Getting here - Visit North Mayo

Getting here

Mayo North on the Wild Atlantic Way Surf Coast is truly the undiscovered gem of the world’s longest signed driving route. If you’re wondering how to get to Ballina, which lies at the heart of North Mayo, then read on!

With its rugged coastline, where the cliffs meet the ocean, vast expanses of hills – perfect for losing yourself among the stunning landscape – wonderful waterways and the warmest welcome you can imagine, North Mayo is a must-visit destination.

How to get to Ballina by air

There are scheduled flights to Ireland West Airport Knock, which is just 40 minutes’ drive to Ballina, from the following locations:

Alicante | Barcelona (Girona) | Bristol | Birmingham | Cologne | Cadiz | East Midlands | Edinburgh | Faro | Liverpool | London Gatwick | London Luton | London Stansted | Malaga | Manchester | Milan (Bergamo) |  Palma de Mallorca

For flight information, visit the Ireland West Airport Knock website.

Car hire is available at the aiport, as are taxi services. For route information from the airport, see below.

Getting here by car

From the East:  

Dublin Airport – Follow signs for the M1 and take this South to reach the M50. Follow M50 directions below.

Dublin Port – Follow signs for  M50/Port Tunnel. Please be aware that this is a tolled tunnel, for full information visit Dublin tunnel. Once through the tunnel follow M50 directions below.

(It is possible to go through the city from the port, but as with any city traffic can be extremely heavy. For directions please use satnav/map application.)

M50 – Exit at J7 for the N4/M4 towards Galway/Westport, stay on the M4 where it reverts back to the N4 after Kinnegad. Stay on this road until just after Longford, where you need to follow signs for N5 Westport. Take the N5 all the way to  Swinford  (the gateway to Mayo North) where you will reach a right turn signposted N26 Ballina. Follow this through beautiful Foxford and onto Ballina.

Journey time: Dublin Airport/Port – Ballina: 2 hours 45 mins


M50 – Between Jn6 (N3 Blanchardstown) and Jn7 (Lucan). This is a barrier-free toll and must be paid online before 8pm the next day. To pay this toll or for more information visit the eFlow website.

M4 – Toll plaza located between Jn8 Kilcock and J9 Enfield. For further information please visit the Transport Infrastructure Ireland website.

Ireland West Airport (Knock)  – Turn right at the roundabout onto R376 and follow this for a short distance to the N17.  Turn left for Charlestown / Sligo and continue on the N17 until you reach a roundabout, take the second exit (N5 Westport). Follow this to  Swinford  (the gateway to Mayo North) where you will reach a right turn signposted N26 Ballina. Follow this through beautiful Foxford and onto Ballina.

Journey Time: Ireland West Airport (Knock) – Ballina: 45 minutes

From the South (Cork, Limerick, Galway, Shannon Airport): Take the N20 from Cork to Limerick. From Limerick and Shannon Airport, follow the M/N18 to Galway. From Galway, take the N17 to Claremorris, before turning off to take the N60 to Castlebar, then the N5, N58 and N26 to Ballina.

Journey times to Ballina: Cork: 3 hours 40 mins | Limerick: 2 hours 45 mins | Shannon Airport: 2 hours 20 mins | Galway: 1 hour 40 mins

From the North (Belfast/Enniskillen): Take the M1 as far East as Moygashel, then follow the A4 through Enniskillen to Belcoo. Then take the N16 to Sligo, followed by the N59 to Ballina.

Journey time: Belfast – Ballina: 3 hours 9 mins

 From the North (Letterkenny/Sligo): Take the N13 to Ballybofey, then the N15 to Sligo, followed by the N59 to Ballina.

Journey times to Ballina: Letterkenny: 2 hours 25 mins | Sligo: 55 minutes

Getting here by bus

From the East (Dublin Airport/Dublin) Expressway runs a regular bus service from Dublin Airport and Dublin, which stops in certain locations along the route. Click here for the full timetable.

From the South (Cork, Limerick, Galway, Shannon Airport): There is no direct bus route from Cork to Ballina, however it is possible to link: Cork – Limerick – Shannon Airport – Ennis – Galway (Route 51 – click here for timetable) | Galway – Westport – Ballina (Route 52 -click here for timetable)

From the South (Galway) – There are two services from Galway to Ballina, GoBus operates route 430 (Cick here for timetable)  and Expressway operates route 52 (click here for timetable)

From the North (Belfast): There is no direct bus route from Belfast to Ballina, however it is possible to link via Goldliner Route 261: Belfast – Eniskillen (click here for timetable)| Then Bus Éireann route 458: Enniskillen – Sligo – Ballina (click here for timetable)

From the North (Derry/Letterkenny/Donegal/Sligo): No direct bus route, however it is possible to take the Expressway route 64: Derry – Galway change at Sligo (click here for timetable) | Then Bus Éireann route 458: Enniskillen – Sligo – Ballina (click here for timetable)

From Ireland West Airport (Knock): Whilst there is no direct bus route, a limited number options are available depending on whether it is high or low season. For most up to date timetables and route options please visit Expressway.

Getting here by Train

There is a regular train service from Dublin (Heuston) to Ballina. Take the Westport line, and there is a speedy interchange at Manulla Junction, near Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

A full timetable can be generated here.


Getting Around North Mayo

There are a number of different options for getting around North Mayo depending on where you would like to visit. Below are some of the more popular services.

Ballina to Céide Fields (summer months) – McGraths Coaches operates route 436 mon – fri

Departs Ballina 1315 – Arrives Céide Fields 1400

Returns at 1600 arriving in Ballina 1645

For more routes around North Mayo with McGraths Coaches please click here


Ballina to Belmullet/Blacksod – Bus Éireann route 446 –  Mon – Sun

This route operates four times a day during the week and three at the weekend (click here for full timetable).

TFI Local Link

TFI Local Link aims to provide quality nationwide community based public transport in rural Ireland that responds to local needs. They also have a limited number of regular rural route services (RRS) around North Mayo:

Belmullet to Castlebar (Calls at Ballycroy visitors centre) – 978 Mon – Sun

Ballina to Lahardane 4648 Mon – Fri

Ballycastle to Ballina 4649 – Mon – Fri

For a full list of routes and services TFI Local Link provides please visit their website HERE