Aran Island , County Clare

Inishmore (7635 acres) , Inishmaan (2253 acres) and Inisheer (1400 acres) lie about 30 miles off the Galway Coast and even today remain relatively isolated. Fishing is done from currachs , fragile-looking boats covered in tarred canvas , and the islanders have cultivated small pockets of soil using seaweed and sand.

Kilronan on Inishmore is the islands’ capital and the liveliest spot , with plenty of music in the pub. Dun Aengus , on Inishmore , a semi-circular fort perched over 300ft cliffs , is the most important of the islands’ antiquities. Others include the tiny ancient church of Teampall Bheanain at Killeany , Inishmore and Doonconor on Inishmaan.

Inishmaan , which is the least visited of the islands , is also the most colourful and the most solitary. It was here that J. M. Synge stayed , to study the life and language of the people , and where he based his play Riders to the Sea. Inisheer , the smallest of the islands , is dominated by a huge rock formation , topped by the ruins of a 15th century O’Brien castle. The ancient Church of St. Kevin , who is the Islands’ patron Saint , is near the beach.

The Aran Island’s are a real hidden gem that boast some of the most spectacular views in Ireland which make them a real must see on your tours of Ireland.