The Inishkea Islands are located just off the Mayo Coast close to the Belmullet Peninsula. There used to be a thriving community here as Islanders escaped the worst of the desperate years of the late 1800’s. In the past there was rumours that the islanders would turn to piracy in order to supplement their meagre income!
These Islands are now deserted, the population having lost the fight against the Atlantic storms and the emigration of young people in search of an easier life. The devastating loss of young fishermen in the storm of October 1927 was the final blow.
The Inishkea Islands have now largely returned to nature and there is a great population of wildlife to be seen, including seals, seabirds and, if you are lucky, dolphins and the odd whale. Such was the population of whales at one time that a whaling station was established here. The whales are now undisturbed and sightings of whales off the Irish coast are increasingly common, so you may be in luck.
The natural beauty of this area is unique, with mountains islands and the Atlantic Ocean combining with the ruined cottages to bring a wistful peace to the area.
It is guaranteed that you have never visited an island like this before, there is lots of exploring to be done and with the history of the Island it is well worth reading up on it before you go. The best way of getting to these Islands is by charter boat
Mayo Coastal Cottages have some friends that can help you to visit these Islands and see them at their best. Belmullet Boat Charters have a fully certified charter boats that make regular trips during the summer months. They are a family run business and have many years of experience. As well as Island ferry trips they can offer sea angling, sight seeing and dolphin and whale watching trips. Their contact details are lower down the page, so if you get a day when you are not sure what to do this is your opportunity to try something different.
Guided tours are also on offer to help you learn some of the interesting and unusual aspects of the islands hidden gems such as Celtic slabs, whaling station, monastery and spectacular sea cliffs!
The Skipper and his family are a real authority on the Islands and the surrounding area.
If you get a fine summer day on the island it is certain that you will want to return.
Something about these Islands fascinates a visitor and will stay in their memory.