Postcard from the Aran Islands (my trip to the edge of Europe in pics)


Sasha Brady, a Lonely Planet writer and editor, shares a snapshot of a recent trip to Inis Mór in the Aran Islands, highlighting the best places to eat, drink and sleep in — and what you shouldn’t miss.

Inis Mór (Inishmore), one of the filming locations for Martin McDonagh’s Oscar-nominated Banshees of Inisherin, is a showstopper both on- and off-screen. It’s full of mist and rain, surrounded by sea and an expanse of green, and when the sun pokes through the clouds, it feels like a greeting. It’s one of those places — one of those magical places beyond the sea — that really gives you an appreciation for the wilds of nature.

Aran Islands mapAran Islands 

Irish-speaking Inis Mór has a resident population of about 850 people. Located off the Atlantic coast of Ireland, it’s one of the three islands that make up the Aran Islands, the last bits of land you see out west before you reach America.

There’s a wild otherworldliness about the islands that lure writers, poets, and artists and it’s ridiculously photogenic. I think when many people conjure up an image of Ireland in their minds — thatched cottages, untamed beaches, a patchwork of rolling green fields ringed by sheep and drystone walls — what they’re picturing is the Aran Islands, a region that has managed to preserve its traditions, language, and landscape away from mass development and overtourism.

Much of the filming for Banshees took place on Inis Mór (the other scenes were filmed on the equally stunning Achill Island) and I visited the island in October, the week before McDonagh’s dark comedy was released, to see its beauty for myself.

Aran Islands sunriseSunrise in Inis Mór

In Inis Mór, I started the day with…

A sunrise…

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