Accessible by ferry, Inishbofin is a vibrant island with a range dining options and a variety of walking and cycling trails along with the Inishbofin Blueway trails. Inexperienced water sports participants should limit themselves to the relative calm and safety of the large natural harbour. The more experienced can sample other areas of the Island’s coastline, but do get advice from informed local people beforehand. Safety Note: This is a working harbour therefore always use caution when kayaking in the area.
Inishbofin 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 anemones, starfish, limpet, mussels, barnacles, starfish, spider crabs and hermit crabs.
Inishbofin 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.