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The Islands of the Wild Atlantic Way

If you really want to experience the ultimate in scenery, culture and pure escapism, some time on any of the islands along the Wild Atlantic Way is the perfect option. Pocket sized versions of the mainland, each has its own individual and uniquely Irish characteristics. There are uninhabited, natural paradises like Inishtrahull off the tip of Malin Head, Inch and Gola and that is just 3 of 33 in Donegal alone. Irish speaking, artistic enclaves like the Tory Island School of painters whose work hangs in some of the most prestigious art galleries around the world.

Life on the Islands

The Aran Islands which named the famous cream woollen jumpers sported by tourists from here to Japan. The intricate, knitted patterns depicting the stone walled fields, blackberries, moss and rope cables that define these jumpers were often used for the macabre purpose of identifying the family of a dead fisherman. Life slows down to a snails pace on Ireland's Islands which suits the locals down to the ground who still pay no heed at all to mainstream life.

Access is by ferry as a foot passenger apart from Achill in Mayo and Valentia in Kerry which are bridged, which means you either have to go walk about or hire a bicycle which are readily available at the harbour where the ferries dock. On Clare Island, you can even rent an authentic blackthorn walking stick for the day for €2 and leave it back when you are finished. On Inishboffin off Galway, which could easily double for a Greek island on a sunny day with its pristine white beaches and secluded turquoise bays, the local children have drawn up their own version of an island map which is available free from the heritage centre on the harbour

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Posted: 22 Apr 2014 by Claire Regan | with 0 comments

Tags: Islands, Wild Atlantic Way

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