Discover the Best Islands in Ireland to Plan Your Vacations

Best Islands in Ireland featured image

It's a fact that no human on planet Earth is not fascinated by the beauties of nature. Natural wonders like islands, lakes, mountains, beaches, etc., drench your soul in peace and soothe your mind.

Here is a list of 11 captivating Irish Islands for nature lovers seeking a genuine connection with the natural world.

1. Cape Clear Island

Cape Clear Island

Ireland is famous for its beautiful islands, which are unmissable to explore. Cape Clear Island in the south of the country, more famous as Cléire, is a great place to observe greenery and lakes.

Home to almost 100 inhabitants, this island is rich in landscape sceneries, specific culture, and exciting history.

Numerous convenient ferry trips from Baltimore town are available to reach this island. You can interact with the local Gaeltacht community or visit archaeological sites like prehistoric cup-marked stone or neolithic passage tombs.

In addition to the impressive scenery, tourists can learn about the unique bird population at the Cape Clear Island Bird Observatory.

2. Sherkin Island

Sherkin Island

If you are a nature enthusiast and fascinated by the intricate details of natural beauty, Sherkin Island is a must-visit. This island is abundant in rare birds and animals, allowing you to witness many colours from Mother Nature.

It is three miles long but packed with prehistoric sites and natural marvels. Travel on a ferry, enjoy the beautiful places and compelling lighthouses and absorb the peaceful atmosphere of the locality.

If you are planning to go to Ireland, don't miss the annual seafood festival, a traditional music festival of this Sherkin Island.

3. Achill Island

Achill Island

One of the largest islands of Ireland with the five prettiest Blue Flag Beaches, Achill Island is heaven for travelers. This place is also a great adventure provider, serving as a beautiful site with plenty of water activities.

Furthermore, many hiking and biking enthusiasts reach their every year to have thrilling experiences. On the historical side, you can see the haunting remnants of stone farmhouses on the island county Achill, known as the Deserted Village.

The reason for the desertion of these places in 1845 was the Irish Famine.

4. Aran Islands

Aran Islands

Humans are seekers of natural environments and scenic beauties. If you are a true nature enthusiast, you need to visit the Aran Islands. A combination of three islands, this place is 43 km off Galway Bay and the most inhabited island in Ireland.

In addition to the eye-catching natural charm, this tourist destination offers numerous exciting activities like hiking, swimming, and other sports.

Historic places and rich Irish culture are frequently visible, and the hospitality of the locals is admirable. You can plan your stay on this island and enjoy the purity of nature.

5. Garnish Island

Garnish Island

Beautiful flowers and stunning gardens are other descriptions of Garnish Island. This little paradise is worth visiting in the Bantry Bay of Western Ireland. The tiny island is famous worldwide for its heavenly gardens and charming beauty.

Although it is one of the little isles of Ireland, attracting travellers every year and providing a source of income to the country. You can find rare species of marine animals here, like colony seals, one of the two seal species found in Ireland.

The best season to visit this place is from March to October to watch the mesmerizing views of exotic flowers.

6. Great Blasket Island

Great Blasket Island

The islands of Ireland are the true beauty of the county and a source to boost the tourism industry. Great Blasket Island is a stunningly beautiful and rugged natural wonder steeped in history and culture.

It was previously only an inhabited island, but harsh environmental conditions forced the small population to evacuate this place.

You can take the ferry and enjoy the appealing beauty of mountain tracks, beaches, and a peaceful atmosphere. 

Tourists can also visit the island's small museum, which offers insights into the island's history and culture, and learn about the lives of the former inhabitants.

7. Skellig Michael Island

Skellig Michael Island

The Ring of Kerry and the nearby Skellig Islands are famous for their beautiful scenery. The third largest island and most beautiful of the two Skelling islands, Skellig Michael Island, is a bucket list destination.

This beautiful and rough landscape has both historic places and natural beauty. Boat tours to the island are offered between springtime and early fall, according to weather conditions.

In addition to the breathtaking landscape, the island is famous for its unique and well-preserved early Christian monastery. This 6th-century abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination.

8. Valentia Island

Valentia Island

One of the best islands in Ireland on our list is Valentia, on the west coast. This remote island is connected to Portmagee village by a bridge and has beautiful natural views.

You can do many water activities like diving as there are many diving sites like Bray Head, Valentia Harbour, and Knightstown Pier.

Fossilized footprints of animals called tetrapods were found here. This island was once a swamp. The Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point offers fantastic views of the Atlantic. If you are visiting Ireland, you should visit this island.

9. Clare Island

Clare Island Best Islands in Ireland

This Irish Island is shrouded with rich history and amazing facts. If you are a fan of "Pirates of the Caribbean," you must explore every piece of this soil.

You will be amazed to hear about the real-life pirate queen. Clare Island is the birthplace of Granuiale or Grace O'Malley – The O'Malley family ruled Clare Island long ago. 

They built a big tower, a church, and tombs. The Pirate Queen of Galway Bay and Clew Bay was also from that time, in the 16th century.

When you visit the island on the west coast of Ireland, listen to the stories the local people tell about the Pirate Queen; "she was very mysterious."

10. Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island

Let's talk about the islands of Northern Ireland. In County Antrim, Rathin Island is one of the country's earliest discovered and inhabited islands.

It is a paradise for birdwatchers, as it is home to almost 30 bird species, with thousands of birds flying in the sky and increasing the beauty of that place. 

You can find some good community shops and restaurants if you plan to stay there. Other visit-worthy sites include Iron Robert, Bruce's castle, Age fort, standing stones, etc.

11. Tory Island

Tory Island Best Islands in Ireland

The last island in our "best islands in Ireland" list is in the remote area of Northern Ireland. This place is an attractive magnet to artists and musicians as it has Irish royal history.

You can reach Tory Island by taking a ferry from the east coast of County Donegal. Once there, you can enjoy the beautiful and rough landscape.

Despite its remote location, Tory Island has become an increasingly popular destination for tourists in recent years, thanks to its unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and welcoming community.

Bottom Line

After reading this article, your research to find amazing Irish islands must be over! Plan your trip according to your interests – whether you want to visit beaches, mountains, or historic sites. However, if you want to experience three of them, the above islands are for you.


Where To Find The Best Landscape Views In Ireland?

The Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Skellig Islands, Clare Island, and Sherkin Island are some of the best places to find stunning landscape views in Ireland.

Which Are The Most Famous Islands In Ireland?

Ireland is a country of many beautiful and well-known islands, but the most famous are; Aran Island, Achill Island, and Rathlin Island.

How Many Islands Are Inhabited In Ireland?

There are about 20 islands where people live, but the population of each island can fluctuate from one to the next.

Now that you have a comprehensive list of the best islands to visit in Ireland, it's time to explore more of what this beautiful country has to offer. From breathtaking landscapes to fascinating historical sites, Ireland is brimming with unique attractions that are bound to leave you speechless.

Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover or a foodie, we've got you covered with our list of top attractions in Ireland here:

Hermillis Haden
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