The Great Blasket Island is the largest among the Blasket Islands, which are the westernmost islands off the coast of Ireland.
This island measures roughly 3 kilometers by 1 kilometer (2 miles by ½ mile) and is predominantly rocky. It is also the westernmost point of Europe and has a long, fascinating history.
Even with its size and remote location, the Great Blasket Island has attracted visitors over the years.
The rustic surroundings and the calm atmosphere attracts tourists who wanted a quick, memorable getaway. Its incredible, unspoiled landscape is the walker’s paradise.
This stunning island is an easy ferry ride from the Dingle Marina.
If you’re up for a unique day tour, here are some of the things to do in Great Blasket Island when you visit.
Things you'll find in this article
- Great Blasket Island: Things To Do And See
- 1. Blasket Center
- 2. Eco-marine Tour
- 3. Enjoy the silence
- 4. See the ruins in Great Blasket Island
- 5. Painting and Photography
- 6. Bond with the Grey Seals
- 7. Stay in a Cottage
- 8. Birdwatching
- 9. Go on a fishing trip on Great Blasket Island
- 10. Hike the Great Blasket Loop
Great Blasket Island: Things To Do And See
1. Blasket Center
Before you board a ferry to the islands, be sure to stop by the Blasket Center. This is located in Dún Chaoin, right on the edge of the Dingle Peninsula.
The fascinating museum and heritage center is a homage to the people who lived in the Blasket Islands.
These people made up the community that endured the harsh conditions on the island and lived off farming and fishing.
The center has interactive displays and exhibits that showcase life for the island dwellers, their unique culture, and rich literary legacy.
Some of the popular written works about Blasket Islands are The Islandman, Twenty Years A-Growing, and ‘Peig’.
It is a great place to visit that will truly inspire you before hopping on that boat and will make you appreciate the island more once you’re there.
2. Eco-marine Tour
One of the top Great Blasket Island attractions are the rich marine life in the waters surrounding it.
Most tours offer cruises that take you not just around Dingle Bay or the Great Blasket, but also to some of the most beautiful places in the Wild Atlantic Way.
Within the Dingle Bay and Great Blasket area, you get to experience the thrill of spotting dolphins, puffins, sharks, and whales.
Watch as they playfully jump or swim close by, and be sure to have your camera ready!
The tours will also take you through some of the most stunning sceneries, making it among the best activities to do in Great Blasket Island.
3. Enjoy the silence
Once you reach the island, the first thing that you’ll notice is the silence. Time seems to have stopped in Great Blasket and every nature sound is amplified.
The crashing waves, the chirping birds, even the hum of the boats passing or going- they somehow sound different from how you hear them when in the mainland.
If you’re looking for a place to truly relax, this is one of the top things to do in Great Blasket.
Bring a padded mat, pick a spot, then sit or lie down. Nothing is more relaxing than spending time on an island that feels like you have it to yourself.
4. See the ruins in Great Blasket Island
The Great Blasket Island and the archipelago where it’s a part of has been around since prehistoric times.
The main island has also been inhabited, but the population dwindled by the early 1950s. The people who used to live here moved somewhere else.
Ruins were left and they are now among the interesting places to see in the Great Blasket Islands.
Stroll through the island’s green roads and you’d come across one of these.
From prehistoric to simple domestic ruins, each tells a fascinating story about life in Great Blasket. They are left untouched and now among the must-see parts of the island.
5. Painting and Photography
A number of those who visit the Great Blasket Island are usually attracted by its literary heritage.
After all, this is the setting of the Irish-language writings of Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Muiris Ó Suilleabhain (also known in English as Tomás O’Crohán and Maurice O’Sullivan), and Peig Sayers.
However, as much as these writers were able to capture island life and its beauty through their words, the island’s unique light is perfect for those into painting and photography.
Bring your art materials or trusty camera, as the island’s stunning landscape begs to be captured.
This is one of the things to do in the Great Blasket Islands that you can literally bring hone with you. Peaceful and unspoiled surroundings are quite memorable.
6. Bond with the Grey Seals
Great Blasket Islands may have been mostly abandoned by its permanent human dwellers several decades ago, but one wouldn’t exactly call it uninhabited. The island has quite a variety of wildlife, in and around it.
One of those that are considered to be the best attractions in the Great Blasket Islands are its population of grey seals. These adorable creatures have made the shores of the island their home.
As you walk along the beach, you’ll most likely encounter a pack of them hanging out in the sand, lining the water’s edge.
Apart from the waves crashing, theirs are probably the only other sounds you’ll hear regularly on the beach.
7. Stay in a Cottage
Most of those who visit the island only stay there for about three to five hours.
They either hike, sit by the rocks and relax or take photos. The island has been uninhabited for decades due to the lack of some basic things like electricity.
Over the years, cottages and a few other accommodations have been set up to encourage visitors to experience island life. They are mostly self-catering and have only the essentials.
Stay for a night or two and experience rustic island life. This is quite an adventure and definitely a unique thing to do in the Great Blasket Island.
With this experience, you get to enjoy a bit of life on the island. You’ll be surrounded by splendid scenery in one of the most beautiful and unspoiled places in Ireland.
The Great Blasket Island’s remote location and landscape have made it a haven for a variety of bird species.
As you stroll along the beach or hike around the loop, you’d most likely encounter these birds. Watch out for snowy owls that you can even see during the day.
You’d most likely hear the seabirds, stonechats, and swallows first before you see them.
But you’ll most likely catch them mid-flight, perched on rocks or about to descend.
Get your cameras ready, as these birds are among the best things to see in Great Blasket Island.
9. Go on a fishing trip on Great Blasket Island
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Explore and make the most of your visit to Great Blasket Island by going on a fishing trip.
These trips originate from Dingle Bay. You get to enjoy the sights around the Blasket Islands, spot marine and bird life and try your luck at fishing.
This is one interesting Great Blasket activity that you should definitely try.
Apart from the stunning scenery, you also get to catch some pollock or mackerel with the help of the guide.
10. Hike the Great Blasket Loop
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Wear sturdy hiking shoes and see more of Great Blasket by hiking on the loop. This trail goes around the entire Great Blasket Island. It is a moderate to strenuous hike that takes around five hours to complete.
Along the way, you get yo enjoy the stunning scenery that includes its rocky landscape, ancient ruins, beehive huts, and the sandy beach.
The walk also goes up to the summit of the island’s highest point An Cró Mór (292m). It is a scenic climb that lets you see more of the island. Be careful though as there are cliffs around the loop.
A bit of a strenuous hike and a little dangerous, but it is a worthy thing to do in Great Blasket Island that allows you to truly experience it.
Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries for the past 8 years. I also lived in 3 continents – from the Caribbean, South East Asia to Africa. But despite living in several countries, my love for Ireland remains the same. A country that had been a part of my life since I was 14 because of my love for Irish music and bands. Ireland Travel Guides was born because of this passion and hopefully, in some little ways, this website will be able to help you on your next trip to Ireland.