Inisheer Travel Guide

  • Inisheer
    by pure1942
  • Inisheer
    by pure1942
  • Things to Do
    by pure1942

Inisheer Things to Do

  • Áras Éanna

    Inis Óirr has a dedicated arts and culture centre which displays traditional and contemporary arts. The centre has a conference centre, artist studio and gallery, exhibition centre, coffee shop and has a 70 seater theatre. The Arts centre also serves as a community centre.The centre has a programme of events and resident artists which changes...

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  • Villages

    While it may seem that the settlements on Inis Óirr are all part of one village, the settlements are in fact divided into several villages of communities. The main village is Baile an Lurgáin which is the closest village to the pier and has most of the facities and services available on the island, such as a shop, pubs, B&Bs, hotel and restaurants....

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  • Teampall Chaomhán

    Teampall Chaomháin or the Church of St. Keevaun is located directly below O’Brien’s Castle and Castle Village but without knowing about the church you could miss the unusual and interesting remains of this ancient church. Situated in a sunken hollow in a mound of earth and surrounded by a small grave, the church can not be seen from the roadside...

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  • Stone Walls

    It might seem a strange thing to include in a ‘things to do’ tip on Inis Óirr, but the dry-stone walls of Inis Óirr really are one of the most impressive and thought-provoking sights on Inis Óirr. The miles and miles of stone walls which mark out the tiny plots of land on the island, take many visitors by pleasant surprise. The grid of stone walls...

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  • Limestone Formations

    Inis Óirr, like all the Aran Islands, is essentially an extension of the Burren in County Clare. The unique rocky landscape and unusual formations are a sight in themselves. The cracked surface of the landscape marks out much of the land in a grid pattern kwon formally as glints and grykes. The clints are the flat blocks of limestone can cover the...

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  • Flora of Inis Óirr

    Many of the unique plant growth witnessed in the Burren can also be found on Inis Óirr and the other Aran Islands. The peculiarity of the plant life around these parts of Ireland is that Mediterranean, Arctic, Alpine and Temperate varieties of plants grow together in the one habitat. Nowhere else in the world is this in evidence. Between May and...

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  • An Trá - The Beach

    The small island of Inis Oirr is blessed with a beautiful and clean beach which can be nearly guaranteed to be uncrowded apart from the height of the summer when sunny days sees many ‘mainlanders’ make the trip over the island beach to enjoy its clean sandy beach and clear, blue and unspoilt water, which being sheltered and safe is a great place...

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  • Loch Mór

    On the road to the Plassy Shipwreck, you will pass the peaceful lake, known simply as Loch Mór (Big Lake) This, the only natural freshwater lake on the island has uncovered evidence from its plant and pollen samples that the island was once covered with forest thousands of years ago. Hard to imagine considering the harsh, barren and treeless island...

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  • Tobar Éinne

    Tobar Éinne or the Well of St. Enda is located around a mile south of the pier and village of Baile an Lurgáin. The small well may not look very impressive but is an important part of Island tradition. Locals still regularly visit the holy well, to pray and bless themselves with the water from the well. Close to the well is the site of another...

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  • Dún Formna

    The crowning glory of Inis Oirr is the impressive 15th century O’ Brien’s Castle, but what many visitors fail to realise is that this castle is built inside an even older stone fort known as Dún Formna. The rings of stone which surround the castle are the remains of this once mighty stone fort. The Iron Age fort differs significantly to most of the...

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  • Cnoc Raithní

    Located close to the beach and pier, is one of the Aran Islands most important prehistoric sites. The stone mound of Cnoc Raithní may not look overly impressive and if you weren’t looking for it you might pass it by, but its historic significance cannot be underestimated. A storm in 1885 uncovered the stone mound, which had previously been covered...

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  • Cill Ghobnait – An Teampall Beag (The...

    This small church, located to the west of the main peir, dates from the 10th century and replaced an earlier church. The church is named after St. Gobnait, the patron saint of Ballyvourney (another Gaeltacht area in County Cork). Before settling in Ballyvourney, Gobnait came to Inis Oirr from County Clare to escape from enemies. She later went on...

