The Blasket Islands is an archipelago of seven islands – Great Blasket Island [Blascaod Mór], Inishvickillaun [“Dálaighs” or “ Charlies ” island], Inish na Bró; Tiaracht [Western island], Inish Tuaisceart [Northern island, The Dead Man or The Sleeping Giant]; Beginish [Small Island]; Oileán na n-Óg [Island of the Young – sometimes called the Sí, or faeries]. The archipielago also includes several hundred rocks – all with great names!
The Great Blasket Island is the most famous of the Blaskets [na Blascaodaí], as it is the biggest and formerly had a population of about 200 inhabitants - the ruins of the old village can still be seen. The small community left an indelible mark on the literary history of Ireland with books such as "The Islandman" [An t-Oileánach] by Tomás Ó Criothain, "Twenty Years a Growing" by Maurice O Sullivan, and many others. The former inhabitants of the Great Blasket Island were reputed to have the purest and most poetic form of Irish in all of Ireland.
Inish Na Bró is famous because of the spectacular rock formations on its north east point - called Cathedral Rocks because they resemble in shape the outline of a giant Gothic Cathedral. Until recently, it was known only to fishermen and passing sailors, but no doubt in time they will become as famous as the Giant Causeway in Northern Ireland. The island of Tiaracht has a dramatically situated lighthouse on its western promontory, as befits the most westerly lighthouse in Europe. It also has a steep funicular rail track connecting the landing dock to the lighthouse on top. From the mainland, you can see why Inish Tuaisceart is commonly known as “The Dead Man” or “The Sleeping Giant”. The north side of it is equally spectacular with views back to Sybil Head, The Three Sisters and Mount Brandon.
Last but not least, Beginish and Oileán Na N-Óg are beautiful flat islands just half mile distant from the Silver Strand on the Great Blasket. It is the breeding ground for seagulls and Arctic terns during the summer and hundreds of grey seals during the winter.
A rich variety of whales, including humpback, minke, fin and killer whales makes Dingle Bay and the Blasket Islands one of Ireland's top destinations for whale watching. With the whales, seals, dolphins, basking sharks, blue fin tuna and many other marine species thrive in the area, which also offer amazing opportunities for sea bird watching. Diving gannets, manx shearwaters, storm petrels, puffins, guillemots and razorbills are some of the usual suspects that can be seen and enjoyed in this Irish island paradise.