England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

Great Blasket Island

Tides and tools
Overview





Great Blasket Island lies off the west coast of Ireland on the north side of the entrance to Dingle Bay about a mile off the extremity of the Dingle Peninsula. The uninhabited island is situated within a rocky group of islets that are Ireland’s, and continental Europe’s, most westerly. Great Blasket Island provides an anchorage and a sandy beach or slipway upon which to land on the island.

Great Blasket Island lies off the west coast of Ireland on the north side of the entrance to Dingle Bay about a mile off the extremity of the Dingle Peninsula. The uninhabited island is situated within a rocky group of islets that are Ireland’s, and continental Europe’s, most westerly. Great Blasket Island provides an anchorage and a sandy beach or slipway upon which to land on the island.

The island provides a tolerable anchorage that is only usable in good conditions. Navigation is straightforward in daylight, at any stage of the tide when a favourable tide is available for the direction of approach.
Please note

Tides can be confused and unpredictable at times so a power-driven craft is best equipped for this location.




Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Great Blasket Island
Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
3 stars: Tolerable; in suitable conditions a vessel may be left unwatched and an overnight stay.



Last modified
April 22nd 2022

Summary

A tolerable location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

52° 6.405' N, 010° 30.711' W

200 metres off the middle of the beach near the old island settlement.

What are the initial fixes?

The following waypoints will set up a final approach:

(i) An Tra Ban (beach anchorage approach) Initial Fix

52° 6.500' N, 010° 29.900' W



(ii) Middle Blasket Sound Initial Fix

52° 7.500' N, 010° 29.500' W

Safe middle point fix to Blasket Sound passage. This is upon the alignment 015° (or 195° heading south) upon the site of the old tower on Sybil Point and Clogher Rock, off Clogher Head. It is abeam of the north ends of the group of rocky islets.

(iii) South Blasket Sound Initial Fix

52° 6.000' N, 010° 30.000' W

Safe South point fix to Blasket Sound passage. This is upon the alignment 015° (or 195° heading south) upon the site of the old tower on Sybil Point and Clogher Rock, off Clogher Head.
Please note

Initial fixes only set up their listed targets. Do not plan to sail directly between initial fixes as a routing sequence.




What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location. The anchorage is on the northeast side of the island which is approached through Blasket Sound which is detailed in Navigating Blasket Sound Route location.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Great Blasket Island for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Ventry Harbour - 5.4 nautical miles E
  2. Smerwick Harbour - 6.3 nautical miles NE
  3. Dingle Harbour - 8.9 nautical miles ENE
  4. Cooncrome Harbour (Cuas Crom) - 12.4 nautical miles SE
  5. Knightstown - 13.8 nautical miles SE
  6. Cahersiveen - 14 nautical miles SE
  7. Portmagee - 14.3 nautical miles SSE
  8. Kells Bay - 15.8 nautical miles ESE
  9. Brandon Bay - 16.2 nautical miles NE
  10. Ballinskellig Bay - 19.9 nautical miles SSE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Ventry Harbour - 5.4 miles E
  2. Smerwick Harbour - 6.3 miles NE
  3. Dingle Harbour - 8.9 miles ENE
  4. Cooncrome Harbour (Cuas Crom) - 12.4 miles SE
  5. Knightstown - 13.8 miles SE
  6. Cahersiveen - 14 miles SE
  7. Portmagee - 14.3 miles SSE
  8. Kells Bay - 15.8 miles ESE
  9. Brandon Bay - 16.2 miles NE
  10. Ballinskellig Bay - 19.9 miles SSE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search

Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

Expand to new tab or fullscreen



What's the story here?
The sandy bay with An Trá Ban at its head
as low clouds cling to Great Blasket Island's lofty ridges

Image: Tourism Ireland


The Blasket Islands are a group of seven steep and rocky islands situated on the north side of the entrance to Dingle Bay. At 3¼ miles long, east to west, ⅔ of a mile wide, at its widest part, and rising to 289 metres at its highest point, at An Cró Mór, Great Blasket Island is the largest, highest and the principal island of the group. Separated from the mainland by Blasket Sound it was once home to a small fishing community of Irish speakers. 20th-Century living standards increasingly made island life unsustainable and it was finally abandoned in 1954 and has remained uninhabited since save for some summer holiday homes. A tearoom is opened on the island during the summer months to cater for tourists who cross from the nearby Dunquin pier on the mainland.


An Trá Ban beach
Image: Sarah Carroll via ASA 4.0


The ruin of the old settlement stands at the northeast end of the island on the shore facing the mainland. Below it is An Trá Ban beach at the head of a sandy bay which offers fair-to-good holding, settled conditions shelter and landings upon its beach.

Great Blasket Island's slipway
Image: Tourism Ireland


There is also a small rocky cove and boat slip close southwest of An Trá Ban and under the old settlement that facilitates landings off the tourist boats. It can also be used for landings when there is any surf on the beach.


How to get in?
Great Blasket Island and the Blaskets as seen from the Dingle Peninsula
Image: Tourism Ireland


Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location for seaward approaches. Great Blasket Island lies approximately 1 mile from Dunmore Head, on the mainland, from which it extends 3¼ miles to the southwest. Springing precipitously from a narrow base to the height of 289 metres with stunning steep cliffs along its northwest side, Great Blasket is utterly unmistakable. It can be further identified by the ruined Eask Tower on the summit of a 229 metres high ridge 1½ miles northeastward of the summit of An Cró Mór.


Great Blasket Island
Image: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen


The anchorage is off the northeast side of the island that overlooks Blasket Sound. Blasket Sound is not without its dangerous mid-channel rocks, fast tidal streams, overfalls, and magnetic anomalies but it is easy to navigate in moderate weather with a single line of transit leading through it. This is detailed in Navigating Blasket Sound Route location which is best used for an approach.


Approaching from the south on transit
Image: Burke Corbett


Initial fix location All three initial fixes are set on the well-charted single alignment of 015° T (or 195° T southbound) of the site of the old tower on Sybil Point and Clogher Rock, off Clogher Head. This alignment leads through Blasket Sound and the An Tra Ban initial fix provides a good point to break off for the anchorage off the beach. Acquiring the marks is important as the area is subject to local magnetic anomalies.


The view from Dunmore Head towards Great Blasket Island
Image: Squibs via CC BY 4.0


Southern Approach Vessel approaching from the south should keep centre track on the alignment at all times as the southern end is its narrowest part, between Dunmore Head and Garraun Point (the east point of Great Blasket Island), is reduced to ¾ of a mile wide. The navigational width is further reduced to approximately 1,000 metres by a narrow strip of rock extending out from Dunmore Head with a conical 44 metres high rock island called The Lure at the end.


The Lure at the end of a line of rocks extending from Dunmore Head
Image: Tourism Ireland


Beyond The Lure are several dangerous covered and drying rocks. The drying rock, called Scollage Rock, lies close west of The Lure is covered at high water and dries to 3.7 metres. The Stromboli Rocks lie in the channel about six hundred metres west-southwest of Scollage Rock and consist of several small pinnacles with a least depth of 1.8 metres over them. These all break heavily in bad weather.


The Lure as seen from the sound with Scollage Rock just breaking (far right)
Image: Burke Corbett


Once inside the sound, the passage becomes partially sheltered by a large number of rocks and islets to the west making for a much more comfortable sail. Continue to the An Tra Ban (beach anchorage approach) initial fix and then turn westward for the beach passing to the south of the low lying Beginish Island.


Bringing Clogher rock into line with the tower when approaching from the north
Image: Graham Rabbits


Northern Approach Vessel approaching from the north should likewise stay on transit, astern 195° T (015° T northbound) of the site of the old tower on Sybil Point and Clogher Rock.


The northern approaches to the achorage
Image: d_marino2001 via CC BY 2.0


The alinement passes at least 400 metres to the east of the rocky islet of Beginish, with Youngs Island close north, which forms the eastern boundary of this group and the western side of Blasket Sound.


An Trá Ban as seen from Blasket Sound
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location The beach is fairly steep so a vessel may get fairly close in at 3 metres and out of the run of the tide. Holding is fair to good in sand. It is advisable to be always a bit cautious as Blasket Sound can be subject to a surge and the tide sweeps through it with a pronounced south-going back-eddy on the north-going tide. As such it is preferable to increase the amount of chain that would normally be let out here.


