Jul 15

Aran Islands Escape

by in UK

There are many trips into the country you can do from Dublin, and one of the more spectacular and scenic ones is visiting Galway Bay and the Arran Islands, located precisely on the other side of the Emerald Isle, on the Western coast.

Aran Islands in distance

If you are pressed for time on your itinerary, there are coach day trips leaving Dublin, that will introduce you to the rugged charms of the Galway and Connemara regions. If you’ve got more time however, a nice way to do it is to take the train to Galway, and explore this city, known as the “cultural heart of Ireland,” full of cobbled medieval alleyways and live music events. There is always one festival or another going on here, and if you are a castle-crazy, the region is famous for the greatest array of castle ruins in Ireland!

If you’re after an Irish adventure, it’s as easy as booking your Dublin flights, and working your way through all the attractions the country has to offer from there.

Aran Islands

Aran Islands, a group of three islands on the mouth of Galway Bay, are one of the main attractions here. The islands can be easily visited on a day trip from Galway, but if you’re after an independent adventure, just take the ferry from Galway.

The islands, from the largest to the smallest are called Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer, and Irish is the language spoken locally. They are a fantastic place to go walking and admire the impressive Atlantic coastal cliffs and inspiring landscapes. Bike rentals are available too on the islands, so it’s a great escape for the more active-minded as well. Writers like J.M. Synge and painters such as Seán Keating  are well-known for retiring here to grapple with their craft, amongst many other artists. On Inishmore you can also visit the ruins of an old and rather picturesque fort, Dun Aengus, thought to be one of the oldest archaeological sites in Ireland dating back all the way to the Iron Age.

If you decide to venture to the islands outside of the European summer season, you might be tempted to purchase one of the beautiful, locally handcrafted Aran sweaters, although the weather conditions here are usually quite temperate, it can get a bit cool and windy (the same cannot be said about Galway Bay though, as it often goes wild!). Find out more about the regional traditions and culture, the fishing lifestyle and the art of curragh or boat making during your walks through the local villages.

The Aran islands offer a kind of treasured “time capsule” experience of ways of life in Ireland, as not that much has changed here over the centuries, so if  you are looking for a more authentic view of the country, you’re likely to love your time here.

If you’d like to here more about the Aran Islands head over to aranisland.info.

Citations:

Author – Patricia Bieszk+  – has travelled through most continents in the world and loves writing about them.

3 Responses to “Aran Islands Escape”

  1. From John Lawless:

    Lovely post. Will share the link on the Aran Islands facebook page tomorrow.I’ll also add you to the blogroll on the Aran Islands blog.

    Kind regards,
    John.

    Posted on July 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm #
  2. From stingy:

    Sorry about the map, I’ve fixed that up now and added that link.

    Regards,
    Matt.

    Posted on July 16, 2012 at 3:09 am #
  3. From John Lawless:

    Sorry. You got the link right. Thanks. You can delete this. I added a link to your blog on the blogroll of the Aran Blog at: http://www.aranisland.info/wordpress and I’ll post a link to your story on The facebook page in about 8 hours.
    John.

    Posted on July 16, 2012 at 3:48 am #

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