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The Islands of Ireland... A Little Gem Blog


Little Gem Tours guide to exploring some of the best of Ireland's islands in 2021.


Everybody knows that Ireland is an island at the western tip of Europe and at the eastern tip of the wild Atlantic Ocean. What many don't know however is that Ireland is surrounded by approximately 80 smaller islands, each with their own unique name, identity and landscape.


Of the 80 islands, 20 are inhabited and it is these inhabited islands that can provide visitors to Ireland with a unique and fascinating experience.

The isolation of Ireland’s islands provides a unique way of life for residents and a breathtaking experience for visitors. While wandering around, you’ll soon discover these islands to be havens for artists, photographers and birders alike, with almost all of these islands home to large colonies of birds and seals. The special experience of visiting these islands will provide the most stunning views that you will encounter in Ireland. Take a look at our blog and discover just a few of these unique islands...


The Aran Islands



The Aran Islands are some of the most famous and visited of all of Ireland's inhabited Islands. They are most popular with our international guests and with good reason. With exciting historical sites, Inis Mor is a bustling island to visit with plenty of attractions. One of the Aran Islands most unique attractions, the “worm hole” which has been used in the famous Red Bull Cliff diving contest is located here. Inis Mor also has a lively nightlife, with a good selection of pubs.

Inis Oirr is the smallest of these islands, a quirky destination with a fantastic beach by the pier. An old freighter shipwreck lies on the rocks here after being washed ashore in the 60’s, this island is also featured in the now famous comedy series Father Ted. There are also some great pubs to visit here.

Inis Meain famous for the Aran Sweater is the least visited island of the Aran Islands, it is also steeped in history but offers more of a tranquil experience for visitors.


Experience The Aran Island on our private tours of Ireland :

7 Day South by West Explorer Tour,

8 Day Wild Atlantic Way Adventure Tour

3 Day West of Ireland Tour


Some activity gems on the islands include:

Aran Island Ferries Dun Aonghasa

Aran Island Bike Hire Dive Academy




Dalkey Island




Situated 9 miles south of Dublin City, Dalkey Island inhabited 6,000 years ago and was once used as a Viking base, is now home to a colony of seals, black rabbits and a herd of goats. One of 50 in Ireland, a prominent feature on the island is the Martello tower. Dotted around the Irish coastline, there are 26 towers close to Dublin Bay, allowing each to communicate with each other when there was to be an incoming attack. Dalkey’s rocky coastline is now a popular fishing location among the locals.


Catch Dalkey Island on our private tours of Ireland:

Dublin & Surrounds Day Tour


Some activity gems on the islands include:

Ken The Ferryman

Kayaking Tour of Dalkey Island



Inishbofin



A popular holiday destination among the Irish, Inishbofin is a beautiful island off the Connemara coast. With 180 residents Inishbofin has some spectacular beaches, high cliffs and amazing views back over the 12 Bens Mountain range. An imposing feature when arriving on Inishbofin is “Cromwell’s Barracks” which was used as a prison for priests arrested around Ireland in the 1600’s. There are some great, lively pubs to visit here.


Catch Inishbofin Island on our private tours of Ireland:

13 Day All Ireland Explorer


Some activity gems on the islands include:

Inishbofin Ferry

Bofin Angling

Inishbofin Equestrian Centre



Tory Island



Nine miles off the Donegal coast, Tory island is the most remote inhabited island off Ireland. The main language spoken here is Irish. Tory island has many historical and mythological sights to explore and all visiting guests until recently were always welcomed onto the island by the King of Tory, Patsy Dan Rodgers who sadly passed in 2018. Patsy was a strong advocate for the island and campaigned for better services and transport links.


Experience Tory Island on our private tours of Ireland :

13 Day All Ireland Explorer

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