Remote sleeps on Ireland’s Blasket Islands
If you wish to flee the madding crowds this spring, the Blasket Islands in Ireland are just the ticket
A HALF-DOZEN RUGGED outposts off the tip of the Dingle Peninsula, the Blasket Islands have had no full-time inhabitants since 1953 – except for a few sheep and some shaggy-coated donkeys. Basking sharks join the offshore population from April onwards and boat tours around the islands offer the best chance to spot them, along with seals, puffins, gannets and perhaps the famous Fungie, a bottlenose dolphin who has been a resident mascot of the area since 1984. Most visitors who step onto the islands linger just a few hours, but we recommend forgoing the world and staying a while longer. Among the village ruins on Great Blasket, a handful of cottages offer lodging for anyone willing to do without electricity (from £62). A beautiful sand beach lies just beyond. It’s relatively sheltered from Atlantic waves – though dips in this part of the world are best left to the truly chill-resistant. Steep paths reach the heights of Great Blasket, bringing stirring views of the Irish coast and neighbouring islets, such as jagged Inishnabro (pictured below). After taking in the sunset from Ireland’s most westerly specks of land, guests on Great Blasket can sit down to a campfire dinner then count the stars, away from the trappings of settled life.
WILDLIFE SPOTTING Basking sharks are filter feeders, like many whales, and are the second-largest fish after whale sharks