Visiting Ireland, Tory Island

Guarding the seat of Balor, ©Liamfm/Flickr

Guarding the seat of Balor, ©Liamfm/Flickr

Tory Island is a small place located near the coast of Donegal and is only about half a mile wide and 3 miles long. It can be reached only when the weather is in your favor which is why it is still barely inhabited. The island has a population of about 200 souls in four small towns: East Town, West Town, Newtown and Middletown. The island has remarkable scenery dotted with pink colored granite cliffs and rocks towering from the sea. Tory Island is a perfect location for bird watching. There is also a monastery from the 6th century which is worth visiting and we should mention that Tory Island is the home of a celebrated painter school.

Why visit Tory Island

As it was mentioned previously the island is a spectacular place for birdwatchers. If you like bird watching come to Tory Island and watch the puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars, corncrakes and other bird species nesting here. Visit the monastery founded by St. Colmcille in the 6th century next to the ruins of two churches and a round tower. When you come to the island you will be part of a royal welcome, more precisely you will be welcomed by royalty. The people of Tory Island elect the King of Tory Island who gets the honor to be the King but the title itself has no legal status. Momentarily the king of the island is Patsy Dan Rodgers, who greets each and every visitor personally with music and parade.

View of the Evil Eye, ©Liamfm/Flickr

View of the Evil Eye, ©Liamfm/Flickr

Artists of Tory Island

Art lovers might find it fascinating that the island gives home to a celebrated school o painters. The students work in a primitive style and their artwork is quite sought after on an international level. All over the world there are regular exhibitions which exhibit the works of Tory Islanders. If you visit the island you can see a few paintings displayed in the community hall.

High Altar of Tory, ©Liamfm/Flickr

High Altar of Tory, ©Liamfm/Flickr

Transportation and accommodation options

The only way to get to Tory Island is by ferry boat which you can take from Magheroarty or Bunbeg in Donegal County. There are a few accommodation options of which you can choose from: a small hotel with 14 bedrooms, a hostel and a few bed and breakfasts. For a night out you can go to the bar at the hotel, which is the only bar and place of entertainment on the island. In the community center there are organized events sometimes and if they know about your visit, that event might be your warm welcome party.

Guarding the seat of Balor, ©Liamfm/Flickr

Guarding the seat of Balor, ©Liamfm/Flickr

Tory Island is not a touristic paradise swarming with people but the locals are lovely and anyone who visits will have a special and magical experience with unforgettable memories.

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