A daytrip at the Aran Islands

Posted on 28. Sep, 2012 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Ireland, Press Trips

Think remote. Isolated. Raw. Untouched.

Got it?

Now make it even more remote. THAT’s the Aran Islands. To me anyway. Considering how fond I am of big cities, I may slightly exaggerate. But in this day and age of fast development and globalization, the Aran Islands seem to have resisted this urge to evolve - they really do seem to stand still against the current.

It’s actually strangely refreshing to be in such a simple, fuss-free environment.

The traditional houses of the Aran Islands

A bit of Aran Islands trivia:

  • The Aran Islands are actually consisted of three islands 
  • They are made out of limestone
  • The main one, Inishmore, is located one hour away from Galway by ferry
  • They hold some of the most ancient archaeological remains of Ireland
  • The 1200 inhabitants speak almost exclusively Irish
  • They invented the famous fisherman’s sweater
  • They are a very friendly bunch
The islands retain an extremely strong sense of Irish identity, and are very proud of their heritage. You better have some time on your hands if you want to ask them about their history - because they are very good storytellers!

A common sight on the island - sea, stone walls and horses.

The fisherman’s sweater, or Aran jumper. Each wool pattern has a meaning: honeycomb is for hard work, cable is for good luck at sea, and diamond is for success and wealth.

Relaxing at the restaurant

Considering that I thrive on the energy of fast-paced cities, it was a bit awkward at first to be on the island where time stands still. But it only took a few hours before I forgot the fact that I didn’t get phone reception, or 3G. I just sat at one of the 5 restaurants of the island, sipping on my hot chocolate, and talking with other girls on the tour bus.

So that’s what “taking it slow” is like?
That’s not bad. Not bad at all.

The crosses of the Seven Churches ruins

One of the few shops of the islands

And of course, the Joe Watty’s pub. It wouldn’t be Irish without a pub!

If I’m honest, there’s actually very little to do on the island. A few things to see here and there. I don’t even think there’s a guidebook solely about the islands. But that’s ok - because the island is not about crossing items off of a bucket list. It’s about appreciating the lullaby of the waves crashing against the limestone, the sound of cowbells on actual cows, smiling at the locals passing by, and just lay back.

I can definitely see the appeal in that.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of Shamrocker Tours on this trip. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Have you been to the Aran Islands? Would you consider daytripping there?
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17 Responses to “A daytrip at the Aran Islands”

  1. JoAnna

    28. Sep, 2012

    I read an article about the Aran Islands when I was younger and have dreamed about visiting some day. I’d still like to visit if I get the opportunity.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      04. Oct, 2012

      I hope so! It’s such a great, underrated place :)

      Reply to this comment
  2. Alison @ CheeseWeb

    28. Sep, 2012

    Oh wow! It looks stunning! I really wanted to go when we were last in Ireland but we didn’t have time. Guess we’ll have to make another trip!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      04. Oct, 2012

      You must! Such an incredible little gem yet untouched by mass tourism.

      Reply to this comment
  3. helena

    28. Sep, 2012

    So poetic this description ! Glad you enjoyed more than yoga ;)
    I had some big fisherman’s sweater with cables when I was younger. Guess i’ve missed my destiny ( to become a sailor, of course!) Maybe it’s not too late ?

    This place makes me think of l’Ile Verte in Quebec… do you konw it ?

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      04. Oct, 2012

      It’s never too late to pursue your destiny! ;-)

      Don’t know Ile Verte. Is it close to Quebec city?

      Reply to this comment
  4. Angela

    30. Sep, 2012

    Looks like a sunny day, how so? :P When I went to Aran Island it was pouring, really too much, I couldn’t enjoy it properly. Hope I’ll have the chance to go again, I know the place deserves.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      04. Oct, 2012

      I KNOW! I couldn’t believe my luck, I expected my week in Ireland to be filled with rain!

      Reply to this comment
  5. Adela @ FourJandals

    30. Sep, 2012

    I loved Aran Island, such a nice place to go for a relaxing break. Your photos are lovely, we had really drizzly days when we were there.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      04. Oct, 2012

      For some reason I had exceptionally good weather in Ireland. I wasn’t expecting that.

      Reply to this comment
  6. John Lawless

    01. Oct, 2012

    Hi Marie-Eve. Lovely post with great photos. Will post the link on the Aran Islands Facebook page.
    It would be great if you cound include a link to the Aran Information website(www.aranisland.info) in the body of the post.
    Kind regards.
    John.

    Reply to this comment
  7. The pictures look great! What are some exclusive locations you found?

    Reply to this comment
  8. Laurence

    06. Oct, 2012

    Looks like a good place to escape the world for a while :)

    Reply to this comment
  9. Abby

    06. Oct, 2012

    If I had one of those awesome sweaters, I think I’d be better at dealing with cold weather!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      31. Oct, 2012

      Indeed! And plus they’re fashionable at the moment!

      Reply to this comment

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