The Aran Islands
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Aran Islands, Galway Bay, Galway, Republic of Ireland
Set out in Galway Bay, the three rocky limestone outcrops that make up the Aran Islands, are a bastion of traditional language, culture and music, unique in their geology and archaeology and unrivalled in their potent sense of history.
In Galway Bay lie three rocky limestone outcrops that make up the Aran Islands. They are a bastion of traditional language, culture and music, unique in their geology and archaeology and unrivalled in their potent sense of history.
Each of the three islands, Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr have their own distinct atmosphere and character, but the dramatic landscapes and endless sea form a backdrop to a labyrinth of meandering stone walls and tiny, tightly packed fields. In between, a network of narrow winding roads and grassy lanes sweep from pristine beaches and craggy shores to the dizzying cliffs that mark the edge of Europe.
The islands have lured legions of writers, artists and visitors over the centuries, their enigmatic ancient monuments, early Christian remains, holy wells and historic lighthouses adding to their sense of timelessness and mystery.
The pace of life is slow here and a profound sense of peace accompanies any walk or cycle down the narrow grassy lanes. This serenity makes the islands a precious sanctuary from the rush of modern life, and their isolation guarantees their place as a stronghold of traditional culture. The nightly music sessions, lively dances, traditional crafts, seagoing currachs and wonderfully warm and welcoming spirit are inimitable parts of Aran.