11 amazing things to do in beautiful Sligo that will make you stay for more

I call myself lucky to live in Sligo. I love the quiet solitude and how everyone greets one another. I love how the seasons change more starkly. I love going for a walk on tranquil country roads and knowing that the beach is only a few minutes away.

Sligo is rich in charm, strong in character and living in this place provided yet another chapter of our life of growing. Over the past three years since we moved from Dublin to Sligo – it was an easy decision choosing where to base ourselves in Ireland – we made an effort to fill our lives with even more adventures and time spent outdoors.

We braved the cold on countless nights just so we can watch sunsets, discovered beautiful waterfalls, enjoyed open landscapes and endless sky, saw many natural wonders, met incredible human beings and ate the best food ever.

We had the privilege of travelling up and down the shores, hike through many woodlands and go surfing and cycling nearly every single day.

As travel within Irish counties allowed from Monday 12 April, we created a small yet mighty list of some of the best things to do within County Sligo.

This is by no means a complete guide to the best things to do in Sligo – there are simply too many.

It’s hard not to be enchanted by the carefree little bundles of wool that can be seen hopping around in the fields.

 

 11 Amazing Things To Do in Sligo That Will Make You Stay For More

If you want to witness stunning views and venture into colourful surprises yourself, then pack your bags and come to Sligo! Who knows what exciting places you might uncover?

There are a hundred different answers to the question of what is so unique about Sligo. And, there are a hundred various reasons why we packed our belonging and moved to Sligo for good.

Let us give you a few

 

Don’t forget to protect yourself and others

Although many countries, Ireland including are easing travel restrictions, the pandemic is far from over and that’s why it is very important, once you rush out the door, to follow the guidelines imposed by the government. Research rules and regulations of the city or a region you are traveling to. Being respectful of the health and safety measures during the pandemic crisis is of paramount importance. Don’t forget that your holiday spot is someone else’s home town, traveling at the moment is a privilege and we can’t do it at the expense of locals’ safety.

  • Pack enough alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and keep it within easy reach.
  • Make sure you wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose.
  • Wear your mask and change it regularly
  • Avoid close contact with others

#1. Explore Sligo beaches

If you live in Sligo and If you feel swept up in a rush of life, running errands and completing never-ending tasks then a visit to one of Sligo’s beautiful beaches can awaken a deep appreciation for the world around you, even with pandemic crises still at large.

Choose Streedagh Beach or Mullaghmore Beach and you are guaranteed to be completely mesmerised by the rugged coast, seagrasses swaying in the wind and shifting skies.

Sligo beaches are beautiful and diverse and while you are enjoying these natural treasures, why not take the time to clean up beach litter? Just by doing a #2minutebeachclean and removing litter that you might see washed up on the shores assures that marine life won’t come into contact with it.

One of the main defining features of Sligo has to be its coast with plentiful scenic beaches and with many worth visit spots.

#2. Go for a walk at Hazelwood Forest

Located on the shores of Lough Gill, only a few miles from Sligo Town centre, Hazelwood forest provides peaceful forest walks with views of Lough Gill and the Garavogue River.

Over the years of exploring Sligo, Hazelwood Demense quickly became one of our favourite places to step back from monotonous everyday life. In the spring the forest becomes alive with bluebells and summertime arrives with an abundance of butterflies.

As the new life begins to sprout in woodland this year, make a visit to the forest. You would not be able to resist the urge to immortalise all the surrounding beauty and incredible spring wildflowers growing wild and free before they all are gone.

Blossoming bluebells is one of the signs that spring has arrived.

#3. Watch a sunset

Nature can speak for itself without digital manipulation and over enchantment, and if you ever catch a sunset in Sligo, you’ll be rewarded with a proper colour burst.

On our last trip to Rosses Point, we arrived at the beach at a prime timing with the sun just seconds away from disappearing for another night. As soon as she sunk below the water, the sky erupted in beautiful colours.

The soft and subtle tones of the sunset and endless views over the vast water of the Atlantic ocean provided much needed natural tranquillity and some real downtime.

Nature is a source of beauty

#4. Visit Mullaghmore Village

Nothing beats an opportunity to endure the full scope of natural elements while being out in the wild where crashing waves and roaring wild Atlantic winds work in sync with nature, producing one of the most epic waves on this planet.

Bookmark Mullaghmore, meaning ‘the great summit’ on your list of places to visit in Sligo so you can witness brave waterman ride huge waves. Mullaghmore Head is renewed as Ireland’s ultimate big wave destination and when the conditions are right you might be able to gasp in awe as local big wave surfer Conor Maguire tames soaring swells.

