Ireland's most remote inhabited island, blasted by sea winds and stung by salt spray, the distant crag of Tory Island (Oileán Thóraí) has taken its fair share of batterings. Although it's only 11km north of the mainland, the rough sea has long consolidated the island's staunch independence and strengthened its sense of remoteness.
The island has its own dialect of Irish and even has an elected 'king', who acts as community spokesman and welcomes visitors to the island. Over the decades its inhabitants earned a reputation for distilling and smuggling contraband poitín (a peaty whiskey). However, the island is perhaps best known for its 'naive' (or outsider) artists, many of whom have attracted the attention of international collectors.
The island has just one pebbly beach and two recognisable villages: West Town (An Baile Thiar), home to most of the island's facilities, and East Town (An Baile Thoir).