Ireland's largest sanctuary
This small Irish town is both a tourist and spiritual destinationa county of beautiful Blue Flag beaches that alternate with desolate countryside, creating a striking and unique combination that is rarely found elsewhere.
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It is located in County Mayo, the third county in Ireland for importance and size, which is situated in the west of the country; In 2012 the nearby town of Westport in the same county was judged to be the ‘Best place in Ireland to live’, according to ‘The Irish Times’, beating some 536 other competing places, the merit of which is due mainly to the truly unique community spirit of the local inhabitants, who personally work hard to keep their town welcoming and extraordinarily clean. If we add to this the excellent restaurants, traditional music, beaches perfect for surfing, sailing and unique excursions, it is clear why each year thousands of tourists from all over the world come to the county, where they also find the small town of Knock.
The pilgrimages in Knock
Not everyone knows, perhaps, that the town, each year, is also the destination of pilgrimages of approximately a million and a half people, second only in the world to the Sanctuaries of Fatima and Lourdes. The vision by two local women of three bright images of the Virgin Mary, together with St. James and St. John the Evangelist, who wished to transmit spiritual messages to save the world, dates back, in fact, to 21 August 1879.
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From then there was a succession of miracles and these were followed by the construction of a large cathedral, the only one and the first in Ireland, named Our Lady of Knock. Even Pope John Paul II officially ratified the sacred nature of the place almost a century later, personally visiting it during his papacy and gifting a golden rose, a coveted and rare papal recognition, to the sanctuary.  
The County Mayo
County Mayo offers various types of trips, from the town of Ballina, on the River Moy, the salmon capital and therefore a destination for fishing enthusiasts, to nearby Westport, suggestively called the “Venice of the West”. In Castlebar, the most important town of the county, is the campus of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and a section of the National Museum of Ireland, dedicated to rural life The town is also famous for hosting the International Four Days Walk, during which thousands of walkers, of every age, coming particularly from abroad, take long walks over a period of four days.
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Achill Island. Copyright ©, Shutterstock
Achill Island
County Mayo has the largest island and, according to artists and poets, the most striking island off the coast of Ireland: Achill Island, which is easily reached from a short road bridge.
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Croagh Patrick
Mayo is also home to the Croagh Patrick, a sacred Irish mountain and destination of thousands of pilgrims who, each year, travel on foot to the base of the Statue of St. Patrick, the patron saint of the nation, to receive his blessings.
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Sports in Knock
Sport, particularly cycling, is popular in this magical county, and is carried out by all, without aspiring to competitive levels, often with all the family along the Great Western Greenway, a cycle path of 42 kilometres long.  
Each September, lovers of good food head to the Westport Food Festival from all over Ireland and from abroad to taste local products from the surrounding countryside, which offer a wide range of delicious flavours, and which local producers display with pride on their colourful stalls: sausages, cold meats, mature cheeses, and vegetables cooked in different ways, and above all with great imagination, particularly in the preparation of potatoes, which are almost a national dish and an important food resource during the numerous periods of famine that have affected the country over the course of the centuries.

Testi di Anna Fusai
Updated by Alisè Vitri
Avion Tourism Magazine
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Tourism Board
Where to sleep in Contea di Mayo
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Contea di Mayo is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
  • Hotel in Knock
Hotels in tourist areas
  • Augustinian Friary
  • Folk Museum
  • Knock Shrine
  • St Patrick's Church
Hotels near the airport
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
Hotels in tourist areas
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
WHERE TO GO in knock
Monuments in Knock
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The story of Knock began on Thursday evening of the 21st August 1879, Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared in the church at Knock in County Mayo of Ireland.  There were fifteen official witnesses to the apparition,  young and old, who watched and prayed for two hours in the pouring rain. Two Commissions of Enquiry, in 1879 and 1936, accepted their testimony as trustworthy and satisfactory. Today, Knock ranks among the world’s major Marian ShrinesKnock Shrine is an international place of prayer and pilgrimage where over one and a half million people make their way every year. Following the miraculous event of the apparition numerous cures were reported, the first being that of Delia Gordon, a young girl from the neighbouring town of Claremorris who was cured of deafness. Since then, pilgrims have come to Knock in search of healing, reconciliation and peace.
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The Knock Shrine is set in one hundred acres of beautiful landscaped gardens with meandering pathways and a diverse range of flowers, shrubs and trees. The complex incorporates five churches including the apparition chapel, parish church and basilica, a religious books centre, caravan and camping park, Knock Museum, Café Le Chéile and Knock House Hotel. Services at the shrine include organised pilgrimages, daily masses, confessions and prayer guidance. Important was the personal pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II in 1979 to commemorate the centenary of the apparition and also the visit of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 1993 that inspired an even greater devotion to the shrine in Ireland.
Museums in Knock
Knock Museum captures the unique and compelling story of the Knock apparition of 1879 and tells of the fifteen ordinary people who witnessed this extraordinary event. Visitors can read original hand-written letters by people cured at Knock and listen to  sharing stories and memories of Knock and saw the transformation of Knock, a small rural village in County Mayo, into an international Marian Shrine
Excursions in Knock and its surroundings
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