The Magic Of Ireland’s Aran Islands

aran The unique geology of Ireland’s Aran Islands gives the area character and charm. Visiting this cluster of islands will be a feast for the senses.

Limestone expanses stretch out as far as the eye can see…they are a continuation of the famous “burren” rocks of County Clare. Once, the County was connected to the Islands themselves…

However, the three Aran Islands of West Ireland offer much more than stunning rock formations to today’s tourists: the culture of this rugged, exposed region is unique and unforgettable.

aran-lighthouse One of the most fascinating aspects of this group of islands is its people. As though caught in the mists of time, residents of the Aran Islands still speak the Irish language.

The Islands are largely populated by fishermen and farmers, and they continue to embrace the traditions of the past. Preserving their culture and the unspoiled beauty of their homeland is important to them.

Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer are the names of the three islands, which are located at the mouth of Galway Bay. Ferry service from Galway to the Islands takes about half an hour, so a trip to the Islands can also include some fun getaways to surrounding areas.

Galway is known as the home of the Claddagh Ring, an Irish token of affection adorned with a crowned heart, held by two tiny hands.

A traditional Claddagh ring is part of Galway's legacy...
A traditional Claddagh ring is part of Galway's legacy...

aran2Enjoying the Gaelic spirit of the Aran Islands should always include days spent walking or biking around the region. Stunning views and fresh air will revive your mind and spirit as you sight-see and explore.

Nights can be spent at an affordable bed and breakfast in the area, where rooms are clean and comfortable.

The Island does have all the modern conveniences now (Broadband Internet, etc.), but this doesn’t really detract from the wild, untamed beauty that the Aran region is renowned for. Spending time outside is your safest bet if you are looking for the most authentic Island experience.

Some amazing attractions include O’ Brien’s Castle on Inishmore, with its 14th century architecture and colorful history. As well, while on Inishmore, be sure to check out Dun Aengus, a fort perched dramatically atop a cliff. Its circular citadel and staircases will never be forgotten.

If you’re curious about shopping and dining in the Aran Islands, rest assured you will be able to find great food and drink while visiting. Nearby Galway City offers fantastic shopping as well.

While the Islands are admittedly not a booming metropolis, full of malls and modern chain restaurants, this is a good thing – they are a breathtaking respite from the busy pace of modern life.

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that will allow you to unwind and experience nature, Ireland’s Aran Islands will suit you perfectly. Enjoying the engaging, traditional Irish culture found in the region will be an added bonus for travelers.

Whether you visit to seek out exceptional natural beauty, or to experience a living piece of Gaelic history, you will not leave disappointed.