Just getting to the fabulous Aran Islands is an adventure. Planes make the short run from County Galway, swooping down to one of three short landing strips. Or you can take a boat over the often-lively swells from Doolin or Connemara; either way, you'll understand how these three islands have stayed isolated in plain sight of the mainland. Winds have stripped the islands down to harshly striated bare rock (animals graze on grasses grown on soil made from seaweed). Each of the islands offers plenty of walking and biking options. The largest, Inishmore, has the must-see fortress Dun Aonghasa, while the smallest, Inisheer, offers near-solitude. Inishmaan is a "just right" combination of quietude and ancient attractions.