Your Guide To Island Hopping in Ireland in 2020: 3 Islands. 3 Days. A Million Memories

achill island beach
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

Island hopping’s something you’d normally only associate with the likes of Greece and Croatia.

The fact is, however, that resting off Ireland’s majestic coast lies around 80 islands, many of which are easy to get to and only an absolute joy to explore.

I’ve visited each of the islands below over the past 6 months, but if you were stuck for time, you could easily visit each one, along with a tonne of other things, in three action-packed days.

Here are three islands on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way that you can explore in just 72 hours.

island hopping in ireland
Photos © The Irish Road Trip

Valentia Island, County Kerry

You’ll find Valentia Island around an hour and a half from Dingle, off the Iveragh Peninsula in the southwest of Kerry.

It’s linked to the mainland by the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge at Portmagee, so no need to worry about a ferry.

The island boasts views of the Skellig Islands, Portmagee, and the mountains of Kerry, that’ll quite literally take the breath from you.

Exploring Ireland is all about those stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks moments that you wish would stay emblazoned upon your mind forever.

They’re unpredictable, and they move you in a way that’s impossible to put into words.

The most notable of these moments that I’ve experienced took place at Geokaun mountain on Valentia Island.

Hopefully, the below pictures from a trip earlier in the year help you see why.

geokaun mountains ireland
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

Inis Oírr, County Galway

Our next stop is just under a 4-hour drive from Valentia Island.

Doolin, in County Clare, is our gateway to the island of Inis Oírr. It’s from this charming little town that you board the ferry to the smallest of the Aran Islands.

horse and cart inis oirr
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

We arrived on a clear, crisp October morning, and decided to jump aboard a horse and cart, and trot around the island.

Inis Oirr is a little chunk of isolated brilliance that’ll make you feel like you’ve stepped onto a land that time forgot, in the best possible way imaginable.

inis oirr island
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

I fell in love with the islands stone walls when I visited back in 2015.

They snake around the island for miles, as far as the eye can see, masterfully erected to withstand the powerful winds that rush in from the Atlantic.

Achill Island, County Mayo

Just over three hours from Doolin, and less than an hours drive from the town of Westport awaits Achill Island.

An ever-changing tapestry of rugged mountains, windy roads, and long windswept beaches make Achill an absolute joy to explore.

achill island beach
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

Here are some photos I snapped during my time driving around the island.

One of the deadly things about Achill is the seemingly endless encounters with raw natural beauty you have as you explore the island.

beach on achil island in mayo
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

You feel like the island couldn’t possibly have anything more to offer and then BAM, you turn a corner and it’s mind blown time all over again.

And that's a wrap!
Hopefully the above will help tempt some of you to explore some of Ireland’s islands. There’s a tonne of great islands in Ireland to explore – which has been your favourite to visit? Let me know in the comments below!
Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!



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