The Archipelago of the Stags of Broadhaven are a group of five steep rock islands with Teach Dónal ÓCléirigh rising to a height of 97m above the Atlantic Ocean. The Stags live about 2.5km north of the cliffs of Benwee Head and approximately 4 kilometres from the nearest real world exit point at Portacloy on the north west tip of County Mayo. A visit to the Stags of Broadhaven is by far best enjoyed by kayak as the silence and the solitude are why you are visiting these outstanding islands. A paddle out to and around the Stags is a world class kayaking experience.
These five steep sided rocky islands rise to nearly 100 metres above sea level with the central island, Teach Donal O'Clerigh being the highest at 97 metres in height. The two most southern islands are the next two highest Teach Mór 93 metres and Teach Beg 71 metres. The two most northerly of the five islands weighing in at Carraig na Faola 30 metres and An-t-Oighean 75 metres.
All the islands have amazing and very dramatic coastlines with An Teach Beg being bisected by an excellent east to west running tunnel and through paddle all the rest of the islands sport huge sea arches except Carraig na Faola. Each island has several more sheltered bays and coves and all provide rocky landing. There is a very good chance you will swim ashore
All five of the islands are currently uninhabited and as testimony to their remoteness and the bouncy unpredictable nature of the sea around their bases, these islands have never been inhabited or even grazed. They are in a completely natural state and are home to many species of groundnesting sea birds.
1: The Stags are a 7 kilometre round trip sea passage from Portacloy Harbour.
2: The Stags sit 2 kilometres directly offshore from Doonvinalla Headland on the remote north coast of County Mayo.
3: The coast here is very exposed to any Atlantic motion from south through to north, there is pretty much no lea from mainland Ireland.
4: The constrictions and narrow channels at bases of the Stags are UBER prone to amplifying any swell present.
5: The rock on the stack is good BUT your situation causes everything to appear a wee bit more atmospheric than it actually is.
The above are just a few thoughts on kayaking out, landing on and climbing these remote islands. Their location out to sea from the the nearest point of land on mainland Ireland is not to be taken lightly. It is always worth bearing in mind that climbing on the Stags is by far the easiest part of your day with the logistics of actually getting out to and landing on these islands is the crux of your day.
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