on a reasonably protected body of water in the shadow of the Holy Mountain.



The eastern portion is dotted with islets called drumlins or moraines which were left behind by the receding glaciers. There are reputedly 365 islands, one for every day of the year, but we don’t know anyone who has counted them recently. A cruising yacht may find it difficult to sail amongst these as they are accompanied by almost as many rocky shoals. However for pottering about in a dinghy, whether under sail, power or rowing, the inner part of the bay is truly magical. For the mother ship there are several anchorages marked on the charts.

Clew Bay Home - Clare Island - The Inner Bay - Water Activities - Westport - Newport

Clew Bay area Activity Map (1.2MB pdf)

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