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Irish Islands

Savouring a completely different pace and way of life on an island is one of the best holiday feelings -and Ireland has a few to choose from.

Ireland’s islands each boast their own unique character and staying over will give you a much better chance to get to know some of the local residents and perhaps hear some of their stories first hand. The Irish islands have provided inspiration for generations of creative talent. Paul Henry, Ireland’s best known artist of the 1920s and 30s, was inspired by the interplay of light between the sky, water and the landscapes of the West of Ireland and particularly Achill Island. Playwright JM Synge lived for a while on the Aran Islands, at the suggestion of WB Yeats, and his experiences formed the basis of his later plays about Irish rural life. A few days on an island will really help you to see Ireland differently!

Top Tips

Add a couple of days on Rathlin Island to any holiday in the North of Ireland for peace, tranquillity and wonderful wildlife.

Take the advice of local folk rock group the Saw Doctors: head to Clare Island and “wave all your cares good-bye”.

Pick up a traditional Aran knitwear souvenir on Inis Mór: jumpers, cardigans, hats, scarves and gloves come in all colours and sizes.

Feel the Force by gazing out to the Skelligs, rocky islands far-flung off the coast of Kerry, which provided the dramatic backdrop to Star Wars.

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Things To See & Do

Our range of Irish island holidays includes Achill Island, one of the more popular tourist destinations in Ireland, but mostly in the form of day trips. Staying overnight allows you to experience the island, reached by a short bridge, at a less hurried pace and enjoy the craic come the evening. Boasting varied terrain, great for exploring on foot, with dramatic cliffs, hills and woodland, plus numerous historic sites, Clare Island is famed as the home of the pirate queen, Grainne O’Malley. It really is a refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The Aran Islands are steeped in history. Here you’ll discover over 50 different monuments of Christian, pre-Christian and Celtic heritage, We offer both Inis Mór, the largest and most developed of the island group, boasting plenty of local shops crammed full of traditional Aran knitwear, plus the smaller, more peaceful Inis Meain. This is still a gaeltacht area, so you will hear plenty of Irish/ Gaelic spoken, but there’s no need to be concerned: the islanders are hospitable, welcoming – and bilingual. There’s enough to explore on the Aran Islands to merit a whole trip in their own right, or you can combine them with the other Wild Atlantic Islands off the west coast.

Just off the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, Rathlin Island is a peaceful wildlife haven with a renowned RSPB Seabird Centre, where puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes can be viewed during the summer months. It’s also home to some magnificent views – on clear days Donegal, the North Antrim coastline, the island of Islay and the Mull of Kintyre can all be seen.

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