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Otherworldly 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.
Irish Islands

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Irish Islands

Tory Island - Toraigh

Until the 16th century, Colmcille's monastery defined the island. In Toraigh, the most remote of all the inhabited Irish isles, tradition and high spirits abound. A Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region), this island is fiercely proud of its folklore, music and dance. A haven for artists, the beauty of this small island has inspired the imagination for generations. Other landmarks of note include the Lighthouse, the Wishing Stone, and Balor's Fort. An interesting fact is that this island traditionally elects its own king - the only place in Ireland to do so.
Adresse: Tory Island, Co. Donegal
Telefon: +353 871993710
Irish Islands

Gola Island - Gabhla

Gabhla is one of the lesser-known islands. Long uninhabited, interest was revived recently, particularly among rock climbers and birdwatchers. An off the beaten track walk brings visitors to a lake with abundant bird life; cormorants, razorbills, guillemots as well as gannets and kittiwakes. Somewhere this peaceful, you may feel as though you've been transported to another world - but the island is in fact only 2km from Gweedore, with ferries departing from Magheragallan (Machaire Gathlan). Note: during low season, booking is required.
Adresse: Gola Island, Co. Donegal
Telefon: +353 87 224 5881
Irish Islands

Arranmore - Árainn Mhór

Arranmore is the biggest inhabited island in County Donegal. A Gaeltacht region, many mainlanders cherish memories of visiting this island to participate in Irish-language summer schools as teenagers. Outdoor and aquatic activities are popular here, such as birdwatching, rock climbing, diving, sailing, kayaking, but most of all angling, as the sea and freshwater lakes here are rich in fish. This is the perfect place to get acquainted with the Islander spirit.
Adresse: Arranmore, Co. Donegal
Telefon: +353 749542233 or +353 749520532
Irish Islands

Inishfree - Inis Fraoigh

Inishfree (or Inis Fraoigh) is a small island 5km off the coast of Donegal. In the 4th and 5th century, this remote island was the domain of Niall of the Nine Hostages, future king of Ireland. Today, pristine nature and the tranquility of a simpler time await those visitors who wander off the beaten path. The island's few inhabitants organise activities for visitors involving local culture, music, art, crafts, poetry, angling, boating and more.
Adresse: Inishfree, Co. Donegal
Irish Islands

Island Roy - Oileán Ruaidh

Island Roy is a 90-acre little-known island with few inhabitants, mostly farmers. Its Irish name, Oileán Ruaidh, means "red island" and refers to the vibrant red hue of the vegetation in winter - the island has even been symbolically "twinned" with the Red Planet, Mars! A calm place of retreat, explore the sand dunes and hills at your leisure. The island is accessible from the mainland by road - but only during low tide.
Adresse: Island Roy, Co. Donegal
Irish Islands

Sherkin Island

One of Carbery's hundred isles, Sherkin Island is a small place (only 5km x 3km!) bursting with character. In summer, its sandy beaches and fuschia-lined lanes are a perfect retreat. The ancestral home of the infamous O'Driscoll clan, one can visit the clan castle and an old Franciscan Abbey. Events of note include the Sherkin Regatta and local fair, which takes place every year in the 3rd weekend of July. The island can be reached by ferry from the small fishing village of Baltimore, and the journey only takes 10 minutes.
Adresse: Sherkin Island, Co. Cork
Telefon: +353 0879117377
Irish Islands

Spike Island

Spike Island was named Ireland's leading tourist attraction in 2017. Located in lower Cork Harbour, its entrance is dominated by an 18th century star-shaped military fortress called Fort Michael. The island is also home to a historic monastery and prison. A must-see for history buffs, this island features more buildings than others, and is easily accessed by taking a ferry form the picturesque town of Cobh.
Adresse: Spike Island, Co. Cork
Telefon: +353 021 237 3455
Irish Islands

Inish Beg

Inish Beg is an enchanting private island in beautiful West Cork, connected to the mainland by road bridge. One of the island's three farms is the award-winning Inish Beg Estate Gardens, open to the public all year round. Trails and woodland walks offer a chance to reconnect with nature before moving on to aquatic activities such as sea kayaking and scuba diving.
Adresse: Inish Beg, Co. Cork
Telefon: +353 2821745
Irish Islands

Bere Island

Bere Island, located between Bantry Bay and Berehaven Harbour, is the perfect vantage point to take in beautiful views of the Beara Peninsula, in particular of the Slieve Miskish and Caha Mountain ranges. Discover the island's history at the Heritage Centre, or follow the island's trails, passing by old archaeological and military sites. Bere Island lies only 2 km away from the mainland and can be reached by ferry.
Adresse: Bere Island, Co. Cork
Telefon: +353 027 75099
Irish Islands

Dursey Island

Reaching Dursey Island is an adventure in itself - glide 250 metres above the sea in Ireland's only cable car! The island itself is a haven of peace and pristine nature. Dotted with crumbling ruins, you won't find any shops, bars or restaurants here - make sure to bring a picnic to enjoy while taking in the beautiful, wild views of the Beara Peninsula.
Adresse: Dursey Island, Co. Cork
Irish Islands

