Activities on Inis Mór Island

Holidaying on the Aran Islands gives one the chance to tune into the Islands energies, atmosphere and activities. There are an array of activities to choose from  as well as giving you the space and time to really get to know the place and get off the regular tourist paths. This is completely different experience in itself and also gives you the chance to integrate into the communtiy and its people. Many people and their families choose to have their holidays on Inis Mor.

Aran Islands Camping & Glamping can put you in touch with providers of the following activities:

Yoga & Meditation

coming soon

Wildlife Exploration

The Aran Islands is an amazing place for wildlife.

Birds
The Cooku can be heard from the end of April onwards through to May and June. You not only have a good chance of seeing the cooku but hearing them together in unison. You will also witness Swallows at the start of summer, the House-Martins, Curlus, plenty of Pheasants, along with different types of Seabirds along the cliff edges, including Gannets. There are also Lapwings which are also called Plubbers, including golden Plubbers which are in an area of the Inis Mor island all of their own. You will also find the smaller Plubbers, ringed Plubbers, Herrons and a Herron league where they all nest in one place on the island. You might occasionally see a Perawinged Falcon whom breed on the cliffs on Inis Meain, and you might see other types of bird of prey as well. It is an amazing place for wildlife in itself.

There are other types of living beings on the island, The butterflies are various here and there are some experts who may be able to help you if you require more information . If you are lucky you might also see a Stote. Otters who live along the coastline are hard to see as they come out at night. You will find pleanty of rabbits (no Hairs or foxes) . You will also come across lizards sunning themselves on the rocks in summer whom are a very ancient species of animal.

Wild Flowers
We have the most amazing wild flowers because the landscape is similar to the Burren. The beautiful Gentian comes out in April, as well as not only the primroses but the cowslips and even the oxalic , the bloody cranes-ville, birds for trefoil, and beautiful examples of fuchsia growing all over the island. If you are into flowers the Aran Islands is a mecca especially if you come in May. So all in all the wildlife is wonderful especially if you get the fine weather and have a good look around. Bring your binoculars with you or your magnifying glass or camera and make the most of it.

Walking

Organised tours of the archaeological monuments and rare flora can be organized as required. Experienced bilingual guides can conduct flexible tours tailored to your needs.

Surfing

Being that the Island is on the edge of Galway bay, the swells generated make for good surf in certain parts of the Islands. In these times surfers congregate from all parts of the country to take advantage of the big waves. The numbers seem to increase each year with increasing popularity of the sport in Ireland.

Considering that the Aran Islands are a native Gaeltacht (Irish Speaking) area, many people choose to attend language courses on the Aran Islands to brush up or learn the Irish language. This is a key feature of the culture of the Aran Islands and their daily life.

 

Sailing

 A new sailing school based at Kilronan can get you started or improve your sailing skills and qualifications.

Renewable Energy

Inis Mor Island has had an energy committee for many years and residents are very interested in making the island a more sustainable place to live in and getting rid of oil, gas and coal as well reducing energy consumption. One of the reasons historically for this interest is that islanders pay about 20% extra for oil and gas and coal than people do on the mainland of Ireland because of the extra cost of carriage over sea . Islanders don’t get the bargains that you can sometimes find on the mainland. As there is no competition you have to buy it whatever price it is at so it is 20% higher than on the mainland.

Energy is very expensive and yet when you see around there strong wind blowing, lots of sunshine, a tremendous energy from the power of the sea. We wonder why we cant harness this energy. So at this point of time we now have our community owned energy co-operative representing all three islands and everybody on the three islands to promote this whole idea. We have become very ambitious because not alone do we want to replace oil, coal, and gas with our own renewable energy generated on the island, we want to own the sources of that energy generation, own our own wind turbines, our solar pv panels. We wish to be able to sell this not only to ourselves but to outside sources.

The Aran Islands wants to make itself an example of a community can get its act together in terms of renewable energy. Not just to be self sufficient but also to create an industry and employment. If the Aran Islands can generate our own electricity, get it cheaply and offer it cheaply, then it may attract industries to the Island and generate jobs. This is already being done with the sea salt distillery and an alcohol distillery which use a lot of energy. All the energy they will use will be renewable energy generated on the Aran Islands which will be sold to them. It will also create jobs for people on the islands. Through all of this the hope is that the local homes will become more comfortable and energy become more affordable. Also to create a better employment system for island community which will encourage people to stay here and rear their children and families and to attract tourists to see what we are doing. There are lots of spinoffs from these efforts.

