Inisbofin or White Cow Island lies 7 miles off the coast of Galway. The island is readily accessible by ferry from the tiny port of Cleggan which is close to Clifden. Tourism and fishing are the main commercial activities.
The main population centre is close to the harbour. Ferries from the harbour pier connect the island with the mainland.
The Harbour Harbour Area
The harbour of Inisbofin is a stunning sight. Being a small island in the Connemara area, Inisbofin is surrounded by dazzling blue (or dull grey) waters.
Just imagine the view its harbour can provide--- an Atlantic coast panorama. You can watch as boats and ferries pass by and wait until the last light from the sun touches its water.
The harbour of Inisbofin would surely give you the best peaceful experience. Unlike other harbours which come with some commercial establishments, Inisbofin’s is closest to nature.
Given the small population of the place, you will definitely embrace the silence there and the priceless island beauty that comes with it.
You can travel to Inisbofin via ferry. Ferries are available at the port of Cleggan. It is just a very short trip with just a thirty minute travel time.
The trip is short and full of spectacles. With the fantastic view surrounding you and the sea breeze touching your face, you would definitely wish that the trip is bit longer than that.
You might even spot some sea birds, dolphins or whales in the water on the way.
Inishbofin is all about peace and quiet. As you explore along the lower walk, you would realize this truth in its fullest.
With an access to a wonderful view to the sea and the fantastic green scenery, Inishbofin offers a wonderful environment for walking and pure appreciation of the slow and reflexive life.
You can also hire some bicycles down at the Lower Middle Quarter.
The place is also pretty old and rich in centuries of history so it is really quite interesting to move around and explore. This pathway nearest the harbour is truly worth the walk.
A loop walk heading west, starts near the harbour. The loop walk passes the lake, crosses a bog and swings back around the southern end of the island.
North Beach Westquarter Loop
Along the Westquarter Loop, you will find the peaceful North Beach of Inishbofin. Serene and beautiful, it might not be as striking as the other beaches in Europe but it is definitely worth a visit.
It is not just about how the beach provides a relaxing atmosphere as you stroll along its shore. North Beach also carries stories with it which are treasured by the people of Inishbofin.
To them, it is a symbol of their beautiful sense of community. To them, it carries history. The beach was destroyed by a storm and was saved by the people themselves. Think of this as you inhale the cool sea breeze at the North Beach.
The Bog with the Names
Craving to get know Inishbofin more? Go and visit the area at the Westquarter Loop bearing the bog with names.
Here you will find the bog or the moss covered land with some scattered pebbles and rocks arranged to form a name.
Ask some locals about it. Remember them or simply enjoy the serenity of the place and what it shelters.
The Bog with the Names
South Cliff Walk
The walk along by the south cliffs is the continuation of the Westquater Loop. This section has some wonderful views and scenery.
Dún More Cliffs South Cliff Walk
Dun Mor which literally means “the big hill” is another gem which should not be missed.
This is located along the South Cliff. From up here, the scenery is simply fantastic. The cliffs are not that high but you would still need to be careful going too close to edge for the grass and the rocky edges could be a bit tricky.
There is a Celtic fort built on these cliffs dating back in 1000 B.C.. A trip here would surely complete your stay at Inishbofin.
Dún More Cliffs
Tra Gheal is a wonderful white sandy beach along the southern part of Inishbofin. The beach is surrounded by rocky cliffs covered with short grass.
The water is just right with some waves. The area is calm and like the other parts of Inishbofin, not crowded by people.
Tra Gheal offers not just a splendid beach but beautiful scenery as well. Take a walk or a dip in the water in Tra Gheal and enjoy the calm atmosphere at Inishbofin.
You could have an amazing walk along the southern part of Inishbofin. Just above Tra Gheal, there is a long stretch of pathway which you can walk, but make sure to close the gates behind you.
The trail is generally smooth and provides a fantastic view.
A part of trail is marked by rock mounds. Along here, you will find some sheep and cows across the hills and in the small fields..
You can have this place for yourself as Inishbofin remains in the most part unpopulated with tourists, so you can enjoy a peaceful walk along the loop end’s stretch.
The Clooanmore Loop walk starts in Middlequarter and follows some narrow roads out to the tiny village of Knock and East Beach.
East Loop Road Cloonamore Loop
Along the East Loop Road, you will be surrounded by grassland. Everywhere you look there is thick green grass, during the growing season. In some parts, animals such as cows, horses, pigs can be seen in the fields along side the track.
The narrow road of East Loop Road is such a contrast to the wide open space which embraces the island.
If you are looking for structures and crowds, this is not a place to be. But if you are looking for peace, then this road is definitely the place for you.
East Loop Road
Just near East Loop Road also within the area of Cloonamore Loop, you will find the small village of Knock, which is along a narrow road and close to the sea.
It shelters some houses with uniform architectural style.
Although there are houses on this part of Cloonamore Loop, the sight of people is still relatively uncommon, except in July and August.
The East Beach is close to Knock village. It's white sandy beach and open bay is particularly scenic.
You will find some boats moored in the bay, waiting to be used by the fishermen of Inishbofin.
The scenery, the air, and the atmosphere here, just like the rest of Inishbofin, suggests a slow peaceful life.
East Beach to Middlequarter
This area gives you the ultimate countryside experience. It has many animals grazing in the meadows and pastures and there is a small village with terraced houses.
In the meadows, after the grass harvest season, there are traditional hay stacks, tall stacks of grass, left drying in the fields.
The slow-paced life here would haunt you even after you leave Inishbofin for the loud and busy life in the city, so enjoy a quiet walk and contemplate during your visit to Inishbofin.
East Beach to Middlequarter