Trá Bán with the ruins of its old settlement above
Image: William Glasgow Howe


Land by tender on An Trá Ban beach in settled conditions. The slip can be found in the rocks under the settlement close southwest of An Trá Ban.


Tourist tender moving out to the launch outside the cove
Image: Deanna Keahey via CC BY SA 2.0


Locals tend to recommend landing on the slip rather than on the beach if there is any surf up as the beach can be subject to 'a pull' or 'a lop'. However, the island ferries have their moorings just off this slip and use it for landings. So if the slip is used please move the tender so the landing area is kept clear for their activities.


Why visit here?
The origin of the name 'Blaskets', in Irish 'Na Blascaodaí' is a mystery. They were first recorded on Italian maps of the 14th and 15th Centuries with the names 'brasch', 'brascher' and 'blaset'. The variant form of these names, the 'Blasket Isles', was recorded for the first time in 1589.


The Blasket Islands as seen from Dunmore Head
Image: Tourism Ireland


The name 'Blasket', or 'Na Blascaodaí', does have strong Nordic resonances. It is thought to have most likely originated from the Norse word 'brasker' which means 'a sharp reef' or 'a dangerous place'. Although very beautiful during fine summer weather, this is a more than appropriate descriptor for the group in bad weather when it is a most forbidding place. This is how it was experienced by four escaping ships of the Spanish Armada in the storms of September 1588.


'A sharp reef' or 'a dangerous place' more than fits these waters
Image: Tourism Ireland


The ships, one of which was the largest ships of the fleet, were driven through the narrow unmarked passage close north of Great Blasket Island. The first ship the 'Recalde' executed an utterly remarkable feat of seamanship and got into the sheltered anchorage under Great Blasket Island, followed by a second ship the 'Bautista'. Both of these vessels eventually got back to Spain. Two other compatriot vessels, the 'Ragusa' and the 'Rosa', tried to join them but were wrecked. The 'Rosa' drifted and then simply sank after striking what is believed to be the Stromboli Rock. The 'Ragusa' was in distress and sank after it struck what is believed to have been the Dunbinna Reef.


Depiction of the Spanish Armada ships running up on the rocks on the west coast
of Ireland

Image: Public Domain


This would have been a remarkable spectacle for the islanders living in one of the most remote locations of Europe as all of the Blaskets were inhabited at one time or another. There is evidence that Great Blasket, 'An Blascaod Mór', was inhabited during the Iron Age and early Christian times although at no time since the Famine had it more than 200 inhabitants.


Great Blasket Island as seen from Dunquin
Image: Tourism Ireland


Life here was primitive for them, with little agriculture possible on the island. Each family had a cow, a few sheep, a plot of potatoes and they cut peat from the high ridge for fuel. Yet no one went hungry as they harvested fish from the sea. It was because the islanders subsisted largely off the sea, rather than on potatoes, that they survived the Famine. Nevertheless, anything outside of what the island and sea provided, such as church services, necessitated the islanders crossing Blasket Sound to Dunquin on the mainland.


Dunquin Pier today
Image: Tourism Ireland


This extreme geography and isolation left it as the most traditional of Irish communities of the early 20th-Century and an outpost for a pure form of the Irish language. The value of this resource was recognised by academics during the Gaelic renaissance after independence who set about recording it in both written and audio form. This created a rich depository of knowledge of their language, their old folk tales of the land, and their traditions that surrounded a way of life that was been lost forever. As such the small settlement became an icon of traditional Irish culture and a cornerstone of Irish heritage, especially in their role in preserving the Irish language. But this was not all down to the academic researchers as the island itself produced a remarkable number of gifted writers who vividly brought their harsh existence to life.


Abandoned House on Great Blasket
Image: Tourism Ireland


In the 20th-Century some 60 books, mostly in Irish, have been written in the immediate area and the inhabitants of the island were reputed to have the purest and most poetic form of Gaelic in all of Ireland. Two of the best known are the best-seller, translated as '20 Years A Growing' by Maurice O' Sullivan, and 'The Island Man' by Tomás Ó Criomhtháin which is thought of as being a masterpiece. A lesser book, that for a time was the most famous, was 'An Old Woman's Reflections' and 'Peig, An Autobiography' by Peig Sayers that was her oral memoir, dictated to one of her sons in her old age. In Irish it was titled 'My Own Story' and was studied by most of the population of Ireland at one time in school.


