Approaching from the west or east, Inishmaan (Inis Meáin, “Middle Island”) looks like a rising wave about to break over Galway Bay to the north. From the grey, fissured limestone pavement at its northern end, tiny, green pastures separated by a maze of dry-stone walls rise to the main east–west ridge – along which lies a ribbon of villages – while the “back of the island” beyond slopes off more gradually to the south. This is the most unspoilt of the Arans, and the most thoroughly Irish-speaking (though English is understood), where people are still mostly engaged in farming and fishing. Wild salmon are caught from black, pointed currachs – now with outboard motors – and on Sundays, older women wear traditional multicoloured shawls to go with their thick woollen skirts. The island’s historic sites are on a smaller scale than Inishmore’s – though the imposing ring fort of Dún Conchúir is worth singling out – and there are far fewer amenities, but for some people this tranquil, low-key place will be the perfect getaway.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

21 May 2018 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
8 great alternative UK city breaks

8 great alternative UK city breaks

London, Edinburgh, Cardiff… These are the usual suspects when visitors are thinking about UK city breaks. But there are actually 66 other cities to be explore…

23 Apr 2018 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
9 quirky British islands to explore

9 quirky British islands to explore

Just a fraction of Britain’s more than 6000 islands are accessible – and even fewer are inhabited. If you’re dreaming of life, or just a holiday, on a rem…

04 Apr 2018 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right