In addition to immense swells, you’ll also find Classiebawn Castle, a stone harbour pier, built in 1828, a white sand beach that’s perfect for swimming and staggering views over the vast Atlantic waters.

Mullaghmore Harbour, County Sligo.

 


#5. Relax at the Beach Bar

It’s so easy to fall in love with this place – alluring views, ocean, good food (think seafood and a cold pint of Guinness), brilliant surf and live music. The Beach Bar, located on Augris Beach, is one of the prettiest traditional pubs in County Sligo with a wood-burning fireplace and friendly warmth.

There is also a small stretch of land for camping and B&B accommodation right next to it for those who want to wake up in a place where mother nature rules everything. For surfers, it’s an excellent place to escape the crowds, and for photographers, a great place to take capture Knocknarea and Sligo Bay.

_MG_0411
Set in a delightful seaside location, The Beach Bar is a favourite place for local and overseas visitors alike.

 


#6. Go on a photography adventure

With so many unusual compositions and views, Sligo is the perfect photographers playground.  You can grab your camera and relax by the lake, watch a sunrise, look up the stars, wait up for sunset and then do it all again.

If you decide to travel to Sligo, you’ll be amazed by the range of landscapes to photograph as this part of Ireland provide plenty of appeal to visitors. The best thing is, you can take kick-ass photos without insanely expensive equipment.

We love photographing this part of the country and showing the palette of different colours in Ireland, which is often portrayed as green. At times it is true, but it is also home to bright yellow, soft purple and any other colour in between.

IMG_5043
Beautiful Glencar Lake, Sligo.

 


#7. Plunge into Voya Seaweed Baths

The first time we visited Voya Seaweed Baths was in December, and  I can tell you; there is nothing better on a cold and miserably rainy day than a hot organic Irish seaweed bath followed by exfoliation treatment and a warm cup of herbal tea.

First, you start with few minutes in a steam room to open up your pores, and then you slip into a bathtub where floating at the bottom of it is hand-harvested seaweed that makes water and your skin instantly soft and smooth.

Well known as the poor man’s doctor in the old days, today seaweed is widely used for its detoxifying, healing and skin-renewing benefits.

IMG_8530
Voya Seaweed Baths are located in Strandhill, County Sligo.

#8. Hike Knocknarea mountain

If you are in Sligo and find yourself aching for mountains and looking for a physical challenge, then Queen Maeve Trail is a hike not to be missed. This very short 1.5 h round trip – this, of course, can change depending on your fitness level and how many times you stop for photos, will wow you with beautiful boardwalks, sweeping ocean vistas and lovely forests.

The length of the trail is 2.4 km out and back, and the starting point is located on Strandhill Road, opposite the rugby club. Once on the top, you’ll find an incredible 360-degree panorama of the surrounding countryside, Sligo coastline as well as an impressive burial site.

Legend has it that Warrior Queen Maeve of Connaught is buried upright on top of Knocknarea, so please be respectful of Irish mythology and don’t attempt to climb the cairn on the top of the mountain.

Also, wear comfortable shoes with a good grip, bring plenty of refreshments and healthy snacks and on a sunny day wear sunscreen.

If you are looking for a beautiful place to visit in Sligo, that’s rich with incredible views, add Knocknarea to your list.

 


#9. Visit beautiful Sligo Town

Beating to its very own rhythm, lively Sligo town, located in the northwest part of the country, can charm instantly. Bridges across the River Garavogue join the two halves of the town with restaurants and shops packed tightly together along its banks.

At first glance, Sligo might appear a little bit worn around the edges, but once you go for a walk along the river, grab a bite at the Italian Quarter, learn more about Yeats and see the fantastic woodcarvings made by the talented craftsman Michael Quirke, you’ll be instantly filled with wonder and delight.

Ruins of a beautiful 13th century Sligo Abbey, built-in 1253,  and a Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats Memorial House can be found in town as well as lots of boutique shops and eventful Irish pubs.

Sligo town is a fabulous and very colourful place to explore for a day or two.

#10. Visit Strandhill

Prior to our move to Sligo, we spent lots of time in Strandhill village where we immersed ourselves in Irish culture, explored every single coastal curve, watched local surf championships, participated in the beach clean-ups and enjoyed the mind-blowing countryside.

