Area Highlights

  • Ferry Service
  • Scenic Landscape
  • Hiking & Walking Routes
  • Bird Watching
  • Historical Sites

Description Of The Area

Clare Island lies off the west coast of Ireland at the entrance to Clew Bay. The island has a very varied terrain including spectacular cliffs with huge numbers of nesting sea birds and a rich 'inland' mix of hills, bogs and pockets of woodland. The landscape is ideal for hill-walking and exploring. The island is approximately four miles from the nearest mainland point at Roonagh, near Louisburg, Co. Mayo. During the summer season there are numerous daily ferry sailings from Roonagh to Clare Island and in the winter, there are usually only two boats a day (morning and evening). The boat crossing takes about 20 minutes. For details about the ferry schedule, contact O'Grady's ferries, www.clareislandferry.com The tourist infrastructure on the island is very basic, so if it’s a hide-away in the ocean you are looking for, or somewhere to switch off and relax, Clare Island will tick all boxes. Day trippers are advised to bring a packed lunch as the island has but a community centre and a shop, which is closed on Sundays. The island's history can be found throughout its varied landscape. You will see archaeological remains of the Neolithic and Bronze age, medieval wall-paintings in the 14th century abbey, and the 'pirate queen' Grace O'Malley's castle and burial place. There are traces of past generations to be seen throughout the island such as the pattern of the old potato ridges from times of the Great Famine. The island is a perfect location for activities such as hill walking, equestrian activities, and bird watching. There are some spectacular sea birds nesting sites on the cliffs around the island. This is a photographer’s paradise. The island boasts wonderful walking trails, and bike hire is also available for those who prefer to explore on wheels.

Clare Island lies off the west coast of Ireland at the entrance to Clew Bay. The island has a very varied terrain including spectacular cliffs with huge numbers of nesting sea birds and a rich ‘inland’ mix of hills, bogs and pockets of woodland. The landscape is ideal for hill-walking and exploring. The island is approximately four miles from the nearest mainland point at Roonagh, near Louisburg, Co. Mayo. During the summer season there are numerous daily ferry sailings from Roonagh to Clare Island and in the winter, there are usually only two boats a day (morning and evening). The boat crossing takes about 20 minutes. For details about the ferry schedule, contact O’Grady’s ferries, www.clareislandferry.com

The tourist infrastructure on the island is very basic, so if it’s a hide-away in the ocean you are looking for, or somewhere to switch off and relax, Clare Island will tick all boxes. Day trippers are advised to bring a packed lunch as the island has but a community centre and a shop, which is closed on Sundays. The island’s history can be found throughout its varied landscape.

You will see archaeological remains of the Neolithic and Bronze age, medieval wall-paintings in the 14th century abbey, and the ‘pirate queen’ Grace O’Malley’s castle and burial place. There are traces of past generations to be seen throughout the island such as the pattern of the old potato ridges from times of the Great Famine. The island is a perfect location for activities such as hill walking, equestrian activities, and bird watching. There are some spectacular sea birds nesting sites on the cliffs around the island. This is a photographer’s paradise. The island boasts wonderful walking trails, and bike hire is also available for those who prefer to explore on wheels.

Map Of The Area