Spotlight - Aran Islands
The Aran Islands are a top destination in Ireland. It feels as though time stopped there and you can participate in an authentic Irish experience. Because of this, the Aran Islands are a must stop on your itinerary.
The Aran Islands are three islands situated off the Galway Bay on the western side of Ireland. There
are about 1200 residents on the islands and the rugged beauty of the islands is not lost on its visitors. The landscape resembles the limestone wonders found in The Burren in Connemara. The Aran Islands are also a Gaelacht, meaning that the Irish language is the primary language spoken and taught on the islands. To get to the Aran Islands, you can arrive by ferry and enjoy the views of mainland Ireland and the coastline of the islands.
A trip on the largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mór, will leave you in awe of the raw Irish beauty and the perseverance of the Irish people. A popular (and rightly so!) attraction on Inis Mór is the cliffside fort, Dún Aonghasa. This ancient fort sits at the edge of a high cliff and is truly a remarkable site. Archaelogists believe that the fort was built around 1100 BC – now that’s a historical fort! Be sure to take the time to wander around the fort and take in how truly remarkable its location is.
One of the most unique attractions on the island is the Wormhole or the Serpent’s Lair (Poll na bPeist). Looking over the cliff’s edge, you will see what appears to be a manmade swimming pool, but your eyes would deceive you. This perfectly rectangular pool was actually formed by nature! The natural pool was made famous by the 2017 Red Bull cliff diving contest. I’m not sure which is more miraculous, that there is a perfectly rectangular natural swimming pool or that people jump off the cliff into it!
Once you are finished exploring, be sure to pop in the craft shops to see what the locals have to offer. The Aran Islands are known for their sweater craft. The sweaters found on the island assist in keeping out the fierce Atlantic winds and unpredictable Irish weather. After your adventure on the Aran islands, pop into a pub, order a pint, and reflect on the unique sights you witnessed!