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Starting on the remote Aran Islands, we cruise to Galway, hike the rugged Burren, and marvel at the Cliffs of Moher before venturing to Dingle and finishing on Great Blasket Island. At eight miles long and two miles wide, it's the largest of the three Aran Islands.It's also the most populated, interesting, and visited.But watch your step on bare rock – some stable-looking rocks can be surprisingly shaky.Rangers advise visitors to wear sturdy walking shoes and watch kids closely; there's no fence between you and a crumbling 200-foot cliff overlooking the sea.Little is known about this 2,000-year-old Iron Age fort, but a small visitor's center (housing the ticket office and controlling access to the trail) displays aerial views of the fort and tells the story of its inhabitants (tel. This is rocky, irregular ground with primitive steps of varying heights and some smooth surfaces that can get slippery when wet.The trail is gravel for the first half of the hike and lined with rock walls (you can’t get lost).

For years, the Irish didn't believe in safety fences: Anyone could walk right up to the cliffs, until numerous fatal accidents prompted the hiring of "rangers" — ostensibly there to answer questions and lead guided tours, but mainly there to keep you from getting too close to the edge (wind gusts can be sudden, strong, and deadly).And we're starting about as west as you can get…on the Aran Islands — where, as the people here say, the next parish over…is Boston, right?Ireland, especially its west, has a unique charm where its rugged natural beauty and vibrant traditions can be seen and actually felt.Tim Collins and son Michael are a father-son team with passion for sharing the long history of Dingle Peninsula.As Sciuird Archaeology Tours they give informative three-hour minibus tours.

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