You may have heard of the Skellig Islands off the Ring of Kerry, but have you heard of the Blasket Islands off the coast of Dingle?
These islands are a must-see because they are home to diverse marine and plant life. Not to mention, the island people themselves have a fascinating history until they eventually abandoned their village in 1953. The islanders have even produced a series of classical literature about living on the furthest extents of europe like The Islandman, Twenty Years A-Growing, and Peig.
Less than 20 km of a drive past Dingle town, you will be able to see the Blasket Islands off the coast, granted it’s a clear day! Not to mention, you will find yourself in one of the most beautiful lookout points in Ireland, Dunmore Head.
Drive just a few more minutes and you will reach Blasket Island Heritage Center where you can view a wonderful documentary about island life by Muiris Mac Conghal. This experience is for those of you interested in the cultural history of the island!
Another alternative is to go to the islands themselves. And luckily, there is a Blasket Islands ferry that runs everyday, weather permitting.
In order to get to the pier the ferry leaves from, you will need to walk down this windy trail to Dunquin Pier. Make sure to take in wonderful views as you make your descent!
Once you take off from the pier, you will have about a 20-30 minute boat ride until you are transferred into a dinghy and taken ashore.
On shore you will reach a set of stairs carved into the island rock. From here you are just a few minutes walk away from the abandoned village the islanders used to inhabit.
On the island, there are no real amenities besides a cafe that is occasionally open so I would suggest packing a lunch and making a day of it! There is nothing like picnicking at what once was thought of as the end of the world looking out over the open water.
Eco Marine Adventure Tour
For all you nature enthusiasts, I highly suggest you experience this wonderful three-hour guided tour around the Blasket Islands Archipelago. This tour will absolutely exceed your expectations. On this tour you will see the outstanding Cathedral Rocks on Inis na Bró, a large puffin colony on Inisvickalaun, and the most Western lighthouse and steepest funicular rail track in Europe.
The waters surrounding the islands are full to the brim with wildlife such as whales, dolphins, porpoises, and minke whales. You can sometimes observe orcas, humpback, and fin whales as well in the late summer months!
Perhaps the highlight of the tour is on the Great Blasket Island itself where there is a colony of about 700 grey seals that call the beach their home.
The Blasket Islands are a must-see while in Dingle! These islands welcome all whether you are culturally-inclined, a wildlife enthusiast or just along for the ride.