Dookinella – Dumha Cinn Aille – Sandbank at the Head of the Cliff
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image of view from Minaun Heights Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland

Dookinella village lies directly across the sandy banks from Keel below the Minaun Mountain. The spectacular Minaun Cliffs lie at the lower end of the 2.5 mile Trawmore or Keel Strand one of the 5 Achill Island Blue Flag Beaches. Where the strand and cliffs meet, are the sea carved caverns known as the Cathedral Rocks. Within living memory buttresses arched from the sea to the cliff face but the passage of 60 million years of wind and sea erosion finally brought them crashing into the sea.

At low tide the bottom of the cliff face is accessible on foot and rock pools at the base of the cliffs can be explored. Keel Beach is typical of a storm beach with its banking of smooth pebbles. White Sand is revealed on the retreating tides and sand dunes at the higher bank protect the low lying bog marsh of the “sandbanks” from sea flood.

The breakers on Keel beach roar as they land on the stones at high tide. The waves are at their most impressive when strong onshore winds cause spray from the crests to fly back toward the ocean. When the weather is still and winds are calm, the sea is like a millpond. On balmy summer evenings, it is commonplace for schools of dolphins to swim close to the shore.

Achill Activities and amenities

Achill Island is re known as a holiday destination boasting the best beaches in Ireland including 5 blue flag beaches at Keel, Keem, Dugort, Dooega and Golden Strand. The beaches are a great attraction for a variety of water sport activities during the summer months however there are other year round attractions for visitors.

Nature walks
There are numerous empty trails for the walker including mountain walks of Slievemore, Minaun, and Croaghaun. Shoreline walks include the 2.5 kilometers of Keel Strand.

Keel strand has become a popular location for both surf boarding and wind surfing. Achill Surf Club and Windwise provide tuition in both sports.

Scuba Diving
The waters around Achill are reputed to be the most diverse for scuba diving. For further information about PADI instructor led courses from Purteen Harbour, visit the Achill Dive Center.

image of Dugort Strand, Achill Island Co Mayo, Ireland image of blue flag beach directional sign , Achill Island, Co Mayo Ireland image of Keel Strand, Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland

Another sport closely associated with Keel Beach is Golf. Achill Golf club has a nine hole links close to the sand dunes on the Sandy Banks.

Achill is famous for having the best fishing waters in Ireland. Mullet, Conger and Wrasse can be caught pier fishing at Purteen while beach fishing on Keel Strand will bring you Mackerel, Skate and Dogfish amongst others. Keel Strand hosts numerous competitions during the year. Angling trips to sea can also be arranged with local boats from Purteen and Cloghmore.

Arts and craft
There are several local galleries displaying art work of local artists and internationally reknown artists most focusing on the local landscape and the landscape of the West Coast of Ireland. The Nobel Prize winning German writer and philosopher Heinrich Böll (1917-1985) was a regular visitor to Achill and the Dugort cottage where he used to stay is now a mecca for artists and writers.

Local amenities
There are numerous pubs on Achill which provide a variety of entertainment, particulary during the summer months. Several restaurants around the island offer fine dining including seafood from local catches. Achill Sound includes a number of shops including a supermarket and pharmacy and a number of craft shops.

panoramic image of Minaun Cliffs and Keel Strand, Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland

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Minaun Cliff Self Catering Cottages
Co Mayo
Tel: +353 852029771

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