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Clare Island - Knocknaveen Loop
Clare Island, Co. Mayo
Free to visit
Perched 4 miles off the sublime County Mayo coast, Clare Island boasts Atlantic seascapes, cliff edges, mountain scenery and more. Explore it all on this delightful 8km loop.

A picturesque 2.5 hour walk, the Clare Island - Knocknaveen Loop circles Knocknaveen Hill (223m) across a mix of surfaced road, bohereens and grass track.

Traversing hills, bogs and the River Dorree, this 8km trail is the longer of the island’s two loops and leads you by the quaint loughs of Creggan and Leinnapollbruty. It also treats walkers to panoramas of Achill Island, the Corraun Peninsula and Mayo’s scenic mainland too.

Ferry crossings take about 20 minutes; these are quite regular in the summer, while in winter there are usually two per day.

Nearby Louisburgh has a number of lively pubs, cafés and restaurants to enjoy a bite or a drink in after your idyllic island walk.

Trail details

Walking Trail
Clare Island Loops
    Time:2 hours 30 minutes
    Nearest town start:Louisburgh
    Nearest town finish:Louisburgh
    Start point:Clare Island Pier
    Finish point:Clare Island Pier
    Waymarking:Purple arrow
Why we like it
  • Clare Island is nestled at the entrance of beautiful Clew Bay and showcases stunning Mayo and Wild Atlantic Way scenery.
  • The island is known for its spectacular cliffs with large numbers of nesting sea birds.
  • The island was once home to 16th-century pirate queen Granuaile or Grace O’Malley. You’ll pass her castle ruins on the loop.
  • The ruins of 13th-century Cistercian monastery, Clare Island Abbey, can be seen on the trail too.
Contact details
Clare Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Leave no trace
  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Be considerate of others
  • Respect farm animals and wildlife
  • Travel and camp responsibly
  • Leave what you find
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Protect nature from fire
More to discover at this venue
Coastal escapesClare Island

Clare Island was once home to the famous pirate Queen Grace O'Malley and is the largest and highest of Clew Bay's many islands, with dramatic coastal cliffs and spectacular views of one of Ireland's best known peaks, Croagh Patrick.

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