The Islands, Westport in Co. Mayo

Remnants of a bygone age, hump-backed glacial deposits known as Drumlins are scattered throughout Clew Bay forming a delightful archipelago and a topic for continual discussion as to the exact number of islands. Is it 365, one for each day of the year? Who knows?

Dominating the seascape is Clare Island, once home to the legendary pirate queen Grainneuaile. Its didtinctive silhouette is created by a hill at one end causing a precariously unbalanced image. Ferries to Clare Island and the smaller but no less delightful Inishbofin and Inishturk run daily during the summer months.

Achill, Ireland's largest island and one of the most spectacular is connected to the mainland by a bridge at Achill Sound. Part of the magic is a tantalising concoction of majestic mountain scenery sweeping down to safe golden beaches or wild Atlantic waves on a rocky shore. Long the haunt of artists and dreamers, it has a character all of its own.

Indeed each island has a slightly different personality, each with unique secrets and surprises - hidden sandy beaches, sceluded coves, splendid cliffs and stunningly scenic walks. Most of the Islands have a high concentration of boats which cater for both daily and extended sea angling trips. Westport is a good starting point to take in the majority of the islands off the Mayo coastline.