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Aran Islands

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Aran Island Tours



Perched at the edge of Ireland 's western waters, glittering on the horizon of Galway Bay , the Aran Islands have a weathered history and rugged landscape which folds together ancient and modern in three green, stone walled jewels of land.

You can purchase you Aran Ferries Tickets at Rusheen Bay House and the coach will pick you up here approximately 45 minutes prior to each departure.

Inishmore

Inishmore is the largest of the three Aran Islands . Its principal village is Kilronan where there is a good, deep harbour.

An excellent Visitor's Centre, Ionad Arainn, provides a solid introduction to the history and culture of the island.

Sites to see include the interesting remains of Arkin's Castle, a Cromwellian fort that maintained a garrison during the 17th and 18th centuries.

At Saint Ciaran's Monastery, east of the village, you can see several early cross-slabs, pillars and a holy well dedicated to the early saint. Also in this locality is the very early Saint Soorney's Church.

To the west of Kilronan is the church of Saint Enda , the saint most closely identified with the spread of Christianity on Aran.

Kilmurvy is the other main village on Inishmore; it lies about 7km west of Kilronan, and in its vicinity are the Church of Saint Colman MacDuagh and the Church of the Saints.

Dun Aonghasa

Undoubtedly the most famous and impressive site on Inishmore is the great stone fortress of Dun Aonghasa -- the largest of the prehistoric stone forts of the Aran Islands .

It is perched spectacularly on the edge of a sheet 100m (300 ft) cliff that falls away into the Atlantic Ocean .

It is enclosed by three massive dry-stone walls and a "chevaux-de-frise" consisting of tall blocks of limestone set vertically into the ground to deter attackers. The fort is about 900 metres from the visitor centre and is approached over rising ground. Wheelchair access is available to the visitor centre, but not to the fort.

Inishmann

Inishmann, the middle island, also contains both kinds of monuments, notably the ancient Kilcanonagh Church , the 15th century Templemurray, and fragments of Templeshaghtmacree, or the Church of the King's Seven Sons.

Prehistoric times are represented by the superb oval stone fort of Dun Chonchubhair. There is one church on the island, with beautiful Harry Clarke Studio windows.

There is only one pub, which is thatched and kept in the old traditional style, on this island. There is no bank on the island, so the bank flies in with Aer Arann once a month for business.

Inis Oirr

Inishere is the smallest of the three islands with a population of only about 300 people. Despite its size you can still find pubs, B&Bs, a hotel and a campsite and there is plenty to do and see.

Inis Óirr is geologically similar to the Burren in County Clare , comprising mostly of rock. Like the Burren, many rare and exotic flowers and plants grow there.

Ancient monuments worth seeing include ruins of Saint Kevin's Church, or Teampall Chaomhain, now sunk deeply into a sandy hill close to the shore. Not far from the small village is O'Brien's Castle, a 15th century tower house that stands within a stone fort.

Also worth visiting are St. Gobnait's Church, or Cill Ghobnait, the Church of the Seven Daughters, or Cill Na Seacht nInghean.

You can book your tickets for the Aran Ferries at Rusheen Bay House and the Coach to the Ferry port will collect you and return you here before and after each sailing.

Timetable

XB = Without Shuttle Bus Connection between Galway City and Port. This service is for passengers with their own transport to the pier at Ros A' Mhíl.

W = Friday, Saturday and Sunday Only

To Inis Mór

Nov - Mar

10.30am

1.00pm (W)

6.00pm




Apr - May

10.30am

1.00pm

6.30pm




Jun

10.00am (XB)

10.30am

1.00pm

6.30pm



Jul - Aug

10.00am (XB)

10.30am

12.00pm

1.00pm

4.45pm (XB)

6.30pm

Sept

10.30am

1.00pm

6.30pm




Oct

10.30am

1.00pm

6.30pm




From Inis Mór

Nov - Mar

8.30am

12.00pm (W)

5.00pm




Apr - May

8.30am

12.00pm

5.00pm




Jun

8.30am

12.00pm

4.00pm (XB)

5.00pm

7.30pm


Jul - Aug

8.30am

12.00pm

4.00pm (XB)

5.00pm

7.30pm


Sept

8.30am

12.00pm

5.00pm

7.30pm



Oct

8.30am

12.00pm

5.00pm




To Inis Meáin / Inis Oírr

Nov - Mar

10.30am

6.00pm





Apr - Oct

10.30am

6.30pm





From Inis Meáin / Inis Oírr

Nov - Nov

8.15am

4.30pm





Prices: Family & Group Rates Available.

Transport on the Islands

There are three modes of transport available to visitors whilst on the Island and these can all be picked up at the pier in Kilronan.

Bicycle Hire

This is the most popular form of transport, there are over a thousand bikes available for hire at the pier in Kilronan allowing visitors to travel the island at there own pace.

Mini Bus Tour

There are a number of companies offering mini-bus tours of the island, all tour guides are native to the Island , are well informed on the islands' history and statistics and have a good sense of humour. The mini bus tours are about two and a half to three hours long, with about an hour allowed at Dun Aonghasa.

Pony and Trap

The traditional means of transport of the Islanders' is still available to visitors and you can choose from one of the many pony and carts available at the pier a truly memorable way to explore this unforgettable place.