On Clare Island in the Clew Bay, County Mayo, Ireland, just off the coast, sits a truly unique and magical place to stay, the Clare Island Lighthouse. Built in 1806, on the edge of the cliffs at the northern most tip of the island, the lighthouse served faithfully until it was decommissioned in 1965. For a fantastic 360 degree view, you can climb the stairs and crawl out onto the deck surrounding the room that housed the light. Accommodations are elegant and comfy. Meals feature local island salmon and lamb along with fresh organic veggies and top shelf wine, whisky and gin. Our room, on the second floor, had a view of Achill Island, and in the two days and nights that we were there (May 2022) we had crystal clear blue skies, horizontal rain, wind that would blow you off the cliff, rainbows and a spectacular sunset. Roie McCann and her staff take excellent care of you and are delightful to spend time with. We were fortunate to also share our stay with a wonderful and diverse group of fellow travelers. Props to my travel buddy, Mary, who stayed here in 2015, and made it a priority on our trip.
Clare Island is the largest island in Clew Bay. It encompasses 4,053 acres and is 5 miles long by 3 miles wide, which means you walk a lot or hitch a ride! 😉 The landscape is dominated by two hills, Croaghmore (1520 feet) and Glen Hill (729 feet). Clare Island was the stronghold of Grace O’Malley, 16th century clan chieftain who lived by her family trade of piracy and plunder. The island has a long history of habitation dating back to, at least, 3500 B.C. Today Clare Island has a winter population of 165 people & still maintains many of the old traditions. At one end of the island is the 12th century Cistertian Abbey, (more on that in a coming blog) and at the other end of the island is the harbor and Sailors pub. Read more HERE.
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