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Inishbofin Blueway, Inishbofin Island

Accessible by ferry, Inishbofin is a vibrant island with a range of accommodation and dining options and a variety of walking and cycling trails. Inexperienced watersports participants should limit themselves to the relative calm and safety of the large natural harbor. Safety Note: This is a working harbour therefore always use caution when kayaking in the area.

The more experienced can sample other areas of the Island’s coastline, but do get advice from informed local people beforehand.

The Blueway is a network of water trails at which you can to experience a variety of water based activities, including kayaking and snorkelling, in a safe controlled environment.

Snorkel Trail

Access is via the rocky Fawnmore Beach opposite Doonmore Hotel where a sandy natural slipway leads to the water. The best snorkelling is to the right (west) as you enter the water but beware of boat traffic as a 500 meter snorkel brings you to the mouth of the harbour! The rocky coastline hosts a large variety of sea life including beadlet, anemones, starfish, limpet, mussels, barnacles, starfish, spider crabs and hermit crabs.

Kayak Trail

Inishbofin harbour is sheltered from most winds other those from the south west, however the inner harbour beyond the old pier remains sheltered at all times.

The kayak trail starts at the stony beach east of the new pier (ferry pier) or at the slipway on the old pier. Paddle to the left (east), into the harbour’s very sheltered inner bay which is an excellent site for beginners. Continue to the large white navigation beacon and the adjacent Cromwellian fort, bbuilt in 1656 as a strategic stronghold to house troops and imprison priests en route to deportation.

It is possible to land on the beaches to the east of the fort and also to loop back across the harbour, paying attention to boat movements in the area. This round trip is approx. 2 km in length.

There is one water-sports provider operating on the island though other providers use the island. These providers can introduce you to snorkelling and kayaking in addition to a range of other water sports such as coasteering and surfing. To avoid disappointment you are advised to contact and book in advance, although you might be lucky and be able to book on the day.

Do you have your own equipment and some experience? Use the on-site Blueway Be Safe guide and map to plan your route. Phone a local water sports provider if you want additional information - see the back of the on-site information board for local water-sports provider contact details.

Blueway Code

• Prepare for your Blueway experience and stay within your limits – the limits of your fitness, experience, equipment, weather and tides.

• Travel in an appropriate group size according to the conditions and your abilities.

• Help us to manage this Blueway, leave no trace.

• Respect the host community, landowners and other water users.

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