Exploring the Remote, Rugged Beauty of Europe’s Aran Islands Through Pictures

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Sasha Brady, who is a writer and editor for Lonely Planet, recently went to Inis Mór in the Aran Islands. Sasha wants to tell us what are the best places to eat, drink and sleep there and what we must not miss out on when we visit.

Inis Mór (Inishmore) was one of the filming locations for Martin McDonagh’s Oscar-nominated movie, Banshees of Inisherin. It’s an incredible place with lots of mist and rain, and is surrounded by a beautiful sea and lots of green. When the sun comes out, it makes you feel warm and loved. It’s one of those rare magical places that will give you a true appreciation for nature. It lies near the Aran Islands.

Inis Mór is an Irish-speaking island off the coast of Ireland that has about 850 people living on it! It’s a part of the Aran Islands, which are the last places to see before flying across the Atlantic Ocean to America.

The Aran Islands are a mysterious and beautiful place which attract writers, poets and artists alike. It’s also got amazing photo ops! When people think of Ireland they usually imagine the Aran Islands – charming thatched cottages, untouched beaches, lots of grassy rolling hills with sheep and rocks walls all around them. The islands have been protected from big development and overcrowding of tourists so they remain largely unchanged to this day.

Banshees was a comedy movie and most of the places it was shot were taken from Inis Mór, an island known for its gorgeous views in October. I visited the place so that I can witness this beauty myself. On the same week, Sunset in Inis Mór was also seen.

Enjoy a Magical Sunrise Walk in Aran Islands!

When you arrive on the island of Inis Mór, don’t leave right away! It’s best to stick around and take a sunrise walk in the morning. Everything is peaceful and quiet during this time, making it extra special. Plus, when all’s said and done, you can take a ferry back to Galway or Doolin in Clare that evening.

I stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast called Tigh Fitz. It came with some of the best food ever – their traditional Irish breakfast is delicious – plus, the rooms were super comfortable. The absolute best thing aboutTigh Fitz though was its owner, Penny, who made us all feel like family. Another highlight was being near the water with a garden to watch epic sunrises! Every morning I got up early to take my tea outside and enjoy seeing the colors in the sky slowly changing from amber to pink and then purple – it’s magical!

The Aran Islands are known for having some really beautiful scenery!

Gaining Critical Thinking Skills to Make Smarter Decisions and Become a Better Problem Solver

Having the knowledge and expertise to think critically is a skill that everyone should try to develop. Critical thinking involves understanding an issue from different points of view and coming up with solutions or ideas based on logic rather than instinct. It helps us analyze data, identify problems, and apply creative solutions to real-world situations. By developing critical thinking skills, we can become smarter decision-makers, adapt more quickly to changing environments, and become better problem solvers.

I recently took an amazing tour on Inis Mór island and my tour guide Cyril O’Flaherty was awesome! He taught us about the thousands of years of Irish history, showed us lots of filming locations for a movie called Banshees of Inisherin (Mini the horse even had a starring role in it), and told us exciting stories about local pubs, walking trails, and cafes. It was so cool to learn all this!

Cyril and Dara Brennan, our driver, took us on an exploration trip to special places like Dún Aonghasa–a very old fort in Europe. Cyril also connected us with locals to show us the best spots of the island and happily answered all our questions about the area. His knowledge was immense!

Enjoy a Delicious Irish Meal & Dessert at Teach Nan Phaidí!

If you visit the island, be sure to stop by Teach Nan Phaidí for lunch. A lot of cafes, restaurants, and pubs are located around here but I only went to two places and one of them is this place. It is run by sisters Nan and Patricia Brennan who serve freshly cooked meals. If it’s cold outside, a fire will be roaring inside so it will keep you warm!

For my lunch, I ate a delicious crab salad with Irish soda bread. There were other tasty options like smoked salmon salad or beef and Guinness stew, so if you ever visit this place, make sure to save some room for dessert. The cakes that are made there are really good so don’t miss out!

This was all at Joe Watty’s restaurant owned by Grace O’Flaherty.

Explore Joe Watty’s Bar

I decided to visit Joe Watty’s bar and ordered a bowl of yummy mussels and some fries. The ambience there was so warm and inviting that I changed my mind about leaving early. Then, the live music performers started playing which made the place even more enjoyable.

I had fun conversations with the owner, Grace O’Flaherty who let me behind the bar and taught me how to pour a pint of Guinness. During the filming of Banshees of Inisherin, I was told that Brendan Gleeson could be found in Joe Watty’s playing his ukelele with the locals if he wasn’t needed on set.

Discovering an Authentic Aran Sweater On the Aran Islands

The Aran sweater, or fisherman sweater as it’s often called, is usually seen on the Aran Islands. There’s been lots of knitting going on here for many years! The seas around the islands are really strong and each family had its own special pattern when they were hand-knitting sweaters. That way, if anyone fell off a boat into the sea, their bodies could be identified.

I wanted something special, so while I was in the place where Aran sweaters originated, I decided to buy one. So, I visited An Tuirne knit shop run by a family and I purchased a hand-knit navy Aran sweater. Even though it was expensive at €290, it’ll last me a long time and it’s totally authentic!

Sasha Brady was invited to Inis Mór by Ireland.com, but the staff members of Lonely Planet aren’t allowed to take free stuff in exchange for good reviews.

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