Ireland’s Islands: secret vacation heaven
Tory Island, located off the Donegal coast, is Ireland’s most remote Ireland, situated 12 kilometers off the mainland. Its population numbers about 130, making it one of the larger islands by demographics.
It features an impressive array of facilities, from cafes to B&Bs, to restaurants, there’s something for every tourist on the island.
Interesting historical sites include a round tower that once protected monks from Viking raids, the ruins of St. Colmcille’s sixth century monastery and the intriguing Tau Cross that suggests early seafaring links to the Coptic Christians of Egypt.
The island also boasts an abundance of rare bird life and wild flower species as well as a rich submarine landscape that can be explored through the local dive centre.
Rathlin Island, off the North-East coast, was once of the country’s first inhabited islands. A popular writers’ weekend takes place there in September.
The island is wild, extremely rugged, and boasts an Iron Age fort, standing stones, Robert the Bruce’s Castle, Mc Donnell's tower house, Manor House, heritage centre, lighthouses, bird sanctuary and a seal colony among its attractions.
An early Christian monastic site, now uninhabited, Ireland’s Eye lies just off the Dublin coastline.
St. Nessan founded a monastery here in the sixth century and today the remains of an eight-century church can still be seen. In the early 19th century a Martello Tower was built to defend against attack from France.
It’s now best known for bird-watching, with bird-watchers flocking in droves to the island between late spring and late summer.