Cape Clear - Oileán Chléire

Cape Clear is Ireland's most southerly island and part of an Irish-speaking Gaeltacht region. Visit in summer to take a tour of Fastnet Rock Lighthouse, known as "Ireland's Teardrop" - this was the last thing generations of migrants saw when departing for America, often never to return.Here you'll find a Heritage Centre, a picturesque harbour, some walking trails, a bird observatory and many opportunities for aquatic activities. The ferries to Cape Clear depart from Baltimore and Schull and take around 40 minutes to reach the destination. During the journey, keep an eye out for dolphins, whales and sharks.
Adresse: Cape Clear, Co. Cork
Telefon: +353 28 39159
Irish Islands

Garinish Island - Ilnacullin

Plant lovers flock to Garinish Island's beautiful gardens to admire the profusion of rare species. Designed at the beginning of the 20th century by Harold Peto for Annan and Violet Bryce, the gardens also feature a Grecian Temple, a Martello Tower, a clock tower and an Italian tea House. Ferries depart from Glengarrif Harbour - keep an eye out for the seal colony while passing the aptly named Seal Island!
Adresse: Garinish Island, Co. Cork
Telefon: +353 27 63116
Irish Islands

Heir Island

Heir Island, or Hare Island, is a rugged and wild haven at the centre of Roaringwater Bay. Small and peaceful, it is dotted with quaint island cottages as well as wildflower fields. Landmarks include the sailing school, a holistic centre, a restaurant and an art gallery. GET THERE: Ferry from Cunnamore pier
Adresse: Heir Island, Co. Cork
Telefon: +353 086 8092447
Irish Islands

Long Island - Inishfada

Long Island's name explains itself: the island is 4.8km long and only 0.8km wide. The perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, visitors immerse themselves in the tranquil atmosphere, beautiful nature and landscapes. The journey from Colla pier to Long Island only takes 5 minutes.
Adresse: Long Island, Co. Cork
Telefon: +353 861721254
Irish Islands

Whiddy Island

Whiddy Island in the heart of Bantry Bay has a long naval and military history, with relics dating from as far back as the Viking era. Ruins include the medieval Reenavanny Castle, as well as a 6th century holy well, church, and graveyard. The island's trails are part of the Sheep's Head Way, a popular walking route and a European Destination of Excellence. The trails are a profusion of colour in summer, with red and purple fuschia characterising the landscape. Cycling, kayaking and paddling are also possibilities. You can reach Whiddy Island by taking a ferry from Bantry Town.
Adresse: Whiddy Island, Co. Cork
Telefon: +353 86 862 6734
Irish Islands

The Blasket Islands - Na Blascaodaí

Marvel at nature in its purest state in the deserted and wild Blasket Islands. Bird, seal and whale watchers are particularly fond of this wildlife-rich place. Don't miss the 3.5km loop walk, which takes in spectacular views at the mountain's summit. Visit the Blasket Centre to learn more about the island's unique history and culture. The islands are a must-see on any Kerry itinerary: take the ferry from Dunquin on the Dingle Peninsula.
Adresse: Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry
Telefon: +353 66 9156444
Åpningstider: End of March-end October: 10am-6pm (Blasket Centre)
Irish Islands

The Skelligs - Na Scealga

The Skellig Islands are world renowned for their ornithological, archaeological and cultural significance. A distinctly rocky landscape ("Skeilig" means rock in the ocean!), Little Skellig is a birdwatcher's paradise with 27,000 pairs of gannets, while Skellig Míchael is the home of the early Christian St. Fionan's Monastery - a UNESCO world heritage site. Make sure to visit the curious and unique Beehive huts - iconic, rocky huts built by Augustinian monks on what was then believed to be the edge of the world. Bnus fact: Star Wars fans will delight in the fact that this island is featured in Episode VII: The Force Awakens! GET THERE: Reach the Skelligs by taking the ferry from Portmagee, Ballinskelligs or Caherdaniel.
Adresse: Skellig Islands, County Kerry
Telefon: +353 66 947 6306
Irish Islands

Valentia Island

Valentia Island is worth a full day's visit. Hike to the top of the beautiful Geokaun Mountain and admire the near Fogher Cliffs, visit the lighthouse at Cromwell Point or the quaint village of Knightstown. Unique attractions include the Tetrapod Trackway is a beach featuring preserved dinosaur footprints - one of only 4 examples in the world. Visit The Skellig Centre, a distinctive building with a turf-covered roof, to learn about the monastic and maritime life on this one-of-a-kind island.
Adresse: Valentia Island, Co. Kerry
Telefon: +353 066 947 6985
Irish Islands

The Aran Islands

The famous Aran Islands are three: Inishmore (Árainn), Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) and Inisheer (Inis Oírr). Rocky terrain, deserted beaches and impressive cliffs characterise this otherworldly landscape. As Irish-speaking islands, traditional culture lives on - Aran sweaters, a traditional craft, have become world famous, long-lasting souvenirs. THINGS TO SEE: Dún Aonghasa, a clifftop prehistoric stone fort, the oasis of calm that is Inisheer beach, the unique Ruins of Inishmaan, and Dún Dúchathair, an impressive Iron Age fortress. GET THERE: Drive/take the bus from Galway to Rossaveal, where a ferry will bring you to The Aran Islands.
Adresse: Aran Islands, Co. Galway
Telefon: +353 91 568903
Irish Islands