Abandoned Settlement on Great Blasket with Slea Head in the backdrop
Image: Tourism Ireland


All the time life, however, remained harsh in the historical village, huddled against the hillside for shelter on the east side of the island above the beach anchorage. All supplies had to be carried by boat across the Sound and in the days when the only means of transport was a canvas-covered 'curragh' or 'naomhóg'. The Islanders were sometimes marooned for weeks at a time, especially in the stormy winter months, when sea mists would make the island invisible from the land.

Bygone remains of an abandoned life
Image: Roberto Strauss
Numbers dwindled to about 100 people over the years as emigration took its toll, but the writing was on the wall when the turf supply, the only source of fuel on the island, became scarce. The government concluded that it was no longer viable to offer the state’s protection to such a remote storm-lashed outpost nor for the islanders to live in such harsh and isolated conditions. The decision was made to evacuate and the last handful of Great Blasket's residents came to the mainland in 1953. These were re-settled on the mainland, mostly in the parish of Dunquin where the Blasket Islanders came ashore to trade or buy provisions, which is why it has a certain historical resonance with local people. Since then, Great Blasket has been uninhabited although a few people make their home out here for part of the year.

The island is today a National Historic Park. It has some homes that receive summer visitors, and there is also a house on the smaller Inishvickillane Island. Apart from these few maintained houses, all the other structures have fallen into ruins that are slowly worn down by each passing year’s winter storms. Although there are plans to repopulate Great Blasket Island it is most likely that one day there may be nothing left but piles of stones and the traces of pathways.


Inishtooskert as seen from Great Blasket
Image: Perry Marshall via CC BY 4.0


Today Dunquin hosts The Blasket Centre, 'Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir' a wonderful interpretative and heritage centre where it is possible to learn about its people and history. From the dramatically sited Dunquin Pier very fit and nimble-footed day-trippers enjoy excursions to Great Blasket. But this never amounts to much as the small island slip limits visitors to no more than about 400 per day and, in reality, the island averages less than about 200 a day so it is never busy.


Hikers on Great Blasket
Image: Tourism Ireland


The island itself has five simple self-catering cottages available to rent and a small coffee shop that serves refreshments during the season. Apart from that, there is nothing but the abandoned settlements, seabirds, a scattering of sheep that silently graze the steep hillsides and the many trails that lead around the heather-and moss-covered island. All of which are shrouded in a rare quality of oceanic light with spectacular views out over the surrounding islands of the archipelago, the Sound and the mainland to the east. Most notably nearby Inishtooskert is also known as 'An Fear Marbh' (the dead man) or the sleeping giant due to its appearance when seen from the east.


Rush hour Great Blasket
Image: Tourism Ireland


Great Blasket is a place to escape the world, there are no phones, no lights, no cars and not a single luxury. It is a place to experience intense peace in beautiful, unspoiled surroundings. Ideally, reading Maurice O’Sullivan’s 'Twenty Years a-Growing' before landing and a stroll through the simple domestic ruins will be much more touching. If possible also try to pack a picnic to enjoy on the gorgeous white sand Trá Bán. Just these could make Great Blasket one of the most memorable places in Ireland to visit.


The magnificent An Trá Bháin meaning 'white strand'
Image: James Reidy


From a boating point of view, the Blasket Islands represent the westernmost points of Ireland and Continental Europe and have that attraction. Blasket Sound is easy to navigate in moderate weather. Because it offers considerable distance saving for vessels passing along the coast it is the preferred path taken by leisure craft.


Immediately adjacent to Blasket Sound this anchorage is not one to miss
Image: Janek Kloss


With the anchorage being less than a half-mile from the transit through the sound it is an experience, in an auspicious weather window, not to be missed. Especially when anchorages off the other Blaskets are more than complicated and the domain of the very adventurous.


What facilities are available?
The island is uninhabited apart for a few summer visitors. Apart from a good well at the top of the village, and the ferry service to the island which operates from the nearby Dunquin pier during the summer months, there is nothing here but a tea room a few summer cottages and the ruins of the original inhabitants.


