A stark and haunting beauty: Inis Oirr, Aran Islands, Ireland

inishoirr panoramaInnis Oirr is a beautiful, remote island off the coast of Ireland.It is the smallest of the three Aran Islands in Galway bay and has a population of under 300 people. Innis Oirr is a rugged natural beauty – walking around the island, which can be done in a good relaxing half days hike is a wonderful experience, you feel as though you are somewhere the world forgot. Even though on disembarking from the boat that brings you there you are in a crowd of tourists they disperse fast and suddenly you find yourself alone surrounded by wild, rough, natural beauty. Inishioirr path Inishoirr Lighthouse Inishoir shipwreck Inishoir beachIt’s easy to imagine how tough life must have been on these islands in years gone by, and fascinating to visit the tiny cemetery atop a hill with great views of the sea to read the names of Inish Oirr families and to discover a number of Italian surnames on the headstones and to wonder at the “sunken church”

Innishoirr graveyard 1 Inishoirr church Temple Inishoirr Inishoirr overlooking the seaOn your hike you are accompanied by the handpainted yellow mannikin walking. although you would have to try very hard to get lost on this island. Innis Oirr is composed of limestone pavements Inishoirr rocks Fields inishoirrand according to Wikipedia one of the finest examples of a Glacio-Karst landscape in the world (not that I knew that when I went there), although I did notice that there were a lot of rocks piled high into walls delimiting fields of rough grass in which large shire horse type horses and old breed cows grazed. The fields are full of hillocks and rocks and look like the kind of place only a level.-headed horse would avoid breaking a leg……Innisoirr horse Local cows Inishoirr Cow inishoirr

Wild brambles grow everywhere wild brambles

And while the black rocks at the harbour and the houses might seem forbidding to new arrivals:

sea coast inishoirrFear not for food and good cheer, like anywhere else we went in Ireland, are never far away – here chips and guiness at the local harbour pub. Inishoirr pub
Pub food inishoirr

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6 thoughts on “A stark and haunting beauty: Inis Oirr, Aran Islands, Ireland

  1. Beautiful. I love every photograph. I haven’t seen your wonderful site in some time and what a treat to see tonight. Brought back memories of my travels in Ireland several years ago. My brother married the 15th child of an Irish family and I have had the opportunity to visit and spend time in that beautiful country. Really enjoyed this post.

  2. hello Tiny white cottage – what a joy to see you here again, I haven’t seen your blog in a while either, not sure why, but have just gone to check it out again – must check my settings! thanks for visiting and commenting – the 15th child?? Your brothers mother in law must have nerves of titanium. Beautiful country I agree, once you’ve been it kind of pulls at your heart strings to go back.

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