Best island to visit around Ireland

View of the Cape Clear Islands, ©bestbib&tucker/Flickr

View of the Cape Clear Islands, ©bestbib&tucker/Flickr

Sometimes all you need is to get away from stress and the crowded city and just travel somewhere quiet, peaceful and less agglomerated. The scattered islands around Ireland are unforgettably beautiful, wind-tossed and wild but that’s what gives their charm. These wonderful islands have inspired several naturalists, poets and writers. You can also find you own inspiration if you travel to one of these gateway locations.

Visit the Skellig Islands and admire the pinnacles, spend a lovely holiday on the romantic island of Cape Clear or go bird watching to Saltee Island.

The Skellig Islands – Na Scealga

Skellig Michael and Small Skellig are together the Skellig Islands which are both worth visiting. Skellig Michael is mostly famous for its archeological significance, its monastic heritage sites and its large colony of gannet birds which is the largest in the world. In order to reach the monastic site you must climb over hundreds of steps through an old stone stairway.

The Skellig Islands, ©SHANLISS_SNAPPER/Flickr

The Skellig Islands, ©SHANLISS_SNAPPER/Flickr

On top you will find the stone huts in which monks used to live and pray. You will also find holy wells, oratories, a cemetery with lots of stone crosses and a church called St. Michael’s church. As the location was invaded by the Vikings several times the monks have left in the 13th century and the island became only a place of pilgrimage. Hop on a boat and experience the natural monuments personally.

Cape Clear Island

Cape Clear is an inhabited island located in the southern region of Ireland. This beautiful and romantic island is about 5 kilometers long, 2 kilometers wide and has a unique culture. Wander around the rugged hills, their dry stone walls and among the magnificent wild flowers.

View of the Cape Clear Islands, ©bestbib&tucker/Flickr

View of the Cape Clear Islands, ©bestbib&tucker/Flickr

Visit the 5000 year old passage grave, the megalithic stones, the ruins of a church from the 12th century and a castle from the 14th century which all make part of the island’s cultural heritage. This charming island is also rich in wildlife for there are several migratory birds, sharks, whales, dolphins and many others to be found. The locals are friendly, welcoming and hospitable and will probably be more than pleased to have you there.

Saltee Islands

This beautiful island is also one of the most enchanting ones of Ireland which gives home to several sea birds. Bring you binoculars and check out the sea gulls, gannets and others which temporarily occupy the island in the spring or autumn season. The island has also a population of grey seals which bring 20 pups into the world every year. The Saltee Islands are considered one of the most ancient islands on the European continent which can be proved by archeological evidence as well.

View of Saltee Islands, ©roezer/Flickr

View of Saltee Islands, ©roezer/Flickr

There are several traces of the existence of religious settlements from the past centuries. The island was also a shelter for shipwreckers and pirates during the 16th and 17th century. Since the middle of the 40’s the island is private property and belongs to a family called the Neales who take good care of its bird sanctuaries and allow visitors to go bird watching.

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