Scattered along Ireland's coastlines are an assortment of breathtaking islands--each with their own unique character that sets them apart from the mainland. Few things are more magical than standing on an islands edge while gazing out on the vast Atlantic. With the fresh sea breeze blowing on your face, a visit to one of these remote (and not so remote) settlements is truly an enlivening experience. A true escape and brief detox from the stresses of modern-day living. The isolation of island life has preserved the rich Irish culture and traditions that can be experienced first-hand by those who visit.

Although remote, most of the Irish islands are accessible via bridges such as Achill Island  in county Mayo or tidal causeways (a piece of land that is connected to the mainland by a natural or man-made causeway---exposed at low tide and submerged at high tide) such as Island Roy in county Donegal or short ferry crossings to the famous Blasket Islands in county Kerry.  

Skellig Islands, County Kerry

Skellig Islands, County Kerry

The most popular of islands, The Aran Islands are located 30 miles off the coast of county Galway and are made up of three islands: Inishmore (Inis Moir), Inishmaan (Inis Meain) and Inisheer (Inis Oirr). The Aran Islands are easily accessible by boat and air. 

Each of Ireland's islands offers unique experiences: visitors can wander through deserted villages or explore ancient monastic sites, watch a passing whale or wintering rare birds. Most of the inhabited islands have Wi-Fi or cafes and offer the creature comforts of the mainland. Most islands can be visited on a day or overnight trip. 

There’s an island for everyone and those who visit are guaranteed to come away with a personal, magical experience. 

A few islands to mention:

The Aran Islands

Achill Island

Skellig Island

Cape Clear

The Blaskets

Rathlin Island

Tory Island

Arranmore Island