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Knock is a small Irish town that is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, due to its gorgeous Blue Flag beaches that sit in between the stretches of green countryside. This creates a breath-taking and striking scene of natural glory that is rare to find anywhere else in the world. Here are a few other reasons that make this Irish sanctuary a must-visit destination.
Knock is in County Mayo, which is the third largest county in Ireland, and it’s known for its clean and welcoming nature. The town of Knock is reputable for having some of the best beaches for surfing and sailing, brilliant restaurants and traditional music filling the streets.
The town of Ballina is located in County Mayo on the River Moy, and it is otherwise known as the salmon capital, making it an ideal destination for fishing enthusiasts. It is a stone’s throw away from Westport which is referred to as the ‘Venice of the West’ due to its stunning natural beauty.
County Mayo is also home to Achill Island, the largest and most striking island off the coast of Ireland. It is easily accessible via a short bridge and is a must-see in the area. Visitors can also visit Croagh Patrick, a sacred Irish mountain that is home to the statue of St Patrick, the patron saint of the nation.
Food lovers are in for a real treat with a visit to Knock as every September the Westport Food Festival takes place. People from all over Ireland and abroad gather to get a taste of delicious local products from the surrounding countryside.
The food festival is filled with bright and colourful stalls showcasing the very best of local produce, such as mature cheeses, cold meats and sausages. They also have a range of differently cooked vegetables, particularly potatoes, which are considered the national dish of the area.
All the tasty food can be easily walked off in this magical county that is full of natural beauty and gorgeous greenery. If you’d prefer to cycle off the extra food, then jump on your bike and head to the Great Western Greenway, a scenic cycle path that is 42km in length for a great bike ride.
Knock is a very famous destination for pilgrimages with almost two million people visiting the town for a journey of religious discovery. It has been said to have had visions of the Virgin Mary, together with St James and St John the Evangelist in the 1800s.
This was followed by a string of miracles, that then led to the construction of a very large cathedral in the town, the first in Ireland, named Our Lady of Knock.
The century that followed saw Pope John Paul II officially confirm the sacred nature of the area with a personal visit to Knock during his papacy. He gifted the cathedral with a golden rose, which signified a coveted and rare papal recognition of the sanctuary.
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