Ireland West Airport (Knock Airport) is one of the main gateways to the west of Ireland used by many visitors to Counties Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.
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Just a short drive from the airport is the Catholic Knock Shrine which attracts thousands of pilgrims every year including Pope John Paul II in 1979 and Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 1993.
County Mayo offers many other places worthy of a visit. Westport on the coast is a charming town and is close to Croagh Patrick, a mountain which many people climb in honour of St. Patrick, who is the patron Saint of Ireland. Other places worth a visit include the county town Castlebar and Ballina which is a popular base for fishermen not least because of the famous Moy Fishery located within the town boundaries. Many tourists like to visit the village of Cong which is home to Ashford Castle where much of the Oscar winning film The Quiet Man was filmed.
Heading northwards into County Sligo about 8km from the county town also called Sligo is the village of Strandhill which boasts a popular beach for surfers and some very beautiful scenery.
About 35km further north of Sligo along the coast will bring you to the popular seaside resort town of Bundoran in County Donegal. Bundoran is another famous location for surfing. Continuing on this route northwards will bring you into the mountainous heart of Donegal through towns such as Donegal, Ballybofey and the counties largest town Letterkenny. Well worth a visit is the 17th century heritage town of Ramelton located another 10km north of Letterkenny at the mouth of the River Lennon where it flows into Lough Swilly.
The northwest offers many challenging golf courses that welcome visitors all year round including Westport Golf Club and Claremorris Golf Club. The North and West Coast Links represent 12 fine championship links courses throughout this beautiful part of Ireland. As mentioned above fishing and surfing are popular in this region as are walking and cycling. You could also enjoy the beautiful beaches and mountainous scenery of Sligo and Donegal on horseback by taking part in one of the riding vacations lead by the Horse Holiday Farm. Or why not climb Croagh Patrick, Ireland's third highest mountain and famous for its pilgrimage and the legend of St Patrick. Croagh Patrick Walking Tours organises excellent walks here, as well as to other mountains on the west coast.
Ballymote in County Sligo is the home of Eagles Flying, Ireland's largest sanctuary for birds of prey and owls.