Inis Meáin maintains a special tranquillity and harmony with nature that is becoming increasingly hard to find. With a population of just 180 islanders it is by far the least developed of the three Aran Islands, and therefore receives relatively few visitors. Rewarding those who invest time to appreciate all of the riches the island has to offer, Inis Meáin’s unique landscape and culture can be explored in peace and at a visitor’s own pace. The Houses are located right in the centre of the island within a short walk to everywhere including the Grocery Store, Knitwear Store, Pub, and Beach.
A location map and information on how to get to Inis Meáin is available in our Travel Toolkit.
Inis Meáin Highlights
At just 5km by 3km, Inis Meáin is easily explorable by foot and bicycle. It is a haven for outdoor types looking for a “get away from it all” experience in a very special landscape.
Inis Meáin is part of the Burren, a unique karst limestone landscape on the mainland with Unesco Geopark status. Inspiring natural terrains include stunning beaches, cliffs, and the special limestone slabs hosting abundant and sometimes rare flora and fauna in their cracks and crevices,
The combination of elemental beauty and personal space has long attracted independent thinkers and artists, and has been the inspiration for many well-known works including JM Synge’s The Aran Islands, and Martin McDonogh’s more recent The Cripple of Inishmaan (Inis Meáin).
Home to a close-knit irish-speaking community, the island features many historical and cultural sights of note.
Inis Meáin Knitting Company, founded in 1976, is the main employer on the island, designing and making luxury knitwear which is stocked in the best stores around the world including Bergdorf Goodman in New York. There is a factory store on the island open during the summer or by appointment, as well as an Online Store at https://inismeain.ie/shop
There is just one pub on the island, a welcome meeting point for islanders and visitors alike. Creamy pints of Guinness, toasties and pizzas are available at the pub most days of the season and it is less than 5 minutes walk from the Houses.
There is currently a regular traditional music session on Friday evenings where all are welcome.
HikingThere are stunning coastal hikes from two to eight hours in length which take in sea-cliffs, wave cut platforms, puffing holes, beaches and dunes. Enjoy our soup along the way in Synge’s Chair looking out over Galway Bay.
There are stunning coastal hikes from two to eight hours in length which take in sea-cliffs, wave cut platforms, puffing holes, beaches and dunes. Enjoy our soup along the way in Synge’s Chair looking out over Galway Bay.
Custom-sourced Cube bicycles are included in Island Stays, and are a great way to explore the many internal roads which wind through tiny stone-walled fields.
Historical & Cultural Sights
Pre-christian stone forts, beehive huts, ancient burial grounds, Synge’s house, Harry Clarke Studio stained-glass windows, and many more.
Beaches & Fishing
There are lots of beaches from which to swim in the pure open Atlantic Ocean. Or if you prefer to catch something swimming, there are baited fishing rods in each House. Mackerel and pollock can be caught from the island pier in season.
Flora & Fauna
Part of the world-renowned Burren geological area, Inis Meáin has a Karst limestone landscape in which many rare birds and flowers can be found. Steiner binoculars are included in each House to observe them in their wild habitats around the island.
Inis Meáin Knitting Company have a factory store on the island selling the beautiful knitwear designed and produced on the island since 1976. The store also presents beautiful photographs of Island life and artefacts of the writer Synge’s time here.
Gifts can also be found in Siopa Ruaidhrí Beag – the island grocery store, and in Juda’s Craft Shop near Céibh an Córa when it is open seasonally.
There is just one pub on the island, five minutes walk from the Houses, so it’s easy to meet locals and get a feel for the island community. There are various cultural events that bring many visitors back to the island also like like the Galway Hooker regatta and Currach Races that take place during the season.