Off the coast of Galway in Western Ireland, lies a place rich in antiquities, a place of strong cultural values and a place famous the world over for its wild and rugged beauty.......a place we are proud to call home. Although its charms are evident all year around, it is the Summertime when this little Island of ours really wakes up and comes to life.
There are so many elements which make a visit to our humble abode a truly memorable experience, so we've decided to put together some of our favorites just for you.
For those that have yet to experience it, we hope this spurs you on and for those that have already had the pleasure, we hope this little blog brings all your fondest memories flooding back.
The scenery in our little island is mostly barren apart from a few island flowers such as the ones shown. Unrefined and wild in their nature, they are a beautiful reminder that life can flourish even in the most unexpected of places.
They embody the very spirit of the island itself, which was never supposed to be inhabited due to its desolate landscape and lack of accessibility to the mainland.
The animals of the island are yet another one of the little surprises that you can look forward to whilst exploring the island.
Whilst cycling around the island, the most popular method of transport, you can be sure to see a friendly face or two peeking out from behind our famous stone walls and fences to say hello and welcome, a charming aspect which most visitors take great joy in documenting.
Famous for its scenery and of course our beloved Aran Sweater, the Island also boasts other hidden talents and amongst these has to be our passion for colorful fresh food and locally sourced produce.
Dining al fresco is a popular choice here during the Summer months, when locals and visitors alike flock to dine in the picturesque surroundings of Kilronan Fishing Village overlooking the ocean. Pictured is a goats cheese salad which is a favorite menu staple of many restaurants here, sourced from a goats cheese farm on the Island.
We have to admit, we probably like it a bit too much- come hungry folks and don't forget to make room for dessert.
Of course, it goes without saying that fresh seafood is always a winner too!
Summertime in Aran also marks the anniversary of our annual festival of Patrún, in which neighbours from all three of the Aran Island Communities come together for a weekend of family fun and as we Islanders would say, 'great craic'.
Highlights include Currach and boat racing, live music and dancing on the pier as well as tug of war, art and sandcastle competitions. A sensational spectacle of true Irish culture and history, it really is a once in a lifetime experience and the biggest event in our community calendar.
And lastly, how could we talk about Summertime in Aran without mentioning the long evenings when the sun sets in the west and sheds a golden veil of light across the island, turning its barren landscape into every photographer's dream.
Indeed many visitors to the island choose the golden hour (7.30pm-9.00pm) to discover the Island's hidden treasures such as Dún Aonghasa, Poll na bPéist (the worm hole) and Kilmurvey Beach due to its glorious light.
Don't forget to pack the camera folks!
We hope you have enjoyed a little taste of Summer from Aran and until we meet again, go n'eírí an bothár leat!
Photo Credit: www.AranIslands.ie