The Inishkea Islands – Oilean Inis Ce
Breath-taking scenery, unlimited adventures and legendary history and culture.
Visit the Inishkea Islands, 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 Saint Kea. There are two main islands, Inishkea North and Inishkea South with Inishkea North being the largest island of the two at 350 acres. Rich in history and surrounded by crystal clear waters, breath-taking views and white sandy beaches, every corner of the Inishkea Islands are just waiting to be discovered.
Top things to do on Inishkea
Take a guided tour of Inishkea with an island descendant – to bring the island to life. The guided is free for passengers of Belmullet Boat Charters. 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 for passengers of Belmullet Boat Charters and is a great way to keep kids busy and entertained during their trip to Inishkea.
How to get to Inishkea.
Check out the “Inishkea Ferry” page to discover the best way to reach this magnificent island!
Explore the Unmissable.
Check out the top sites, beaches and hidden gems to explore on the islands of Inishkea.
History of the Inishkea Islands.
Check out the “History” page to learn more about the islands fascinating history!
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.
Geocaches on the Inishkea Islands.
Geocaching fan? There are currently three geocaches to be found on the Inishkea Islands.