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Escape the island with a stay on a smaller one




Desperate to visit the island of Ireland after the past year?

Since international travel is unlikely this summer, there may be a way to vacation outside the mainland in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions.

Uninhabited islands scattered the length of the Irish coast provide the perfect solution for a socially aloof stay and give the illusion that you are somehow escaping. Quarantining has never looked so idyllic.

Inishcoo House and Island, Co Donegal

Described as an “idyllic retreat on a wild Irish island”, Inishcoo House is a restored eighteenth-century coastguard house on a 109-acre desert island off the coast of Donegal.

The “pristine” car-free island has four natural sandy beaches, an inland lake and a shipwreck. Accessible only by private boat, it is a five-minute drive from the mainland fishing village of Burtonport.

With unlimited opportunities for hiking, boating and swimming, Inishcoo’s skipper is also available for trips to seals, cliffs or the caves of neighboring islands during your stay.

The house can accommodate up to 24 guests in eight bedrooms and has six acres of enclosed private gardens with wild flowers, along with an old stone boathouse now equipped with table tennis.

The base rate for up to eight guests, with additional guests costing € 7 per person thereafter, is € 700 per night during July and August peak season – visit AirBnB or his website

Collanmore Island Lodge, Co Mayo

This private island retreat is nestled among an archipelago of islands in the heart of Mayo’s Clew Bay and is just a few minutes by high speed boat from the mainland and the town of Westport.

The 600-acre island is the largest in the bay and is home to beaches, rolling green hills, fascinating wildlife, and 360-degree views of Clew Bay from its highest point.

Guests of the lodge, which can accommodate up to 22 people, will have exclusive use of the island during their stay and will be welcomed with their own private bar, hot tub, steam room and private beach meters from the lodge.

Activities on offer include paddle boarding, kayaking and a guided “sea safari” that promises possible sightings of dolphins, whales, orcas and sharks.

There are even guarantees that Chinese takeaway food can be delivered to the island.

Visit AirBnB or his website for rates.

Farmhouse on Valentia Island, Co Kerry

Not quite ready for total insulation yet? Home to a population of around 600 people, Valentia Island is one of the westernmost points in Ireland and is connected to the mainland by a bridge at the village of Portmagee.

The island is located on the Skellig ring, an extension of the famous Ring of Kerry, and is just a short boat ride from the monastic Skellig Island, a Star Wars filming location.

Staying at the “Boss’s Farmhouse” in the heart of the small island gives you complete control over the traditional restored house and garden, just a four minute drive from the island’s main village.

With Valentia described as a ‘hiking paradise’, one road leads from the house to the coast of the island just a kilometer away, while another leads to a breathtaking clifftop area on the north side of the island.

The rustic farmhouse can accommodate six guests in three bedrooms, with a thick stove in the kitchen and a living room with a fireplace for cozy evenings – and peat is supplied free of charge.

Visit AirBnB for rates.

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