The mountainous Clare Island guards the entrance to Clew Bay in County Mayo, it is the largest of the 365 islands in the bay. The island’s dramatic cliffs and wild landscapes provide natural habitats to a rich and varied flora and fauna. Its coastal areas are home to Peregrine Falcons, Puffins, Otters, Seals, Dolphins and more, you just never know what you might spot!

(Please hover over images and click to view gallery)

what's on?

(All events are free, places allocated on a 1st come-1st served basis!)

Wednesday 8th June

13:00hrs          Natural History and Clare Island – Praeger, New Survyes & the Future

18:00hrs          Poetry Reading with wine and cheese reception

Thursday 9th June

17:00hrs          Agricultural Biology on Clare Islands and similar areas

23:00hrs          Stargazing with campfire and marshmallows


Friday 10th June

11.30hrs          Guided ramble through island flora – Donal Synnott

13:00hrs          Tour of Macalla Farm: Retreat Centre and Organic Farm

19:00hrs           Island BioBlitz registration at Base Camp – Go Explore Hostel


Saturday 11th June

10:00hrs          Bogland Ecology: Carnivorous plants to alpine flowers – Dr. Heather Lally

11.30hrs          Island BioBlitz launch at Base Camp: Ciara Cullen & Liam Lysaght

12:00hrs          Island BioBlitz 2016 commences

12.00hrs          Botanical walk: Beach to Bog – Donal Synnott

14.00hrs             Introduction to seaweed identification – Robert Wilkes (EPA)

15:00hrs          Archaeological Tour: 5,000 years of human habitation – Ciara Cullen

16:00hrs           Insect identification walk

18:00hrs          Wildlife walk – Colin Heaslip

20:00hrs           New Clare Island Surveys: Past, present & future – Donal Synnott

22:00hrs          Bat walk – Harm Deenan (Bat Conservation Ireland)

23.00hrs          Stargazing: constellations, planets, campfires and marshmallows

Sunday 12th June

06:00hrs         Early morning bird walk – Liam Lysaght

08.00hrs            Opening of moth traps – Ken Bond

10.00hrs          Kids beachcombing and Found Art workshop

12:00hrs          Island BioBlitz -  finishes

12:30hrs          Island BioBlitz - winners announced

13:00hrs          Farewell Soiree & Traditional Music Session


getting there

  • Clare Island Ferry runs 5 ferries each day to and from the island. The ferry departs from Roonagh Pier - a 5 minute taxi drive from Louisburgh Town (21km west of Westport). To view time tables and book your ticket visit:

location map


More about clare island

Clare Island is located 5km off the coast of County Mayo, today 160 people are living on the island. On your boat crossing from the main land, it’s very likely that you’ll be accompanied by a school of dolphins and or a herd of seals! The island is rich in history, geology and biodiversity and is famous as the ancestral home of the legendary Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley (Granuaile).

Clare Island’s silhouette is dominated by the giant hump of Knockmore Mountain at 461m on the island’s western edge. The cliffs along the north shore, at 100m high in places, are among the most dramatic in Europe and support one of the most important seabird colonies in Ireland - at least 13 species of seabird breed here - including over 4,000 Fulmar. The island is also home to the beautiful Puffin, Gannet, Chough and the stunning Peregrine Falcon.

The island also has a rich history which can be explored at Granuaile’s Castle, the C12th Cistercian Abbey, the Lighthouse, the Napoleonic Tower or some of the fascinating Bronze-Age sites dotted around the island.

want more info?!

Adopt the pace of Nature, her secret is patience.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson