The Wild Atlantic Way – Tory Island

Tory is the most remote of Ireland’s inhabited islands, lying twelve kilometres off the coast of Donegal. It is part of the tourist initiative “The Wild Atlantic Way,” offering visitors stunning walks, diving, fishing, bird watching, historical sites, Irish culture and a very warm welcome.

A ferry leaves for the island from Magheraroarty pier, a little north of Cnoc Fola .


The Pier at Magheraroarty

Last week, I returned to Tory after an absence of fifteen years – way too long! I made good use of my camera throughout my mini vacation, and created a little slideshow of my journey along the pier:

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The ferry set sail across incredibly calm waters, allowing me to sit outside on deck throughout the trip. Looking back towards the mainland, the flat top of Muckish Mountain stood out in the distance.  You can see Muckish more clearly in last week’s post The Happy Camper.


We sailed on past the islands of Inishbofin, Inishdooey and Inishbeg.



I felt a great sense of well being, watching the waves and breathing in the fresh sea air. Tory Island grew more visible with barely a cloud in the sky. The song “Perfect Day” began to hum in my mind…


I filmed the journey into the shelter of the harbour, capturing some precious moments in time.

A number of Irish islands had a tradition of appointing island kings; Tory is the only island to continue this tradition. Patsy Dan Rodgers has been King of Tory since 1993. He takes a very active role in promoting the island and greets visitors on the pier.

After a royal welcome, I made my way to overnight lodgings with Eilis and Eamon Rodgers, whose home overlooks the harbour. I felt like I was staying with friends, and enjoyed a lovely cup of al fresco tea, before setting off on foot to explore the west side of the island.

I learned that Eilis’s father Padraig Og Rodgers was the previous King of Tory; he died in 1989. She gave me permission to share his photograph:


Irish is the first language on the island. The harbour and my accommodation was situated in West Town An Baile Thiar.

Visitors can stay overnight in a number of other bed and breakfast guesthouses, apartments, a hostel or the island’s hotel.

I will share my photographs of a walk to Tory Lighthouse and some dramatic clifftop scenery in next Friday’s post.

If you enjoyed this post you may also like the other posts in this series:

Tory Island Walks

Derek Hill and Tory Island’s Artists

Tory Island and Saint Colm Cille

Tory Island Walks -The Legend of Balor of the Evil Eye

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.


  1. So beautiful, Brigid and I have very fond memories of my only trip to Ireland with my mum and dad before he passed and it was a lovely holiday and we had the best seafood chowder I have ever tasted … Your photos are awesome x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Brigid, this is a wonderful post and thank you for sharing your lovely trip to Tory! Not often you’re greeted by royalty on arrival. The ocean and sky are a most beautiful hue of blue, so crystal clear and sparkling and I’m so happy for you being able to be out on deck for the entire boat journey…such special moments when one connects with the natural world.

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  3. Brigid, Having just returned from the Greek Islands this past Sunday, I am at the moment in love with island-hopping. Unfortunately the ferries I was on were gigantic and we had to stay indoors; not what I was hoping for. But traveling on the water is my idea of paradise, so I fully understand your sense of peace while doing so. We did take a day-long voyage on a two-masted schooner in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Santorini, and indulged in a swim to a volcanic hot-springs and mud bath, followed by another swim in another port in the crystal clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea. This was followed by a delicious banquet of Greek food on board, while we listened to a solo sax player (one of the crew) play some moody melodies as the sun set before us. A perfect day!
    Your continuing coverage of The Wild Western Way is convincing me to make a trip there soon. I haven’t been to Ireland since I was 25; I’m now 70! My daughter visited the West Coast last year and she, too, fell in love with Ireland. I’d love to meet you if we manage to make the journey.

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  4. How different was your experience after having been away for so long?
    Thank you for this little mental vacation – your images of beautiful skies, land, and waters goes well with my morning coffee!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a wonderful post Brigid! I feel as if I’ve just been on a little mini-vacation after reading about your trip and seeing your stunning photos. What an interesting and lovely place, and the people sound amazing. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip!

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  6. Brigid, I am like a kid at Christmas.finally seeing Tory Island. I have only known about it from reading Irish Myth and was surprised to see how different it looks to how I had envisaged it in my minds eye. I cannot wait for the next posts. The photos and video are wonderful and as for the current and past kings of Tory Island what a wonderful tradition and isn’t it fantastic how these great old guys keep the tradition alive. The current King Patsy Dan Roberts, actually looks as if a mystical mantle of royalty has fallen on his shoulders that caused him to grow into the character. Lovely photo of you and him together.

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    • Bless you Paul. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Next week I will take you to the lighthouse and spectacular cliffs, followed by artist Derek Hill and the islands artists before I show some of the ancient sites and then ( drumroll) Balirs haunts!
      Patsy Dan is such a great ambassadir for the island. Such a welcome. Happy Birthday 🎶🎶🎶

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      • I have an email this morning telling me it has been posted … and certainly when I check the site it is there. That said, I am on the French site and I don’t know if that translates to others. My husband actually purchased the book on the US Amazon Site. Too complicated. Anyway, this is what I wrote and if it hasn’t appeared I will re-write it on ‘ had read Brigid’s blog for a while when I bought the book and was quite sure I would enjoy it. I was not disappointed, in fact to the contrary it surpassed my expectations. Her back story is poignant and clearly significantly impacted on the woman she grew to be. She tells the tale in a soft voice which gently steers you through her places. Lovely, lovely and with a heart full of love for those that she cares for. Her journey into healing and ultimately self-healing is fascinating. She does not shun traditional medicine but rather listens intently to the diagnoses whilst simultaneously drawing on her decades of learning many many alternative healing forms. As a travalogue it is rich and varied with moments that echo Elizabeth Gilbert in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ mode but her voice is a different voice. I highly recommend this book. I was drawn to buy it for my sister-in-law who suffers with fibromyalgia and the book is now with her. I know she will find much of the practical advice helpful. I know too that the spiritual journey will resonate softly with her. As the whole book did with me.’

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      • Bless you Osyth. I just popped over to and it is there. My first french review. It is also my 25th review so it feels significant. Thank you so much. I do hope your sister in law finds it helpful. 🌼

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      • I pasted it across for you – hadn’t appreciated that they have different zones. I should have done I suppose …. anyway. All is done though which makes me happy because I meant every word and I do want more people to find your book. I think I can probably weave a plug into this post of mine (the depression one) with a little dexterous thought 🌸

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  7. I’m sure the next 4 posts will be equally lovely and I know I shall enjoy sharing your holiday. Beautiful words and gorgeous photos.

    The only ferry I have ever been on was the one in New York: The Staten Island Ferry, and only a few times. I have a long-time friend who has moved self and family to Staten Island and he and his wife take the Ferry into Manhattan and back again every weekday for work (and often on the weekends, just to play in the City). He, too, shares photos and videos, even though he is not a blogger.

    While the water is just as lovely – tho’ different – the lands themselves couldn’t be more opposite. Such natural beauty surrounds you as you make this journey – and I’m glad you began by sharing the ride with all of us.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love seeing this Brigid!! So glad you found such a charming place to stay– and were met by the King of the Island!! And — favorite photo– the first one, overlooking the dock where yo caught the ferry. Beautiful! Looking forward to the next installment of photos!! xox

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