Irish IslandsCopyright: Greg Fellmann/Shutterstock.com
Irish IslandsOtherworldly landscapes and a strong sense of tradition — it’s no wonder these islands have inspired so much folklore. Dotted with remnants of prehistoric, early Christian, Viking, and medieval settlements, these lands are steeped in tradition and are often Irish-speaking. Daring adventurers won't be bored as many of the islands offer unique diving or water sports experiences. A remote island escape is often accessible by bridge, tidal causeway, or a short ferry journey.
The IslandsOtherworldly landscapes and a strong sense of tradition combine in the remote islands of Ireland's coast. It is no wonder these places have inspired so much folklore and poetry - the islands are a place of phenomenal natural, as well as culture. The remnants of settlements created by Prehistoric settlers, early Christian monks, Vikings, pirates, pilgrims, farmers and fishermen preserve a sense of the country's dramatic history. Revel in the lively traditional music and crafts culture in the Irish-speaking islands. Daring adventurers won't be bored - many of the islands offer unique diving or water sport experiences. Often deserted or very sparsely populated, naturalists have long treasured these islands - the expanse of the Atlantic offers a rare opportunity to see birds, whales and other marine life up close in the wild. Although remote, an island escape is more more accessible than you may think. Some can be driven onto via bridge or tidal causeway; many others are just a short ferry journey away.
North West (Donegal)Abandon the mortal world and embrace the magical, creative spirit of the North West Islands. These timeless Irish-speaking (Gaeltacht) islands are a window on to the past, to the Ireland of yore which has all but disappeared. The distinctive rocky Atlantic landscape reigns: sea birds perched on rugged cliffs, dramatic sea caves, spectacular ocean views and an overwhelming natural beauty which inspired so much folklore, lyric and song. The country's most remote inhabited island, Tory Island is found here, interestingly, this island is presided over by its own elected king!
South West (Cork)Hundreds of tiny gems of islands dot Cork's battered and rocky coast, which has nurtured resilient Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) cultures and rich ecosystems. Reaching the islands is an adventure in itself: keep an eye out for seals on the journey to Garinish Island, enjoy the views from the ferry as you travel to Cape Clear, or take a swinging ride on the cable car across Dursey Sound.
South West (Kerry)A UNESCO World Heritage site, the islands off the coast of Kerry are a haven of remote wilderness. An ancient and undisturbed place, the islands have preserved tracks of 350 million year old creatures, and a flourishing sense of tradition. Towering cliffs, sandy beaches, windswept hills and rare flora and fauna combine to create some of Ireland's most postcard-perfect landscapes.
West (Galway & Mayo)The West of Ireland is a place of great natural beauty and serenity. Explore peaceful monastic remains and archaeological sites, as well as the living culture of the Irish-speaking (Gaeltacht) communities. Don't miss the famed Aran Islands, one of Ireland's most-visited locations, and Achill Island, the largest Irish isle. Escape the hustle and bustle by visiting one of the smaller islands, many of which offer unique cultural experiences, interesting historic landmarks, and jaw-dropping views.
Passport / Visa
Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) and Switzerland can enter Ireland without a visa. Citizens of a further 56 countries, including many in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and more are also visa-exempt. A short-stay visa waiver programme allows visitors of certain nationalities to enter Ireland visa-free …
Best Time to Visit
Some of the islands can be very busy during summer, which is high season (July and August in particular). The best time to visit in order to find decent weather and fewer crowds is during late spring and late autumn, but it has to be noted that the Irish Islands are beautiful all year …
The islands are fully exposed to all of nature’s elements, so their terrains are mostly rugged and the seas surrounding them can sometimes be wild. Always take the greatest care during your excursions. Also, wear layered clothing and sensible shoes and prepare for the particular island journey you are planning. For instance, while some …
Depending on which islands you want to visit and whether you don't mind a long journey, you can arrive at one of the following airports: Donegal Airport (CFN), County Donegal www.donegalairport.ie Dublin Airport (DUB), Dublin www.dublinairport.com Shannon Airport (SNN), County Clare www.shannonairport.ie Ireland West International Airport at Knock (NOC), County Mayo www.irelandwestairport.com Cork Airport (ORK), County Cork www.corkairport.com Kerry Airport (KIR), County Kerry www.kerryairport.ie All the airports …
It is always advisable to check sailing times with the ferry or boat operator before travelling and to book your journey in both directions in advance, or as advised by the boat operator. All sailings are weather dependent and often subject to …
You should be able to find pharmacies on bigger islands, but sometimes it might be necessary to move to the mainland. There, pharmacies can be found in every town and they are usually marked by a brand logo. General working hours are from 9am to 17.30pm, but they can change according to the pharmacy. …
If you intend to rent a car in Ireland, make sure to familiarise yourself with the Irish road rules. In particular, pay attention to the speed limits: 120km on motorways; 100km on national roads; 80km on regional and local roads; 50km in a built-up area. Also remember that, unlike in other countries, you'll be …
Postal services in Ireland are provided by An Post. Many islands have at least one post office, but sometimes it might be necessary to move to the mainland. You can use the link below to locate the nearest post office. General post office hours are from 9am to 5.30 pm during weekdays and from …