Inis Mór is the largest of the three Aran Islands off the west coast of Galway, with a population of about 900 people. The name means 'large island'. Inishmore is a popular tourist attraction, so it can get quiet busy over there. The island is approximately 14 km long and 3 km wide. It’s mostly made up out of barren limestone rock and small fields surrounded by stone walls.
Aran (Inis Mór) was also an important centre for early Irish Christianity. The island has a lot of ancient monuments and early Christian ruins. The most known is Dún Aengus - The Fort of Aonghasa – this fort sits on the very edge of the island on top of a 90m high sea cliff. Dun Aengus is one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Western Europe.
Its legendary owner, Aonghusa, was a chief of the Fir Bolg who are said to have been the earliest inhabitants of the island. After the Battle of Moytura they fled first to Meath and then to Connaught and settled on lands along the western seaboard, including the Aran Islands. The Firbolgs later lost the islands to the Eoghanacta of Munster.
The O'Briens took possession of the island some time in the 11th century and in 1334 it was plundered and burned by Sir John Darcy, Lord Justice of Ireland. From about 1400 the O'Flahertys were laying claim to the Aran Islands and in the 16th century they succeeded in gaining possession by expelling the O'Briens.
The island can be explored in many different ways: on foot, on bicycles, by pony, car or by minibus. So you have a wide choice of transportation on this island.
Inishmore is accessible from Galway and Doolin by a regular ferry service (the crossing takes about 2 hours) or from Rossavael (the crossing takes about 45 minutes) and by plane from Connemara, Co. Galway which requires only about 20 minutes. When you plan to stay on the island, be aware that the number of accommodation is limited and that you have to book in advance.
Fondest memory: The bike ride over Inis Mór brings you to places full of history and you can enjoy the beautiful landscape and ruins on your own pace.
Fondest memory: Sitting on the ferry to Inishmore, between hundreds of litres of fresh milk and the instruments of a band that was playing in the local pub for three nights.... Made me realized it's an island we're going to ;-) It also made me more tolerant when I read the menu in the restaurant ..... be prepared! This place is expensive!
Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands
Fondest memory: Dun Aengus, which perched terrifyingly on the edge of the sheer southern cliffs of Inishmore, gives a perfect view of the tremendous cliffs rip along the entire length of the island.