Aran Islands, Ireland
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.
For more information look at my Inishmore page.
THE place for who wants to ESCAPE........
Inishmore, THE BIG ISLAND, is exactly 14 km long and 3 km. wide.
It consists or rough and tough rock and every sprig of grass is a miracle it seems to me!
The people who live there are tall, straight, strong and are real "characters": they work and work and their place is the only one where you can still find complete rest and tranquility....
The fishermen live near the harbour of Kilronan, the only village.
This is also the place where they knit the REAL ARAN jumpers......I warn you: they are almost pricesless......
The fishermen still use the CURRAGHs, a little boat with a wood frame covered with hides. Nowadays they do use little outboard motors.
While I spent most of my time in the Dublin area, one of my favorite memories would have to be the long weekend we spent in the west of Ireland. Galway is a fantastic, vibrant city with nightlife life like none other. The Aran Islands are remote and almost like a step back in time. Bike rentals are available at the ferry dock, but don't expect comfortable seats...bring cushioned shorts if you can.
This island, which is the biggest and the most touristy of the Aran Islands offers everything you need... a bank - open twice a week, deserted beaches, busy historic sights, expensive restaurants and great fun!!
you really have to see at least inishmore, the largest of the aran island. If possible you should also see it by bike, so you can explore it at your own pace. There are several ruins (like dun aengus) and beaches to visit, but the most impressive sight is the rocky coastline: here you can see how powerful water can be - and how dramatically it can erode even a resistant cliff. Impressive!
Aran Island was fascinating. We booked a trip to Aran Island at a little place across from the Kinlay House Hostel in Galway, which, by the way, is a great place to stay. The next day we boarded a bus that took us out along the shores of Galway Bay to pick up the island ferry at Rossaveal to Kilronan, Inish Mor. There are 3 Aran islands. Inish Mor is the largest. When we arrived, we picked out a talkative van driver and took a tour of the island. Aran island is covered with lots of little pastures surrounded by rock walls. We went to Seven Churches, an old graveyard and Dun Aenghus. Along the way we saw many farm animals and learned about the ways of the people who inhabit Aran Island. We had some wonderful soup and bread before I climbed up to Dun Aenghus. Along the way there was a old fellow playing his concertina. Aran Island is famous for it's sweaters and you can buy them in the little town before going back to Rosseveal. They are quite expensive, but lovely to look at.
The Aran Islands. Take a day trip from Galway (see my Galway page for more info) to Inishan, Inisheen or Inishmore and ride a bike or walk around the rock fences and take in the breathtaking, totally secluded cliffs.
I'm back in West Clare again! For many people here Doolin is the 'home' of Irish music (due in no small part to the Russell brothers) and fans of the genre should regard this small port as their Mecca. The 'town' itself is split into an upper and lower Doolin, one being the port and the other being traditionally the trade area. A narrow main street connects the two, along which are several pubs in which good traditional music sessions can be heard most days (and evenings!). I won't name any pub as my favourite - as to be honest, when there I tend to stick my head into wherever I hear a good tune being belted out, and using this philosophy one tends to end up in all of them in any case! A ferry service from Doolin connects with all three of the Aran Islands, the largest - Inishmore - contains the 'fort' of Dun Aengus, a semicircular walled enclosure perched bang on a cliff edge who's true purpose is lost in antiquity but which has stood regardless for thousands of years. Though I have to admit it's over ten years since I made it across my own favourite then was the middle island - Inishmaan. Accommodation outside of Inishmore was then very hard to arrange though I assume things have improved on that score in recent years. In fact, I would welcome anyone writing to me who may have recent experience of staying on any of the islands as it's a trip I'll be making again come summer.
Visit the lively university town of Galway and the Aran islands/ Cliffs of Moher on the west coast facing the Atlantic.
Dun Arann is a very beautiful historical site on Inishmore, the biggest island of aran islands.
This place is in the highest point of the Island.