The Inishkea Islands – Oiléan Inis Cé
Blacksod – Inishkea (35 Min Crossing)
The Inishkea Islands or Inis Cé in Irish, are located 3km off the coast of Belmullet, Co. Mayo. The Islands are believed to be named after a saint that lived on the island in the 5th century called St. Kay or St. Kea. There are two main islands, Inishkea North and Inishkea South. Rich in history and surrounded by crystal clear waters, breathtaking views and white sandy beaches, every corner of the Inishkea Islands are just waiting to be discovered.
What’s included in your trip?
- 35 minute crossing to Inishkea from Blacksod Pier.
- 35 minute guided tour of the Inishkea Islands
- Special children’s treasure hunt.
Guidelines & Information
- Duration of Sailing: 35-40 minutes
- Departure Point: Blacksod Pier
- Check out our sailing times.
- It is essential that you arrive 15 minutes before trip departure to check in with a member of our crew.
- Read our FAQs for more information.
where to park
- Parking is available for free at the car park at Blacksod Pier.
what to bring
- Raincoat / Jackets
- Suitable Walking Shoes / Runners
- Spare Clothes
- Suncream / Sunhat
- Swimming Gear
- Mobile Phone
Things to note
No wild camping is allowed on either of the Inishkea Islands as the island is privately owned. You must be granted permission to camp in a land owners land.
Videos & pictures of the Inishkea Islands
Inishkea Island Trip Itinerary:
Your tour begins at Blacksod Pier. Enjoy the experience of Blacksod Bay as we head for Inishkea. Your sailing to the island takes you past the picturesque village of Surgeview and the Islands of Blackrock, Duvillaun Beag & Mór, Geachta and Léim ar Reithe. Laying just beyond this, Inishkea’s navigation towers and cottages come into view as we make our way to the Island.
Once on the island, you will be given the choice to embark on a guided tour of the island, with an island descendent. You will be swept away on a spellbinding walking tour of the island, where you learn about the rich history of Inishkea and get to visit the village of Inishkea where you will see the school, whaling station, nunnery, cilin, 5th century stone slabs and various monastic sites. Learn about the fascinating stories of the Naomhog, Francoise Henry, St. Kea, the Children of Lir, the dye workshop on Inishkea North and so much more! Your tour finishes with a trek up the Alt Mór, where the Inishkea navigation tower, cliffs and St. Deirbhile’s holy well are located.
Once your guided tour is complete, you will have lots of time to enjoy a relaxing lunch, go for a swim or furtherly explore the island! For our little passengers, we offer a exciting treasure hunt filled with puzzles and riddles to be solved!
June 1st – Aug 25th: 7 Days A Week
May 15th – June 1st / Aug 25th – 15th Oct: Saturday & Sunday
- Depart Blacksod 9.30am
- Depart Inishkea 1.15pm
- Depart Blacksod 2pm
- Depart Inishkea 5.20pm
- Depart Blacksod 9.30am
Top things to do on Inishkea
Take a guided tour of Inishkea with an island descendant – to bring the island to life. Visit the school, whaling station, dye station, kings house, beehive huts, cilin, 5th century stone slabs, various monastic sites and learn about the fascinating focloir stories of the Naomhog, St. Colmcille, Francoise Henry, St. Kea, the royal dye workshop and so much more!
Explore the Villages
Explore the villages of Inishkea South & North – travel back in time as you glance at all the beautiful stone cottages built in the late 1800s. On Inishkea South, look out for the king’s house, the old two – storey shop, shebeen, school, cilin and its decorated stone slab. On Inishkea North, visit St. Colmcille’s Church, the king’s house, the shop, shebeen and school.
The Alt Mór
Take a trek up the Alt Mór where one of the two navigation towers on Inishkea South are located. Built in the late 1800s these structures provide an important navigation purpose for boats travelling in the channel known as Leim Mor. Enjoy the stunning views of the Inishkea islands and the islands surrounding it at the top of the Alt Mór.
The Bailey Mór
Take a walk up to the Bailey Mór, one of the three man – made mounds on Inishkea North. It is home to one of the island’s two, early christian monasteries. Spot the many beehive huts located in the area and take a look at the highly decorated stone slabs from the 5th century, including the stone slab showing the ‘crucifixion scene’.
Beaches & Swimming
There are no shortages of jaw dropping white sandy beaches or places to swim on Inishkea. Chill on the beach – a perfect place for lunch or take a dip in Inishkea’s crystal clear & sheltered waters, perfect for dozens of watersports, including swimming, kayaking, snorkelling, stand-up-paddling (SUP), fishing and pier jumping – to name just a few!
Enjoy the amazing view of the Sea Cliffs at the west of Inishkea South, some are the most spectacular in Ireland, hosting extraordinary views and a wide variety of rare flora and fauna. These Sea Cliffs are a must visit when exploring the island and are also the site of where poitin was once distilled on the island.
Explore Rusheen Island – home to the whaling station on Inishkea. The island is located just off Inishkea South and can be accessed at low tide. You can still see the old cylindrical oil boilers, where the workers of the whaling station once would have boiled the blubber of whales to make oil.
St. Colmcille’s Church
Visit St. Colmcille’s Church on Inishkea North. St. Colmcille is one of Ireland’s three patron saints. The other two are St. Brigid and of course, St. Patrick. Colmcille came to Inishkea North and founded the church there in the 7th century. You can also see the altar, aumbry and various holy stones inside the church building.
Team up with family or friends and compete against others to solve the challenges and riddles you’re given. Track down all the clues hidden across the island to find your treasure! This treasure hunt is free of charge with us and is a great way to keep kids busy and entertained during their trip to Inishkea.
Geocaches on the Inishkea Islands.
Geocaching fan? There are currently three geocaches to be found on the Inishkea Islands. The Belmullet Boat Charters team have created two of these geocaches! Check out one of our geocaches on Inishkea North below!