Besides engaging nature, you’ll find a great variety of food outlets with places like Shells Caffe, Strand Bar and Mammy Johnston’s, famous for their honeycomb ice cream, all down by the oceanfront.

IMG_0692
Strandhill village is lovely at any time of the year with fantastic views and great waves.

 


#11. Stop by Yeats Grave in Drumcliff

When I was a kid, I had a growing passion for literature; I used to read and express my feelings and thoughts through poetry, I enjoyed playing with words, mainly to find balance and reconnect with myself.

Because Sligo is our home now, I enjoy reading W.B.Yeats poetry. It’s captivating to see famous landmarks through his rhythmical compositions in The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Down by the Sally Garden and in my favourite piece The Stolen Child.

Drumcliffe village – a beautiful and quiet place – is best knows as the last resting spot of the Yeats and if you plan on visiting, don’t forget to stop by the church, The High Cross and the Round Tower too.

There are a lovely cafe and tourist shop, selling woollen crafts, quirky cards and a wide selection of Yeats books.

IMG_4825
Drumcliffe village makes for a lovely stop on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

…    …    …    …    …    …    …    …     …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …

Now, over to you!

Have you been to Sligo? Let us know in the comments below!

Let us know if you are plotting a visit to Sligo and have travel-related questions!

Posted by

Our Crossings follows the daily adventures of Latvian expats living in Sligo as they surf and explore the world

59 thoughts on “11 amazing things to do in beautiful Sligo that will make you stay for more

    1. Thank you kindly. We couldn’t be happier to live in a place where some of the best hiking trails and surfing beaches are located. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

      Like

  1. You live in a beautiful part of the world Aiva. I can’t wait to get back to Ireland and come and explore it. Enjoy your new freedoms today safely and long may they last. We have to put this Virus behind us ASAP. Thanks so much for sharing. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Allan. The idea of “love where you live” has been on my mind a lot recently and it’s something I’ve thought about a lot over the past decade as we’ve moved around the country. I strongly believe that if you love where you live or you simply learn to love where you live, your whole life feels happier! Thanks for reading and have a good day. Much to everyone’s surprise, the HSE has cancelled AstraZeneca vaccine appointments due from today onwards, and no one even knows what’s going to happen now. Just when we thought everything is going fairly smoothly and ‘normal’ life is just around the corner! Aiva 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Maggie 🙂 I think that having the freedom to decide where you live is one of the most significant factors that determine your lifestyle and happiness. Many people live somewhere that they don’t ideally want to be, but that’s where their job is. It’s where the employers are for their chosen profession. So, they feel like they have no choice. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

      Like

    1. Thank you kindly, Marion. :0 Sligo is beautiful and I am so glad we decided to leave congested Dublin behind. I wouldn’t be able to survive living in a small apartment and I can easily see why the pandemic is making people reconsider city living, trading traffic for chickens and fast open spaces. Cheers and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an absolutely beautiful guide Aiva. Your photos and explanations bring Sligo’s beauty to life and make me want to visit. The beaches are beautiful and that sense of peace and calm really comes through. I’m not sure about the seaweed bath, though I have bad eczema so perhaps it would be good to try! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t sure about the seaweed baths at first, too, but learning about many therapeutic benefits that are attributed to seaweed bathing, made me change my mind. Not only it flushes out toxic wastes, plumps up our cells, and lubricates our moving parts, but also relieves skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne etc. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. We are finally enjoying our new found freedom as travel restrictions ease after more than 100 days in a level five lockdown. The sun is shining, spring is on its way and we can finally go back to our favourite hiking trails. Long may it last. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. I hope all is well. Aiva 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, Aiva,
        It’s good to hear that your travel restrictions have eased and you can reclaim your favorite hiking trails. We’re cautiously doing that in our local California area as well. One can certainly see why you love living in Sligo. I hope to experience your beautiful natural environment when that is possible again. Thank you for noting in your post that the pandemic is far from over, and continuing to take protective health and safety measures is important. Have a lovely spring!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. At the moment, we are only allowed to freely travel within our county, and I am completely happy with that. Many countries are still reporting more new coronavirus infections, and that’s why it is too early to declare victory over the disease. Even Ireland seems to be stuck with numbers neither going up nor down. My family is still being careful about COVID-19, although sometimes it feels like we are the only ones. We follow everything that the health experts say but increasingly come across people who approach too closely, do not wear masks, have friends over inside, go on vacations, et cetera. Have a good day. Aiva 🙂

