See a different side of Ireland on these 9 stunning islands


On sunny days, there are few places in the world that can match the beauty of Ireland’s islands.

And even on wet and misty days, the islands are as compelling. Their rugged features become more dramatic. They inspire stories – and adventures. Hundreds of islands dot the coastline of Ireland, each one offering something unique. From the wild tales of pirate queens and one-eyed warrior kings to surprising appearances of wild wallabies or a tropical lagoon in Irish waters, these nine islands can give you an otherworldly experience.  

Discover the world’s most intriguing experiences with our weekly newsletter delivered straight to your inbox. Landscape with mountains and ocean at Keem beach. Achill, Ireland Achill Island was one of the filming locations for the Banshees of Inisherin © Rihardzz/Shutterstock

Achill Island, County Mayo

Best for cinematic landscapes, outdoor adventures and basking sharks

Along with the Aran island of Inis Mór, Achill was the location for the fictional island of Inisherin in the Oscar-nominated The Banshees of Inisherin. Director Martin McDonagh has stated on occasion that he wanted to capture the beauty of Ireland’s western islands on screen – and it’s easy to see why the island became another protagonist in the film. Home to towering sea cliffs, soaring mountains, sheltered bays and secret beaches, it has striking scenery indeed.

But the island isn’t just getting by on its looks. There are plenty of activities to get into here like hiking, cycling, rock climbing and canoeing. It’s also a great spot for surfing, particularly along the wind-bashed Dooagh Strand, and swimming in any one of the island’s many Blue Flag beaches. Start your day with a morning swim in Keem Bay, a white-sand beach that occasionally attracts basking sharks, before stopping in…

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