Since grass will grow once the temperature rises above 6 °C, this means that the island (like the neighbouring Burren) has one of the longest growing seasons in Ireland or Britain, and supports diverse and rich plant growth.
The house he stayed in, Teach Synge, was inhabited by descendants of the Mac Donnchadha family until the 1970s, when it began to fall into disrepair.
It is one of the most important strongholds of traditional Irish culture.
The island is predominantly Irish-speaking, though all inhabitants have knowledge of English, and is part of the Gaeltacht. The terrain of the island is composed of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks known as "grikes", leaving isolated rocks called "clints".
Solutional processes have widened and deepened the grykes of the limestone pavement.
Pre-existing lines of weakness in the rock (vertical joints) contribute to the formation of extensive fissures separated by clints (flat pavement-like slabs).