County Mayo, was named after the village of Mayo (Maigh Eo in Irish) which has remained a tiny village, now generally known as Mayo Abbey. The two main county towns are Castlebar and Ballina. The western county of Mayo is traditionally known for its museums, heritage centers, abbeys, interpretative centers, and other heritage-related projects.
The county is now one of the most popular destinations for outdoor activities and sport, surfing, fishing and golf. It also boasts a thrilling and authentic tradition of music, pubs, song and dance.
The northern part of Mayo has the greatest concentrations of Stone Age tombs, also known as the megaliths, all over Europe. Intact farms of the tomb builders way back have been preserved underneath the bog that covers the region. A trail of permanent sculpture from the Moy Estuary to the Mullet Peninsula has been created to preserve the ancient landscape.
Mayo also boasts of its very rich tradition of music, song, and dance. It is even home to some of Ireland’s popular musicians and has become a mecca to artists and musicians from other parts of Ireland and the world.
The river Moy runs through the northeast of the county, and is renowned for its salmon fishing. Achill Island, lies off Mayo's west coast and is home to Ireland's highest cliffs (third highest in Europe) at Croaghaun. Mayo is home to the Knock Shrine, a major Catholic pilgrimage site, and to Croagh Patrick, a mountain where St Patrick is believed to have fasted for forty days and nights