The saying goes of County Mayo: “If you could eat scenery, Mayo would be the richest county on earth.” We agree and are hungry for more…counting the days until we return to Mayo’s riches.

And while there are so many places that justifiably lay claim to being the “Heart of Ireland” our heartstrings are tugged most often and most fiercely by the rugged beauty and wealth of landscape to be found in Mayo…Clew Bay, Achill Island, Downpatrick Head, Lough Conn, Nephin mountain…these are but a sampling of the sites that feed our hearts’ longing and call us back.

One exciting man-made draw for us in Mayo is a new distillery under development in Laharduan on the footsteps of Nephin mountain. A visit to the Nephin Distillery shop is on the “must” list, for here—in addition to learning about (and sampling) the finer points of Irish Whiskey—we will experience firsthand a success story of the Irish economic recovery underway. On the more mystical side of things, take a look at the short clip of the water divining mastery of Padraig McNeely as he locates a pure water source for the distillery.

Finally, we are most pleased to announce the latest addition to the Retour, walking/hiking guide and friend, John Quinn. (see sidebar) John’s extensive knowledge of and passion for County Mayo will lead us to discover some of the striking landscape found off the beaten path in the gorgeous region on and around Corraun Peninsula. Failte, John!