What to do with a day in Dingle: The Blasket Islands
A pre-baby trip that would be perfect for even the littlest of travelers.
What to do in the Dingle peninsula? Travel by boat to the uninhabited Blasket Islands just off the coast. The Blasket Islands were inhabited until 1953 when the government evacuated the last residents. Today you will just find other tourists, sheep, and sea lions.
How to Spend Your Day
The Great Blasket Island is 4 miles by 2 1/2 miles of unspoiled terrain. There are beautiful beaches, abandoned homes, and trails to explore.
We roamed randomly over the many trails and down to the beautiful strip of beach. You cannot go wrong regardless of which direction you choose to go in. However, I would recommend you make it down to the beach. The white sand is beautiful and I was particularly enamored with the sea lions. These would be a huge draw for younger family members! The water is cold so I don’t anticipate you would want to go swimming but we enjoyed our picnic lunch down by the water.
You can make your hiking as strenuous or easy as you want. We spent a very leisurely day walking around grassy trails and admiring sheep before heading down to the beach. My brother and sister-in-law on the other made it to the highest point on the island for some excellent views. I’ve dubbed this a pre-baby trip but I was 10 weeks pregnant and had just realized my pregnancy was going to be plagued with nausea so I wasn’t up for anything strenuous. Two very different days but both wonderful!
How to Get There
There are a few different options for getting to the Great Blasket Island. While an eco cruise is nice, I would strongly suggest booking one of the ferries that docks at the Great Blasket Island. Regardless of which company or option you go with, I would strongly suggest booking in advanced.
Blasket Island Ferries
(Company we ended up using). Departs from Dunquin harbor about 25 minutes from the Dingle town center. A huge plus to using the Blasket Island Ferries is the departure location. Dunquin is home to the Blasket Centre where you can learn about the history of the Blasket Islands and the people who lived there. If you are going to make a trip out to the Great Blasket Island then a trip to the museum should be on your agenda.
Blasket Island Eco Marine Ferries
The Blasket Island Eco Marine tour departs from Ventry about 12 minutes from the Dingle town center. The all day tour includes three hours on Great Blasket Island and departs at 10am. After three hours on the island the tour concludes with a three hour tour on the boat. Price: 60 euros per person.
Know Before You Go
If you plan on being out all day, plan on bringing lunch and water with you. And don’t forget the sunscreen! As you can tell from the pictures there isn’t much shade to be found on the island.
If you are savvy with tides and water levels you might want to do some research before you book your trip. We managed to book our trip to the Great Blasket Island during a period of particularly low water levels (related to the moon I believed). Our initial boat tour was canceled but we were able to find a smaller boat that was still making trips. The low water levels made it difficult to disembark from the boat. We had to scramble up the boat ramp which was slick and a bit difficult for the less agile in our group. This would definitely make it difficult to do with a small child.