Annagassan Harbour has magnificent views over Dundalk Bay and the Cooley and Mourne Mountains.
Annagassan has a great history, according to The Annals of Ulster, a 15th century account of medieval Ireland. The Vikings, the famed Scandinavian warriors, started raiding Ireland in 795 and plundered it for decades, before establishing two Irish outposts (or Viking longphorts).
One outpost, Dúbh Linn, became Dublin, the other, Linn Duchaill, was lost in time.
A team of archaeologists announced in September 2010 that it had found evidence of a major Viking shipbuilding town near the village of Annagassan, 70 kilometers north of Dublin. The settlement was built in 841AD, and bounded on one side by the sea and on the other by the river Glyde and its confluence with the river Dee.
There is evidence of impressive engineering, with an artificial island constructed out of the landscape to offer protection from attacks by the indigenous Irish. There is also evidence of carpentry, smelting and ship repair, with ship rivets dotted around the site. These features alone would make the site significant as few Viking longphorts - or shipbuilding towns - have been excavated.
One lingering question is why Linn Duchaill was abandoned while Dublin thrived. One theory is that because Dublin has better 24-hour access to the sea, it meant that the Vikings there could take to their ships and head out when they were under attack. At Linn Duchaill, tidal fluctuations would cut off access for several hours a day.