Any security concerns?
No security issues known to have occurred off Great Blasket Island.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford.

























Views of Great Blasket Island



Great Blasket Island


About Great Blasket Island

The origin of the name 'Blaskets', in Irish 'Na Blascaodaí' is a mystery. They were first recorded on Italian maps of the 14th and 15th Centuries with the names 'brasch', 'brascher' and 'blaset'. The variant form of these names, the 'Blasket Isles', was recorded for the first time in 1589.


The Blasket Islands as seen from Dunmore Head
Image: Tourism Ireland


The name 'Blasket', or 'Na Blascaodaí', does have strong Nordic resonances. It is thought to have most likely originated from the Norse word 'brasker' which means 'a sharp reef' or 'a dangerous place'. Although very beautiful during fine summer weather, this is a more than appropriate descriptor for the group in bad weather when it is a most forbidding place. This is how it was experienced by four escaping ships of the Spanish Armada in the storms of September 1588.


'A sharp reef' or 'a dangerous place' more than fits these waters
Image: Tourism Ireland


The ships, one of which was the largest ships of the fleet, were driven through the narrow unmarked passage close north of Great Blasket Island. The first ship the 'Recalde' executed an utterly remarkable feat of seamanship and got into the sheltered anchorage under Great Blasket Island, followed by a second ship the 'Bautista'. Both of these vessels eventually got back to Spain. Two other compatriot vessels, the 'Ragusa' and the 'Rosa', tried to join them but were wrecked. The 'Rosa' drifted and then simply sank after striking what is believed to be the Stromboli Rock. The 'Ragusa' was in distress and sank after it struck what is believed to have been the Dunbinna Reef.


Depiction of the Spanish Armada ships running up on the rocks on the west coast
of Ireland

Image: Public Domain


This would have been a remarkable spectacle for the islanders living in one of the most remote locations of Europe as all of the Blaskets were inhabited at one time or another. There is evidence that Great Blasket, 'An Blascaod Mór', was inhabited during the Iron Age and early Christian times although at no time since the Famine had it more than 200 inhabitants.


Great Blasket Island as seen from Dunquin
Image: Tourism Ireland


Life here was primitive for them, with little agriculture possible on the island. Each family had a cow, a few sheep, a plot of potatoes and they cut peat from the high ridge for fuel. Yet no one went hungry as they harvested fish from the sea. It was because the islanders subsisted largely off the sea, rather than on potatoes, that they survived the Famine. Nevertheless, anything outside of what the island and sea provided, such as church services, necessitated the islanders crossing Blasket Sound to Dunquin on the mainland.


Dunquin Pier today
Image: Tourism Ireland


This extreme geography and isolation left it as the most traditional of Irish communities of the early 20th-Century and an outpost for a pure form of the Irish language. The value of this resource was recognised by academics during the Gaelic renaissance after independence who set about recording it in both written and audio form. This created a rich depository of knowledge of their language, their old folk tales of the land, and their traditions that surrounded a way of life that was been lost forever. As such the small settlement became an icon of traditional Irish culture and a cornerstone of Irish heritage, especially in their role in preserving the Irish language. But this was not all down to the academic researchers as the island itself produced a remarkable number of gifted writers who vividly brought their harsh existence to life.


Abandoned House on Great Blasket
Image: Tourism Ireland


In the 20th-Century some 60 books, mostly in Irish, have been written in the immediate area and the inhabitants of the island were reputed to have the purest and most poetic form of Gaelic in all of Ireland. Two of the best known are the best-seller, translated as '20 Years A Growing' by Maurice O' Sullivan, and 'The Island Man' by Tomás Ó Criomhtháin which is thought of as being a masterpiece. A lesser book, that for a time was the most famous, was 'An Old Woman's Reflections' and 'Peig, An Autobiography' by Peig Sayers that was her oral memoir, dictated to one of her sons in her old age. In Irish it was titled 'My Own Story' and was studied by most of the population of Ireland at one time in school.


