Inis Meain Travel Guide

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Local sheep

Local sheep

John

Inis Meáin (Inishmaan) is the middle island between Inis Mor and Inis Oirr. Its approx. 5km long and 2.5km wide. It has approximately 200 people although there are normally only about 160 islanders around at any time other than the weekends.

On your first visit to Inis Meain you will be struck by its tranquil sense of being in another world. Inis Meáin is an amazing place and it is probably unique in western Europe. The people here are the most beautiful and traditional that you could meet anywhere and as you get to know them you will probably begin to understand what the charm of this little rocky outcrop is - Inis Meáin is nobility!

Many of its visitors come back time and time again, some have been coming every year for over 40 years coming back to a place that is hard to define but easy to appreciate.

If you ever read Synge's book "The Aran Islands" you will hard the story of a man 100 years earlier looked at Inis Meáin and thought "this is the last outpost of ancient Europe, I am privileged to see it before it disappears forever" - that sense is often shared by visitors to this day.

Inis Meáin has stood solidly against the Atlantic Swell for many centuries, it's Gaelic culture has shown the same resilience, its ways and traditions run deep in the islanders' blood, as its limestone cliffs and, against all odds, has held the oldest tradition of Europe alive.

Inis Meáin is a very quiet and peaceful place. It is an ideal location for a tranquil holiday - crime is unknown on the island and the lack of vehicular traffic make its roads safe for even the smallest of children to wander off alone. It has its pub and hotel where anybody can go for a relaxing pint in pleasant company, it has its restaurants and excellent seafood, it has superb scenery and views, great fishing, diving, fantastic people - take the risk - like myself and many other visitors you'll come back again and again and again. And if you don't get back you'll spend you're days wishing you could, honestly! Peace isn't easy to find but a visit to Inis Meáin will show you that peace is not the same as silence. Peace is something the local community here have generated in a friendly, lively, caring athmosphere.

It would be important to state that it isn't really a drinking destination. There are two small bars on the island and they have both great athmosphere, but the island is ideal for bringing a young family, or for keen walkers, divers, nature lovers and generally for people who need to press the pause button for a few days. Irish is the main spoken language of the island and the cultural importance of this place cannot be understated. By Irish standards it is a very cheap destination compared with the mainland and the cities. There are plenty of rooms available in rental cottages, local houses, B&Bs and Hotels but there is neither hostel accomodation nor serviced camping facilities.

Contributors

July 05, 2006 change by giorgio

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