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  • Island Schools

    Life on the islands has always been hard but it is a testament to the determined nature of the Islanders that they worked hard to provide services and facilities taken for granted on the mainland. The education of the island’s children has always been catered for, from the secret hedge schools of the 18th and 19th centuries (mentioned previously)...

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  • Plassy Shipwreck

    One of the most unusual and popular sites on Inis Oirr is also one of its newest! The wreck of the Plassy can be visited and is located to on the most easterly point of the island. This rusting hulk was formerly a cargo ship which ran onto some rocks near Inis Oirr in 1960. No lives were lost in the accident, mainly due to the bravery of the local...

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  • Lighthouse

    Inis Oirr’s 37 metre high lighthouse was officially in 1857 and is still an important functioning lighthouse in a series of lighthouses stretching along Ireland’s western coat. The lighthouse was manually operated until 1978 when it was made fully automatic. Its light can be seen from over 20 nautical miles away and provides an important...

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  • The Signal Tower

    Another prominent landmark of Inis Oirr is the Signal Tower which stands just south of O’ Brien’s Castle. This tower is not actually part of the castle complex but was built later, during the 18th century, as part of a series of Signal Towers which popped up all along the western coast of Ireland at this time. Another such tower can be seen on Inis...

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  • O’ Brien’s Castle

    Making a stunning addition to the Inis Oirr landscape is the ruins of O’ Brien’s Castle, which is perched high on a hill overlooking the beach. O’ Brien’s Castle dates from the 15th century but as I mentioned previously, the castle occupies the approximate centre of an earlier Iron Age stone fort known as Dun Formna. The three storeyed castle was...

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  • Teampall Chaomháin Graveyard

    The graveyard which surrounds Teampall Chaomháin is still the graveyard of the local islander’s but mixed with the newer headstones you will find older headstones dating back generations. The island’s patron, St. Chaomháin, is himself buried in a tomb known as ‘Leaba Chaoimháin’ (Bed of Keevaun) just to the north of the church. Below the graveyard...

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Inisheer Transportation

  • Aer Arann

    You can also reach any of the three Aran Islands by air using the Aer Arann service from Inverin in Galway. (There are no flights from any other airport) Note that the island service uses a different website and booking service than the international and other national routes offered by Aer Arann. The web link is posted below.All three islands have...

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  • Walk!

    If you have more time on the island, walking around the maze of narrow roads and tracks on the island is one of the true pleasures of a trip to Inis Óirr. Nearly all the roads are lined with the famous stone walls of Aran and away from the pier and villages you can have the place to yourself. For example walking over the ruggedly beautiful karst...

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  • Rent a Bike

    Better than any of the above suggestions is renting a bike. Cycling around the narrow roads and tracks of the island is the best way of seeing the beautiful landscape and historic sights and renting them is easy. There is a bike hire place near the pier on Inis Óirr and rental is €10 per day. Generally the bikes are in good nick although they tend...

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Inisheer Local Customs

  • Currachs

    On all the Aran Islands you will easily be able to spot the tradional fishing and transport boats of the islands. Known as Currachs, these boats have been the mode of water transport for the local islands for centuries and are still used to this day by local fishermen. The currach can be seen in many islands and coastal areas of Western Ireland but...

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  • Road and Public Signs

    As an official Gaeltacht area, all road signs and public notices are in Irish. Signposts to sights of interest are often just in Irish so it’s good to know the names of the places in Irish. It is also important to recognise road signs in Ireland especially if you are driving (or more likely cycling) on the islands. The most important sign you will...

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  • Aran Sweaters

    The world famous woollen sweaters of Aran have their roots in the fishing traditions of the island men. The women traditionally made the wool from the sheep’s fleece while the men knitted the sweaters using goose quills as needles. The traditionally cream coloured sweaters have intricate patterns and designs and the designs themselves have special...

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Explore Deeper into Inisheer
Gaeltacht Island
Local Customs
Getting around the Islands
Transportation
Ferry
Transportation
Ferry
Transportation
All animals are disguised!
Local Customs
Map of Inisheer

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