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Destinations: The Aran Islands // Do the Dún - Steele Luxury Travel

Read Your Indulgence

Destinations: The Aran Islands // Do the Dún

September 22, 2015

<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:10887 -2147483648 8 0 511 0;} @font-face {font-family:”Cambria Math”; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face {font-family:Georgia; panose-1:2 4 5 2 5 4 5 2 3 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:647 0 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; msofareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:blue; msothemecolor:hyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:purple; msothemecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; msoansi-font-size:10.0pt; msobidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} –>One of the best things you can do in Dublin is leave it. This is not to say the Irish capital isn’t worth the price of admission, but to stay in the city is to deny yourself one of the most inspiring countries in Europe. Ireland begs to be explored, and while I am sure learning how far down the red hair goes, take my advice: 1) get a James Jameson porno for the latter, and 2) leave Dublin and head due west until you hit water for the former.

An easy ferry ride from the party-town of Galway, the Aran Islands are perhaps one of the most mystical day-trips you can take in a country known for being mystical. Gently rising from the waters of Galway Bay, the island steadily rises before dropping 200 feet down into the grey water of the Atlantic. The main town, Kilronan, is about as rustic as it gets — there are no clubs, but the pubs are pretty much off the charts in a homey, everybody-know-your-name kind of way.
But the pubs are for the night; by day, the Arans are one of the best finds in Ireland. Desolately beautiful, the islands are three limestone slabs sticking out of the Atlantic off the western Irish coast. Scoured 24/7 by relentless winds, the western cliffs are practically lunar: the soil has been literally blown away. Trees brave enough to grow are permanently tipped over and the walls criss-cross the are not so much animal pens as they are breaks to keep the turf down — turf that is very often “made” by villagers using seaweed and sand. It’s all very primordial.
And yet in those most unlikely of locales, a very hardy people built what are the some of the most ancient monuments in Europe. The largest of the Arans, Inishmore, is dotted with what in Irish are called “dúns,” or forts, and they easily predate the Pyramids and Stonehenge. To walk along the walls of Dún Aonghasa and Dún Dúchathair, you’d get the idea somebody was making a last stand. Both are perched on fingers of land jutting into the Atlantic, protected by a wall on one side and sheer cliffs on the other three. In their day, they must have been all but impenetrable.
When you thrown in Dún Eoghanachta and Dún Eochla, two fortresses more centrally located, it becomes clear that as isolated as Inishmore was, it must have been a busy place. Today, they still are—there’s something about those dúns. For the intrepid types, the Arans are a must-do, and after a day of hiking and trekking to the wonders of the past, all those pubs I was talking about really come into their own.
For more information, go to aranislands.ie or contact Steele Luxury Travel to make a booking!