Achill - Acaill

Ireland's largest island, Achill Island, is a lively place close to the heart of many Irish adventurers. Outdoor activities such as biking, hiking and surfing are available - this is said to be the surfing capital of Ireland! THINGS TO SEE: Croaghun cliffs, some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, and Keem Strand, a peaceful sandy beach surrounded by rolling green hills. GET THERE: connected to the mainland by bridge. Take the bus direct from Westport or Castlebar.
Adresse: Achill Island, Co. Mayo
Irish Islands

Ceantar na nOileán

Ceantar na nOileán is a group of Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) linked to mainland Galway. The best-known islands are Lettermore, Gorumna and Lettermullan - many mainlanders enjoyed summers here as teenagers attending one of the three Irish language summer-schools. Famous for its seaweed, the islands have become known as a place of healing and self-discovery. THINGS TO SEE: The Millenium Garden, Maumeen Abbey, and secluded beaches. GET THERE: Connected to the mainland and to each other.
Adresse: Ceantar na nOileán, Co. Galway
Irish Islands

Inishbofin - Inis Bó Finne

Crystal clear water easily lends itself to snorkelling, kayaking or angling, while the island's three hiking trails cry out to be explored. The island is home to a large conservation area which boasts rare flora and fauna, as well as heavenly, secluded sandy beaches. The island is also known for its lively traditional music scene, and often hosts international music events. GET THERE: Ferries operate 3 times daily from the mainland (Cleggan).
Adresse: Inishbofin Island, Co. Galway
Telefon: +353 95 45819 or +353 86 171 8829 or +353 87 366 7185
Irish Islands

Clare Island

Clare Island is one of the Clew Bay's legendary 365 islands - one for every day of the year! A mountainous island, this is a place of epic natural beauty: explore dramatic sea cliffs and numerous hiking and cycling paths. The island was the home of the infamous 16th-century "pirate queen" Grace O'Malley, whose castle still stands on a rocky headland. The island is also prized by filmmakers - it even hosts a Film Festival each year.
Adresse: Clare Island, Co. Mayo
Telefon: +353 98 23737 or +353 86 8515003 or +353 87 9004115
Irish Islands


This tiny, rugged island is composed of steep hills and cliffs. Situated between Inishbofin and Clare Island, this island is a refuge of Sandy beaches and offers two loop walks, one short and one more challenging. Ruins include an old signal tower built during the Napoelonic wars. With a population of just 58, it is no wonder that the island community centre doubles as a library and pub.
Adresse: Inishturk, Co. Mayo
Telefon: +353 098 25045 or +353 086 887 0814 or +353 087 660 0409
Irish Islands

Inishbiggle - Inis Bigil

Inishbiggle (Vigil Island), is truly a hidden corner of Ireland. As its name would suggest, the island is a haven of serenity and idyllic, unspoiled nature. Reach Inishbiggle by boat from Achill Island and follow the 5km walking loop, or rent a bike. The island's only shop closed years ago - so make sure to bring a picnic!
Adresse: Inishbiggle, Co. Mayo
Telefon: +353860612482
Irish Islands

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 if they are in possession of a UK type "C" visa, and have gone through initial immigration clearance in the UK. Holders of a Residence Card of a family member of a Union citizen, or of a red United Nations laissez-passer also enjoy a visa exemption. For those who do need a visa, one should be applied for in advance via an Irish embassy or consulate closest to them. Some nationalities also require a transit visa, even if they do not plan to leave the airport en route to their final destination. Check whether you need a visa, and what prerequisites and fees may apply:
Irish Islands

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 round.
Irish Islands

General Advice

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 of the islands are populated, easy to reach and have a full range of services from accommodation to catering facilities, others are uninhabited and remote with no services. Generally, if travelling to an island with little or no services you should bring your own food and necessary supplies. Your licensed boat operator will be your best source of information and advice. Finally, please leave the islands as you have found them, taking nothing but photographs and leaving nothing but footprints. Respect monuments, habitats, dwellings, stone walls, plant and wild life. Dispose of any litter in bins or bring it with you from the islands.
Irish Islands


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 Dublin Airport (DUB), Dublin Shannon Airport (SNN), County Clare Ireland West International Airport at Knock (NOC), County Mayo Cork Airport (ORK), County Cork Kerry Airport (KIR), County Kerry All the airports are served by Bus Éireann. For more information, check on Taxis and car rental are also usually available at the airports.
Irish Islands


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 demand.
Irish Islands


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. You can use the link below to locate a pharmacy in your area.
Irish Islands


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 driving on the left-hand side of the road. However, when going to an Irish Island, note that most ferries don’t take cars and, considering how small most of the islands are, you won’t need one there anyway.
Irish Islands


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 9am to 1pm on Saturday. Larger towns might have extended hours.
Irish Islands


Country code: +353
Irish Islands


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