          Like

  3. I don’t think I will ever get tired of your Sligo posts! Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous and the regin just seems incredibly beautiful! The bluebell forest just reminded me of a similar one we have here in Belgium that I have been longing to see since I came here, 1.5 years ago. Hopefully I will manage to go at the right time and report on that! I had never heard of seaweed baths and honestly the sound of it doesn’t appeal much to me but I am sure the experience is actually very relaxing! I’ll have to try it one day! Thanks for sharing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Juliette. Sligo is a unique and special spot on the map that is just bursting at the seams with amazing things to see, do, visit and experience on your holiday here. A trip to Sligo is guaranteed to be a memorable one. I hope you get to visit bluebell forest in Belgium and write about your experience. One of the most known places I would like to see for myself is Hallerbos known as Belgium’s Fairytale Bluebell Forest. It’s located just 20 km from Brussels. Seaweed bath is actually a wonderful experience to just chill out and relax in a luxurious steaming bath of fresh seawater and wild organic seaweed for 50 minutes. Seaweeds are packed full of important nutrients that can improve the symptoms of arthritis among other health conditions. These nutrients work to strengthen bones, repair connective tissue damage and reduce inflammation of the joints and it’s a fantastic way to treat yourself once in a while. Cheers for reading and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hallerbos is exactly the place I am planning to visit! Can’t wait to share the experience on the blog! I had no idea seaweed bath were that good for the body! Maybe I’ll have to try them one day! Have a great day Aiva 😊

        Like

  4. You’ve certainly showcased the county at its best Aiva – it all looks gorgeous. I know I made a note of Knocknarea before so I’m adding Hazelwood Forest to the list. Hopefully we’ll get a good enough summer for you to enjoy those beaches and sunsets!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Marie 🙂 I really hope we get a good summer to enjoy everything Ireland has to offer and I hope to see more travel restrictions lifted in the months to come. With everything that’s still going on in the world right now, that much-needed overseas getaway can wait for a little while, I’d be glad to explore places like Galway, Westport and Donegal. I hope you are enjoying your newfound freedom. We are heading to the beach straight after work. Have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂

      Like

    1. Thank you very much, Jo and I know what you mean. There are still very strict restrictions on travelling into and out of Ireland and therefore we are not planning to go anywhere this year nor are we expecting visitors. I’d rather wait until it’s safe to do so. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We all know that there are many reasons why rural life is better than urban. The cost of living is lower, there’s more freedom and you might even sleep better in the country, but if you are looking for a high-paying career, you’ll soon come across one of the struggles small-town residents can face and that’s job scarcity. That’s why we decided to settle down in Sligo located on the banks of the Garavogue River. It might be a small town but it is a fantastic place to raise a family, with the sea right on your doorstep and with plenty of job opportunities. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have had the good fortune to live rurally and a now a forested suburb so I shouldn’t complain. I don’t think I would have chosen Texas as our destination but that’s were the good jobs were. Who knows what’s next? K x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly. Sligo, known as the birthplace of the 90s’ boyband – Westlife and the filming location of the popular Hulu series “Normal People” is an amazing place to explore. From amazing landscapes to ancient sites, there are lots of interesting activities in Sligo that visitors can enjoy. I hope you get to visit one day. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂

