The Lore of Aran
Voted one of the Best Secret Islands on Earth by Travel+ Leisure magazine, step back in time and unwind at your idyllic Aran island retreat. Enjoy delicious locally sourced food and near-monastic simplicity. Here, in the wild landscape of ocean, sky and rock, you’ll see (and hear – the locals speak Gaelic) glimmers of a truly Celtic past. The island is smothered in wildflowers and populated by fewer than 200. Once there, it is hard to imagine a more heavenly spot.
During the day leave your enormous white bed, white robes and alpaca throws and set out towards the silky greys of the rock and luminescent blue of the sky and sea. The south west of the island is virtually uninhabited, a mass of jagged limestone leading down to imposing cliffs, with waves pounding up over the edge. Fishing rods and swimming towels have been placed in the vestibule outside each room for encouragement. The long, low-lying glass and stone building is perfectly integrated into its stark, wild surroundings. The interior, too, mirrors the landscape, with soft grey furnishings and large windows in the spacious guest rooms. Local lobster, crabs, scallops and fish are to the fore of the menu, the owners grow almost all of their own vegetables, keep pigs, chickens, and use beef from island-reared cows.
Wonderful natural ingredients are presented simply and without fuss, eaten in a dining room with panoramic views of the island and ocean, where the sky is often flooded with pink as the sun sets slowly behind the Connemara Mountains. There is plenty to do on the island, from walking and diving to exploring the historic sites and shopping at one of the best wool shops in Ireland. At the island’s only pub, the whiskey flows as fast as the fiddles play.