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Overview

Lying off the south coast of Connemara in Galway Bay, the three Aran Islands are among the best places to experience traditional Irish life. Native islanders speak Irish as their first language and maintain customary ways of fishing, farming, music, dance and crafts such as basketry and weaving. Handmade Aran sweaters, with their symbolic stitching patterns, are highly prized for their warmth and workmanship. Ancient stone forts and early Christian ruins litter the islands' limestone landscape, which resembles that of the Burren in County Clare. Inishmore (Inis Mór) is the largest and most westerly island, covering 12 square miles (31 sq ...

Lying off the south coast of Connemara in Galway Bay, the three Aran Islands are among the best places to experience traditional Irish life. Native islanders speak Irish as their first language and maintain customary ways of fishing, farming, music, dance and crafts such as basketry and weaving. Handmade Aran sweaters, with their symbolic stitching patterns, are highly prized for their warmth and workmanship. Ancient stone forts and early Christian ruins litter the islands' limestone landscape, which resembles that of the Burren in County Clare. Inishmore (Inis Mór) is the largest and most westerly island, covering 12 square miles (31 sq km). The Heritage Center (Ionad Arainn) at Kilronan gives an overview of the islands' history and culture. Dun Aengus (Dún Aonghasa), a stone fort perched on a cliff edge, is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Europe. Hilly, rustic Inishmaan (Inis Meáin), the middle island, has more ancient ruins. A haven for artists, it is also a center for diving. The smallest island, Inisheer (Inis Oírr), has a lovely beach and is known for traditional music.

Donna Dailey
About the Expert

Donna Dailey is the author of Thomas Cook’s Ireland driving guide, coauthor of DK’s Back Roads Ireland and several other titles, as well as the author of Thomas Cook’s HotSpots Costa Blanca and a contributor to AA Publishing’s Key Guide Spain.

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Donna Dailey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer, autumn