Updated: Apr 20
The Aran Islands are the most exclusive place to get up and close to the culture and history that is Ireland. The Islands have a strong spiritual appeal that is expressed in many ways for a diverse range of people. Because of its Celtic and Christian heritage, the Aran islands have an unusually high number of ruins and sacred sites. Many believe that just by being on the islands that you are considered to be on a path connecting you to your spiritual innerself and that you are in the process of being ‘blessed’.
The cross section of religions and ancient times attracts all sorts of people from various denominations and it's easy to see why. In general Ireland is incredibly old and beautiful - not just Europe old - I am talking medieval time old! It's a beautiful place and the islands are not hard to get to. You can take a ferry to the islands from the Galway city dock or take the ferry in Doolin which are close to the cliffs of Moher. It is a very scenic and short journey to the islands (only about a 40 minute ride) but you must have your accommodations done prior to your arrival. This is definitely not the place to 'wing it' so to speak. Once you arrive to any of the three islands a true Irish experience awaits you! The locals speak Irish as well as English in a setting of Celtic churches of historical significance including World Heritage site Dun Aonhasa which is set on dramatic 300 ft cliff edge. The three Aran Islands first termed as “The Islands of Saints and Scholars” still holds those virtues today. The Irish (Gaelic) language is still spoken here and in the twenty first century all native born islanders are bilingual in both Irish and English.
The name itself translates to ‘ Big Island’ and it is the largest of the Aran Islands. It is home to Dun Aonghasa and over 50 different monuments of Christian, Pre Christian and Celtic mythological heritage.
The island where you’ll find more authentic escapes from the modern world. With a total population of 200 people it is definitely the less visited of the three islands giving you the best opportunity to submerge yourself in Irish culture and tradition.
The smallest of the islands and is characterized by its distinctive charm and it’s also the island that will give you the most expansive view of the Cliffs of Mohr. Once you land you are greeted with white sandy beaches, clear crystal waters and boats in the bay with their catch of the day.