One of the main things we are doing at the moment is that we are insulating peoples homes. In 2014 a quarter of the homes will be completed , bringing them up to a much higher level of insulation than what they would had prior to now. This includes attic, wall insulation, windows and doors, new heating systems, heat pumps instead of oil stoves, solar panels (both water and pv). This gradually removes the dependance on carbon based fuels.

If you are interested, get involved. Get in touch with us.

Pilgrimage

These islands have always had a spiritual association for people who lived in ireland . We know that because even 5000 years ago they were putting dalmonds on the islands. These are places where they bury their people in a sacred ritual. Also the ring forts which are all over the three islands are evidence that these people regard the islands as having some type of spiritual energy to them.The location of the forts , particularly Dun Aonghasa and the black fort are just an amazing energywise.

Sacred Places over the Centuries and their changing purpose –

Today, pre Christian sacred places on the islands are often what you see , pre christian sacred sites. But other pre christian sacred sites have morphed into christian sites, Celtic christian, and in some cases moved on to be roman christian. So you get the sort of continuity in the time-line from 500 years ago through to the present day with the site continuing to be used .

Teample Ciaron and its amazing timeline
An example of this would be Teample Chiaron in Mainisitr which is about a mile outside of Kilronan. Today you see a ruin of a church . If you look around carefully you see a standing stone at one end of the church on the outside. On the other end, going to the field next door on the west side, you see a holy well. If you go on the east side onto the fields you see more standing stones. This whole area is a sacred location and the fact that there is a well and an ancient standing stone suggests it was a sacred location even before Christianity.

The holy wells were initially regarded as an entrance into the whomb of the goddess of the earth and she was land on which you walked. So you are walking on her body and when you came across a well you were coming across an entrance into her womb. Thus it was a very sacred place and one which symbolized fertility. That is where the rounds of a well as a tradition began because people started doing the rounds of these sacred places in imitation of the sun going around the earth. There is a whole mythology behind these holy wells. This is where the history of the sacred site of Teamplall Ciaron would have begun.

Furthermore, prior to Christianity, the Celtic Monks arrived and decided to build monastery Ciaron. This Monastery was built in the 6th century and was to be a Celtic Monastery. So this was very Irish in its expression of Christianity. This remained a Celtic monastery until the Norman Invasion of the 12th century so that is 600 years. Then was switched over, whilst continuing to be a monastery but now following more European Roman Catholic rules of Christianity. And it continued then on to the Chinese reformation in about the 16th century. It then went on to ruin and everything closed down. Even today people still go and visit it, prey at it, go to the holy wells. So there is a continuity to it the whole time that it started 5000 years ago and continues to this day.

A unique concentration of Sacred Places
The Aran Islands doesn’t just have one place like teampall ciaron to visit which has this amazing timeline, but you have over 50 of these places. You will never get to see them all because some of them are difficult to find but there are quite a number which are clearly visible on the landscape such as teampla ciaron. These include the 7 churches which are monastic sites, the remains of the monastery of St Enda itself, the Monastery of Kilmurvey , St Colmans church.

All the way across Inis Mor Island, about every 200 metres you will find the remains of some monastic presence, either a hermit cell, a beehive hut, a stone cross carved on it, a burial place, a holy well , or a church . It is a wonderful place to visit if you are interested in sacred sites, pilgrimage and everything along with it. It is the right place to come learn about celtic spirituality especially if you have a guide with you who can bring you to these locations and talk about the spirituality that was lived in those places.

Language Courses

Considering that the Aran Islands are a native Gaeltacht (Irish Speaking) area, many people choose to attend language courses on the Aran Islands to brush up or learn the Irish language. This is a key feature of the culture of the Aran Islands and their daily life.

Geneology

Geneology is the search for family history records for past generations. Genealogy has long had an important position in Irish society. In recent times it has been made more popular with the Man of Aran Film and the growth in the popularity of the Aran Sweater which has a unique pattern or stitch on it which identifies a family name.

