If it’s peace and quiet you are craving, an island in Ireland has it. But officials are imploring people to move there, so who knows how long the quiet will last.
Arranmore Island is home to only 469 people and they want that number to grow. Wireless connectivity issues were once a problem there, but that spurred Arranmore leaders to take a new approach: It now has Ireland’s first offshore digital hub and would be an ideal residence for people who work in the web world. It is also ideal for business retreats.
Officials on the island want new residents so badly they have drafted letters to the people of the United States and Australia, asking them to check Arranmore out — and consider moving there. The population started dwindling 150 years ago when the Great Famine struck Ireland.
“Your commute, no matter where you are, will only ever be five minutes,” the letter to the U.S. reads. “You’ll have the best diving in Ireland on your doorstep and seafood to rival the tastiest New England chowder. There are fewer people here than would fit in a couple of Amtrak carriages, but enough musicians and good Irish Whiskey to keep the party going well into the night.”
The island has an initiative called #ComingHome in which it works with people who move there to make the transition to island life as smooth as possible. It has no sight of the mainland, so people and businesses on the island are very self-sufficient.
Arranmore Island is only a few miles wide and includes big cliffs, beaches and caves. While people who live on Arranmore mostly have digital professions, it was once big for farmers and fishermen.
Artisan crafters are also taking up residence on Arranmore.
The island’s main Facebook page shows images that make it look like a vacation destination year-round. (It is also working to attract tourists, who contribute to the economy.) There are people kayaking , playing beach volleyball, sailing, swimming and more.
Life in Arranmore is obviously focused on being outdoors .
Arranmore is like other Irish destinations in that it has a big music and nightlife scene, with pubs and, of course, Guinness beer. When you visit the website and click on “learn about the community,” it takes you straight to the “food & drink” page! That’s how you know it’s a big deal there.
Arranmore Island is marine leisure at its finest.
The island provides a calendar of its festivals and events and has an annual weekend called Swell Festival, featuring art and live music.
There are sometimes chilly temps on Arranmore: In December 2018 The Irish Times published an article about what it’s like on islands in that area in the winter, and residents said the gray skies are “amazing.” They love it even then!
Donegal County is warmest in August and coolest in January.
The island has a post office, provisions store, bars and more — as long as the internet access is there, we want to be, too!