      Like

  5. What a great collection of photos, it makes you want to visit. I don’t know if you consider Lissadell House to be part of this area of Sligo, but I used to love stopping by. Elegant architecture from another era and the memory of Countess Markievicz.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lissadell House is definitely a big part of Sligo, and it’s a place worth visiting for anyone whos interested in history and gardening, but as it is closed to the public due to the pandemic crisis and ongoing restrictions, I decided not to include it in this blog post! I love Lissadel House and the surrounding landscape very much and would love to dedicate a whole post to it one day. Cheers and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. You would love to explore Sligo and many of its incredible attractions! Seaweed bath is one of those things I would highly recommend – they contain natural oils, which are released by the heat of the water and are absorbed into the skin. As it has natural anti-ageing and anti-cellulite properties which improve the suppleness and elasticity of the skin, you can easily see big changes after one use. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m blown away by the next-level photography you have going on here! Although I hadn’t heard of Sligo until I followed your blog, I now know that I must make the effort to head over there someday to capture the beauty as well. Especially for the atmospheric beaches and forests. Thanks for sharing, Aiva!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Rebecca. Cameras are complicated. I was frustrated with my first DSLR as I couldn’t capture what I saw through my viewfinder. Fortunately, Valters got hooked on photography, too and managed to learn quite a lot during the pandemic and now he can capture the beauty of our surroundings while bringing the viewer into the photo. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It looks like everywhere in Silgo is a photography adventure!! The scenery is just breathtaking. Seems like there is something here for everyone: beaches, hiking, boutique shops, and Irish pubs. I don’t need more convincing to visit Silgo, now it’s just a matter of waiting to be able to travel again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t really complain about being situated so close to the ocean and beautiful landscapes during the pandemic crisis. Exploring Sligo’s rich coastline and wild forests teaming with an array of species helped me feel happier and more energised during those dark and gloomy winter month. Now with travel restrictions gradually easing, we are looking forward to exploring Ireland again. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Diana 🙂 Given many health benefits of seaweed, I learned to overlook its often unappealing appearance/texture and in addition to seaweed bath, even started eating it. One of my latest discoveries is seaweed seasoning that can be used on pasta, pizza, eggs etc. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It looks amazing, so damn beautiful! Must be lovely to live there, I hope I can visit one day! I’ve only been Dublin in Ireland, but would love to explore the countryside and the seaside of the country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Nic. It’s only a small handful of things to see and do in Sligo. I hope you get to visit one day once the pandemic crises are over, you would love it. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I always feel so inspired after reading your posts! And you always have the most amazing photos. Gosh, I would love to travel again. I miss it so much! Once I graduate college, I think I might try to get a job in Europe and live there for a few years. I want to drop everything and go on an adventure!
    Whenever the time comes for that, I will be sure to visit all of your posts for the best places to go. <3\

    Miles of smiles,
    Grace

    gracefulrags.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Grace. With the ocean on our doorstep, Sligo is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. And with the warmth gradually returning to Ireland we are looking forward to more time spent outdoors. I hope you get to fulfil your dream in live in Europe for a few years. In large countries like the U.S., getting to another culture is a big endeavour. It costs time and money and it’s not really something most people do for a weekend. But in Europe, another country and a new city often is just a short train/bus ride away. Cheers and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

      Like

  10. This list is so varied and interesting I’d like to go to all the places you’ve listed! I haven’t been there yet, but I look forward to a visit in the future. What a beautiful place Aiva!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Meg. With mountains, forests and the ocean right on our doorstep, we never run out of things to do and see. Especially as seasons change and always bring something exciting along. Have a good day. Aiva 🙂

      Like

    1. Thanks so much. With the ocean right on our doorstep, there are oodles to see and do in Sligo. We are about to emerge from lockdown, can’t wait to spend even more time outdoors. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

      Like

  11. Happy Thursday. Thanks for the awesome escape. Been looking for top 10 places to retire and Europe is in my priority list. So much Abundant Nature and Architecture wonders few weeks vacation will not be enough. Always have this mantra that life is too short not to experience as much Culture and Travel. Hope it comes true. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome. 🙂 Although we were not allowed to go abroad to experience other cultures and different ways of life, we were still able to learn a few valuable lessons. Once the pandemic started and the world came to halt, we quickly realise that family matters more than we realized. We discovered that self-care is not self-indulgence and that loneliness hurts more than we thought. We are set to enjoy more freedom as the Government finally announced when some lockdown restrictions will be lifted. Long may it last! Cheers and have a good weekend. Aiva 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ll say it again: you live in an absolutely stunning place, Aiva. While Vancouver and area is also filled with natural beauty, it doesn’t have the charm of old buildings and lovely traditional pubs like The Beach Bar. I also love the laid-back vibe that your photos portray. It all looks so peaceful and unhurried. You had me taking another look at that seaweed bath. What a treat after a day of exploring beach and forest! What’s the population of Sligo?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Caroline. Being tied to Sligo for the past year due to the pandemic, made us fall in love with it even more. I think it was mainly due to the fact that we could watch the season change slowly – from the red and gold leaves of autumn to the colourful woodland flowers of spring – there was always something special to see. Spring is finally here and everything is growing and bursting into life which makes Sligo even more attractive. Sligo is the largest town in the county with a population of 20,000. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

      Like

    1. Hi, Julie 🙂 Your hometown is an amazing place, and we are very fortunate to live here. Leaving Dublin behind and relocating to Sligo was one of the best decisions we ever made. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. I hope you get to visit Sligo soon. Take care 🙂 Aiva xxx

      Like

    1. Thank you kindly, Prerna. Even after three years of living in Sligo, I often stop in my tracks while dropping Ericeira at school and running errands, completely mesmerised by the unfolding scenery. Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely weekend 🙂 Aiva xx

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.