Food Exploration

coming soon

Fishing, Boats & Yachtsman

Fishing on The Aran Islands has always been a key part of the daily way of life. Many Islanders today work on fishing boats which go out into the Atlantic for lengthy periods of time to trawl for fish. When arriving in Kilronan Pier there are always fishing boats docked which present a welcoming sight.

On the Aran Islands you are likely to also see the Galway Hooker which is a distinctive boat to the Galway region and characterized by its curved hull and large red sails. It is a very beautiful sight to view a Galway Hooker and the various Galway Hooker festivals attract international attention.

The Aran also plays host to many casual yachtsman, enjoying Galway Bay especially over the summer months where Kilronan harbour sometimes can resemble the Mediteraiean resorts with its turquoise clear water. It is a very popular stopover indeed!!!.

Casual fishing is also popular on Inis Mor. The pristine beaches, rockside coastal areas are perfect for anglers and are as good as anywhere on the West of Ireland. Deep sea angling is very popular with many local fisherman from the Galway region whom base themselves on the Aran Islands for fishing trips to take advantage of 25 different species of fish including the Blue Shark.

Cycling on Inis Mór Island

Cycling on the Aran Islands has been the main method for tourists to get around the islands, and certainly the 30 minute bike ride from the Pier on Inis Mor Island to Dun Aonghasa is established as the most popular cycling route in Ireland. The islands are perfectly suited to cycling with gentle roads and relatively flat circuits. Their small size makes cycling accessible to people of all fitness levels. It is also very easy to explore the island and find complete isolation, as well as being able to visit the historical sites with only the chirping of wild birds to keep you company.

Children’s Playground

In terms of facilities for families, if you have young children there is the children s playground. It’s a very modern playground created by the local community for their own children and tourists are welcome to use this at no cost.

Arts, Crafts and Music

The islands attract many artists and craftspeople of all types. Inis Mor regularly has groups who come who are photographers.

There are regular creative writing groups that attend workshops every year . The island inspires, it is full of stories . Every house, location , mark on the landscape has a story attached to it and there is people here who could tell you those stories and that can enrich your own imagination and get you writing creatively . There is so much room for artists because the light on the island is wonderful. Apart from attracting artists there are a lot of resident artists on the islands. There are also few poets resident on the Island.

People also come to the islands to learn crafts especially the crafts that have practiced on the islands over the centuries. Basket-making is very popular on the Aran islands and there are well established teachers of it running courses. Knitting and its associated crafts are also extremely popular including weaving and spinning wool. Lots of different people on the island practice different crafts and are willing to teach them to others so there is a great opportunity.

Music is also popular and a whole artistic pursuit on the Aran Islands. There is music in bars at night and a lot of music in the children and the adults of the island particularly if you are interested in traditional music, traditional singing, dancing, folk dancing, playing instruments such as the fiddle or violin, accordion, flute. These are the sorts of instruments you will find here and are practiced here. People are attracted here for all sorts of reasons to do with the arts.

Archeology and History

The Aran Islands has long held a fascination with Archeologists who are attracted to the artifacts and stone structures on the Islands. Dun Aonghasa is of particular interest as its inherant nature is still somewhat of a mystery to academics. There are occasionally archeology digs on the Islands which reveal more depths of the Islands intriguing history. Because of the Aran Islands interesting history and rich cultural traditions, many books have been written about the Aran Islands as well as Films/documentaries been made. Furthermore, the locals on the islands have a rich understanding of the history and happy to share historic tales.

 

 

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Aran Camping Glamping is conveniently located in the center of The Wild Atlantic Way. It is accessible from both Doolin (The Cliffs of Moher) and Rossaveal (Galway / Connemara).
Sligo Galway  -  Connemara -  Doolin -  Cork





Aran Holiday Village Campsite and Glamping Self Catering Units are situated on Inis Mor,
the largest of the three Aran islands at the mouth of Galway Bay on the Atlantic coast of Ireland.
Inis Mor is an outstandingly beautiful island, a world heritage site renowned
for its stunning landscape and cultural heritage.

Frenchman's Beach, Kilronan, Inis Mor, The Aran Islands, County Galway
Email: arancampingglamping@gmail.com
Telephone: 086 189 5823



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