Relax, You’re on Island Time Now…

19th February 2010
Pól Ó Conghaile

Nope, this isn’t some far-off beach in the Caribbean.

It’s Cill Mhuirbhigh, on Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands. And granted, it may look like this for approximately 4.6 days out of 365, but the sensation is the same no matter when you visit. It’s got to be one of the top three beaches in Ireland.

Cill Mhuirbhigh (or Kilmurvey) is a short hop from Kilronan, either by bike, minibus or jarvey (making for some pretty surreal traffic jams of a summer). Taking the form of a perfect sickle, the beach is surrounded by rare plants, twittering birds and water that shifts from stony black to blue and green in the twinkling of a eye.

On a sunny day too, this sandy smile seems to liberate everyone. You see kids paddling and splashing. You see tourists (gasp!) taking off their coats. You see families breaking sambos out of tin foil.

On a day like this, even the parish priest must feel like doing a Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity.

The beach is safe for swimming, but lifeguards are on duty at weekends in July and August only, so do ask for local information regarding tides and currents.

Next parish over is America, after all. And lying on the sugary sands here, it’s as if those hardy gents took their currachs out for Robert J. Flaherty only yesterday.

Food tip: As the day-trippers pile back onto the ferry, head to Mainistir House for a “vaguely vegetarian” buffet. There’s a genuine Caribbean connection here in Joel d’Anjou, the hostel’s jolly proprietor.