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Arranmore Island/Ireland

Introducing Arranmore Island

Ringed by dramatic cliffs, cavernous sea caves and clean sandy beaches, Arranmore (Árainn Mhór) lies just 5km from the mainland. Measuring 9km by 5km, the tiny island has been inhabited since the early Iron Age (800 BC), and a prehistoric promontory fort can be seen near the southeastern corner. The west and north are wild and rugged, with few houses to disturb the sense of isolation. The Arranmore Way (Slí Árainn Mhór) walking path circles the island (14km; allow three to four hours). Off the southwestern tip is Green Island, a bird sanctuary for corncrakes, snipes and a variety of seabirds; you can see it from Arranmore (but not visit). Irish is the main language spoken on Arranmore Island, although most inhabitants are bilingual.

The island's pubs put on peat fires and traditional music sessions, and some stay open 24 hours a day to sate thirsty fishermen.

You can find tourist information, internet access and a cafe at An Chultúrlann, 1km south of the ferry pier.

Arranmore makes an easy day trip, but there are a couple of hotels and several homes offer B&B accommodation. Try Claire's by the ferry terminal for simple but pretty rooms.

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