(Church of the seven sons) Very little remains of this early church. By the south door is the grave of Saint Cinndearg. Nearby is the holy well, Tobar Chinndeirge. This used to be a famous place of pilgrimage for all of Connacht. Stations are still held here on the 15th of August.more
The name may mean "Church of Canons" or may refer to St. Gregory "Cheannfhionnadh", the fair-headed. The church is a typical 8th-9th century stone building, and is complete except for the roof, which must have been wood framed. It is surrounded by grave slabs and it was here that the island buried its people until fifty years ago. Cathaoir Synge...more
A beautiful fort at the top of the mountain gives you a great view of the island and the ocean below. This is a very large and impressive stone fort, standing on a cliff top 300ft above sea level. It is in the hill fort tradition and consists of four sets of dry-stone walls and a defensive feature known as "cheveaux de frise" (bands of stone)...more
Teaghlach Einne is situated on the grounds of the Cill Einne graveyard. (By the way, "cill" means "church".) It was built in honor of Naomh Einne who founded Christianity in the Aran Islands in the 5th century. A few yards away from the door is a flagstone that is said to cover the grave of Saint Ende, the patron saint of the Aran Islands.more
Right in the middle of Kilronan stands a large shop (you can't miss it as it stands by the one road junction in town by the cross) dedicated to the most famous product of these islands - aran sweaters.The shop has a number of 'information boards' which they think also makes the shop a museum. To be fair they are well written and give a good insight...more
You can't really go wrong here. I've eaten in almost every place there is to eat on all three Aran Islands and never had a bad meal. From the traditional "pub grub" to the cheap backpacker-oriented places, it's all good!The main pub on Inishere is a good place to eat. The bartender is always friendly and the food is relatively inexpensive. I...more
If you're trying to travel cheaply, the best advice in Kilronan is to go to the Spar. You know, the big grocery store. Buy whatever you need here and then cook it back at your hostel. This is also an excellent way to make friends with the people you're staying with. One girl made me a cheese sandwhich when I was starving and now I am her slave for...more
If you have read the introduction, then you will not be surprised to learn that twice-daily a show is put on for the tourist celebrating Irish music, song and dance. We met several American families who claimed that this ‘mini Riverdance’ was very well performed. I of course skipped the opportunity - I can get it for free by just watching the...more
The pub on the island is great. You can go there for food, beer, and sometimes even dancing. Occasionally, some of the local people will file in for a jam session, and if people are feeling particularly happy then they will get up and folkdance. I got to participate in this once and it was a lot of fun. At night, it seems like half the island comes...more
The only ways of getting to the islands are by ferry and plane. There is a very small airport on the islands and I think the prices are relatively reasonable. Most people get there by ferry, however. You can take one from Rossaveal or from Doolin. The one from Doolin, ran by Doolin Ferrys, is faster but costs more money. The one from Rossaveal...more
Flights by Aer Araan wil normally cost around 44 euro, although there are a number of offers available, sometimes combined with B & B arrangements.The flight is somewhat brief, but the service (roughly hourly) provides for some magnificent views.These little planes then 'hop' onto the other two islands. One of these hops is (according to a bloke I...more
When it comes to transport around this Island you have five distinct options in order to complete the ‘ring’ of the main sites which includes Dun Aengus, the seven Churches, the man of Arran house and the seal colony.1) Walk – go on it will do you good2) Bicycle, take one on the ferry for a few Euro Extra or rent one from a couple of places in...more
I really like the sweater shop right off the pier at Kilronan. They generally have a good variety and the prices are as reasonable as you're likely to find anywhere else. Sometimes I have found good sales there as well. There's another shop that sells sweaters, blankets, and other wool items and it's located up by the big fort. If you really want...more
You might think that small island off the coast would only have a few foodshops with sky-high prices.Thankfully you would be wrong, as Kilronan has a branch of the SPAR supermarket on it's doorstep.It sells all the usual stuff you would expect, but also a good range of non-food products and a very useful sandwich bar.more
I don't know if this is really a danger, but a group of us girls went to the American Bar in Kilronan and felt really uncomfortable there. Some of the men (and there were only men in it) looked like bikers, which we found odd for Inishmore. We only stayed for a few minutes and then left because we were receiving unwanted attention, and not in the...more
If you visit the Aran islands, it is obviously a temptation to buy an Aran sweater.The only problem with this plan (apart from the cost) is that only two types of people ever look good in such a garment.The first is pencil-thin female fashion models, who you just know still have a great shape under the lbs of wool and cableing and the other is...more
Unfortunately, many people feel like the Aran Islands are nothing BUT a tourist trap. Especially for group tourists that just come over for the day from Galway. Fortunately, this doesn't keep us from visiting them.
Unique Suggestions: I wholly recommend spending the night on the islands. For one thing, most tourists do just come over for the day and therefore leave when the last ferry departs. Those that are left get to see the "real" island. I always feel like the island lets out a big sigh of relief once everyone departs. Inishmore could easily take up a day or two of your travels if you wanted to explore everything. Don't just gloss over it.
Luggage and bags:
I reccommend storing the bulk of your luggage at the Galway Train Station. It's a real pain to lug them onto the ferry and then to your B & B.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Think warm! Even in June the air is brisk and the rain can fall. I've never needed a full out coat, but I have needed heavy sweaters on almost every trip I have taken there. A good raincoat wouldn't hurt either. And walking shoes! You'll regret it if you don't.
Photo Equipment: Lots of film. Film is expensive on the island and you'll be taking lots of pictures.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: There is a camping facility available for those who really want to rough it. There is also a nice blue flag beach, although I have never been there when it was warm enough to swim.
Miscellaneous: Umbrellas are almost a waste because the winds blow so hard. My advice is a lightweight raincoat, heavy sweater, and good sturdy shoes.
The minibuses and other forms of transport all do what has become called the 'Ring of Aran'.
Once you have completed this, you have seen a good deal of the island.
On the other hand you could head the other way out of Kilronan, around the bay towards the airport (well grass strip anyway). After about a kilometer you will soon come across the 16th century Arkin's Castle. It was later occupied by Oliver Cromwell's troops who plundered several monuments from around the island in order to repair it.
If you then look up to the cliff on the other edge of the island you should be able to spot
the ruins of an ancient church. Some claim it was the smallest in the world measuring at just 10.75ft x 7ft.
I must admit I havn't seen the 1934 documentary 'Man of Aran', but it has been released on DVD and I intend to see it soon.I did however see the cottage that was used, and you can in fact stay in it, as it has been converted into a Bed & Breakfast place.The synopsis of the film is as follows :The hard life of survival for the poor residents of the...more
Be warned that the ferry ride is a little rough at times to Inishere from Doolin. I have seen people get sick many times, and have even gotten woozy myself. The best advice that I have is stay on top and not go down below deck. It might be more appealing at first to go inside, especially if it’s raining outside, but in the long run I think you’ll...more
Remember, it gets darn cold in Ireland! I have been there several times during the summer months and I always end up needing a sweater. The Aran Islands seem to be even colder than the rest of Ireland, and if it’s possible they even seem to get more rain. Remember to bring a rain jacket and something warm to wrap up in later. I would recommend not...more