Abandoned Settlement on Great Blasket with Slea Head in the backdrop
Image: Tourism Ireland


All the time life, however, remained harsh in the historical village, huddled against the hillside for shelter on the east side of the island above the beach anchorage. All supplies had to be carried by boat across the Sound and in the days when the only means of transport was a canvas-covered 'curragh' or 'naomhóg'. The Islanders were sometimes marooned for weeks at a time, especially in the stormy winter months, when sea mists would make the island invisible from the land.

Bygone remains of an abandoned life
Image: Roberto Strauss
Numbers dwindled to about 100 people over the years as emigration took its toll, but the writing was on the wall when the turf supply, the only source of fuel on the island, became scarce. The government concluded that it was no longer viable to offer the state’s protection to such a remote storm-lashed outpost nor for the islanders to live in such harsh and isolated conditions. The decision was made to evacuate and the last handful of Great Blasket's residents came to the mainland in 1953. These were re-settled on the mainland, mostly in the parish of Dunquin where the Blasket Islanders came ashore to trade or buy provisions, which is why it has a certain historical resonance with local people. Since then, Great Blasket has been uninhabited although a few people make their home out here for part of the year.

The island is today a National Historic Park. It has some homes that receive summer visitors, and there is also a house on the smaller Inishvickillane Island. Apart from these few maintained houses, all the other structures have fallen into ruins that are slowly worn down by each passing year’s winter storms. Although there are plans to repopulate Great Blasket Island it is most likely that one day there may be nothing left but piles of stones and the traces of pathways.


Inishtooskert as seen from Great Blasket
Image: Perry Marshall via CC BY 4.0


Today Dunquin hosts The Blasket Centre, 'Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir' a wonderful interpretative and heritage centre where it is possible to learn about its people and history. From the dramatically sited Dunquin Pier very fit and nimble-footed day-trippers enjoy excursions to Great Blasket. But this never amounts to much as the small island slip limits visitors to no more than about 400 per day and, in reality, the island averages less than about 200 a day so it is never busy.


Hikers on Great Blasket
Image: Tourism Ireland


The island itself has five simple self-catering cottages available to rent and a small coffee shop that serves refreshments during the season. Apart from that, there is nothing but the abandoned settlements, seabirds, a scattering of sheep that silently graze the steep hillsides and the many trails that lead around the heather-and moss-covered island. All of which are shrouded in a rare quality of oceanic light with spectacular views out over the surrounding islands of the archipelago, the Sound and the mainland to the east. Most notably nearby Inishtooskert is also known as 'An Fear Marbh' (the dead man) or the sleeping giant due to its appearance when seen from the east.


Rush hour Great Blasket
Image: Tourism Ireland


Great Blasket is a place to escape the world, there are no phones, no lights, no cars and not a single luxury. It is a place to experience intense peace in beautiful, unspoiled surroundings. Ideally, reading Maurice O’Sullivan’s 'Twenty Years a-Growing' before landing and a stroll through the simple domestic ruins will be much more touching. If possible also try to pack a picnic to enjoy on the gorgeous white sand Trá Bán. Just these could make Great Blasket one of the most memorable places in Ireland to visit.


The magnificent An Trá Bháin meaning 'white strand'
Image: James Reidy


From a boating point of view, the Blasket Islands represent the westernmost points of Ireland and Continental Europe and have that attraction. Blasket Sound is easy to navigate in moderate weather. Because it offers considerable distance saving for vessels passing along the coast it is the preferred path taken by leisure craft.


Immediately adjacent to Blasket Sound this anchorage is not one to miss
Image: Janek Kloss


With the anchorage being less than a half-mile from the transit through the sound it is an experience, in an auspicious weather window, not to be missed. Especially when anchorages off the other Blaskets are more than complicated and the domain of the very adventurous.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Smerwick Harbour - 3.9 miles NE
Brandon Bay - 10.1 miles NE
Scraggane Bay - 13.3 miles NE
Illauntannig - 14 miles NE
Castlegregory - 13 miles ENE
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Ventry Harbour - 3.4 miles E
Dingle Harbour - 5.5 miles ENE
Kells Bay - 9.8 miles ESE
Cooncrome Harbour (Cuas Crom) - 7.7 miles SE
Knightstown - 8.5 miles SE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Great Blasket Island.




























































Views of Great Blasket Island



Great Blasket Island



A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.