Ireland’s many islands range from tiny uninhabited lake isles to larger once populous off shore islands, from well established parts of tourist itineraries to almost unvisited, some easily accessible – by road, boat or air – others requiring a bit of effort or advance planning. In particular Skellig Michael, with a renewed fame as a Star War’s location and restrictions on visitor numbers, needs to be booked well in advance.

Some islands, such as Ilnacullin,  can be incorporated easily into a day’s touring, others, like Tory Island or Inishmore, need and deserve a day or even a couple of days dedicated to them alone. All of them are worth visiting, not just for their often fascinating histories but because they are invariably located in spectacularly beautiful locations.


The largest of the Aran Islands, Inishmore is famous not just for its rugged beauty but for its rich store of megalithic remains, in particular its …

Achill Island

Although no longer strictly an Island since the construction of a road to the mainland, Achill retains the sense of being a place apart.

Lough Derg

For generations of Irish people this has been a place to retreat to, for prayer, fasting and pilgrimage.

Tory Island

This tiny island off the coast of Donegal isn't always the easiest to get to - you're depending on good weather - but it is always worth the effort.

Skellig Michael

Skellig Micheal is a World heritage site, site of an ancient Christian monastery and an important wild bird sanctuary.

Scattery Island

Now uninhabited, Scattery was lived in from the time St Senen established a monastery there in 534 until the last Islanders left in 1978.

Ilnacullin (Garinish Island)

A lush, green garden full of surprises, Garnish is on an Island in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Cork.