Our interest is centred on the very thin layers consisting of only one or a few monolayers of InAs. The optical transition energies, measured by photoluminescence spectroscopy, are compared with theoretical calculations obtained in envelope function approximation and through an empirical tight-binding method. This comparison yields values for the not well-known valence band offset at the InAs/InP interface, and the luminescence lines observed at different energies could be assigned to layers between one and 13 monolayers thick.