The island of Inis Mór (Inishmore) meaning the big island, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland.  It is Well known internationally with over 50 different monuments of Christian, pre Christian and Celtic mythological heritage. There isn’t far you can go before being somewhere where there’s something of historical interest and little reason to question its importance in modern Irish Culture. The main monuments are listed in the attractions. If you wish to have a mor thorough investigation of the island then checkout the Aran Islands history section which lists a more comprehensive list of sights.

Hotel and Bed and Breakfast accommodation is available on the island as well as Bike Rental or Bike hire. When travelling to Inis Mór it is recommended that you would organise accommodation prior to arriving. Ferries to the Aran Islands  are available from Rossaveal (leaving Galway city) all year and from Doolin (Cliffs of Moher) from April to October.

Inis Mor Bike Hire

Inis Mór (Inishmore)

Aran Bike Hire

Aran Bike Hire is a family owned business that provides premium bike hire for people visiting the Aran Islands. There is a wide range bikes available for hire for people visiting the Aran Islands either for the day or for a holiday. Aran Bike Hire is conveniently located at the beginning of the pier when you get off the boat so you don''t need to walk for ages to find a bike.

Aran Bike Hire
+353 (0) 99 6132
www.aranbikehire.com

Ferries & Flights

Inis Mór (Inishmore)

Ferries and Flights to Inis Mor
from Galway & Doolin

You can travel to Inis Mor by Ferry or air From either Galway or Doolin. You can find information on both Aran Ferries and Aer Arann.

Ferry
Travel to Inishmore, (Inis Mor) is by Passenger Ferry from Doolin in Co. Clare (Seasonal) or Rossaveal in Co. Galway (All Year). Sailings from Doolin can is subject to tides. The Doolin Pier has recently been modernised. Aran Island Ferry services from Rossaveal, but a shuttle bus will take you to this point.

There are no direct ferries from Galway city at this time.
Car Ferries are not available to the Aran Islands.
Travel time to Inis Mor from Rossaveal is 40 minutes and from Doolin is about 90 minutes.
Doolin to Inis Oirr (Inisheer) is only about 25 minutes.
Car parking is available at Rossaveal and Doolin.
A shuttle bus to and from Rossaveal is available from Galway city.

Flight
Flights to the Islands are available from Aer Arann Islands at Inverin which is in Connemara and just outside of Galway.

Limestone Formations

The vastness of the unique rocky landscapeof  Inis Óirr, and it's uusual formations are an extremely beautiful sight. This is especially since the Aran Islands are essentially an extension of the Burren in County Clare. The cracked surface of the landscape marks resembles a grid and is termed formally as glints and grykes. The clints are the flat blocks of limestone that cover the land while grykes are the deep straight fissures which cut through the clint blocks.

The karst limestone landscape of the Aran Islands and The Burren was formed by a Glacier during the Ice-Age which cleared the land of any plant and soil material leaving the bare rock exposed. The grykes between the clints were formed by water cutting through the softer parts of the rock. This process is still ongoing and in many parts of the Burren is dissolving the rock completely.

Stone Walls

The stone walls of Inis Óirr and the Aran Islands in general are really are of the most impressive and peculiar sights on Inis Óirr. The miles and miles of stone walls define the farmers fields on the Aran Islands. They usually end up being one of decriptive features of a tourists description of their trip. The criss-cross of stone walls collectively add up to thousands of miles. The best place to gain a real perspective on the extent of the stone walls is by walking/cycling to the southern end of the island where you see nothing BUT stone walls, or a great over head view can be gained from O’Brien’s Castle.

Dun Aonghasa Visitor Center

The Dun Aonghasa Visitor Center is located on the edge of Kilmurvey Craft Village and provides a wealth of information about Dun Aonghasa, the Cliffs,  and The Aran Islands in general. It has a number of presentation outlets and informative educational materials which are set out in a very simple way as so most people can get a good understanding of Dun Aonghasa without the trappings of modern technology you often see advertised. It blends in nicely with the experience and the friendly staff at the centre are always on hand to help you with any questions you may have.

aran islands attractions

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Aran Islands in the Movies

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In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.

 

 

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Filmed partly in The Aran Islands; Leap Year.  Anna Brady plans to travel to Dublin, Ireland to propose marriage to her boyfriend Jeremy on Leap Day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day must accept it.

 

 

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Filmed on the Aran Islands for segments of the movie, Marcy, a worker in the reelection campaign of bumbling Senator John McGlory, is sent to Ireland on a quest to find the Irish ancestry of Sen. McGlory, to help him win the Irish vote. But when Marcy arrives in the small village of Ballinagra, she finds herself in the middle of a matchmaking festival, and the local matchmaker is determined to pair her off with one of the local bachelors.

Woman of Aran

I’m Donna and I work for Tourism Ireland in Sydney having worked my way across the world with the company after a couple of stints in our offices in both Frankfurt and Paris. I love to cook, eat, travel, take photos, walk and play tag rugby. A couple of months ago I travelled to Inishmore on the Aran Islands for what must have been my fourth day t...

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The Main Village

The main village is located just seconds away from both the pier and the beach. It is nestled below the old light house and O'Briens fort. It has the definite feel of a rustic fishing village attached to it and the local Traditional Music bar has the widely held belief that its one of the best in Ireland.

The New Lighthouse

The new Lighthouse is located at the Western bottom tip of the island and is adjacnt to the Cliffs of Mohar and thus providing dramatic scenery. On a clear day the cliffs feel like they are just a light swim away . The lighthouse is surrounded by cascades of matted stone fences and the area is very much isolated.

Aran Island Ferries (From Galway & Rossaveal)
Located in the heart of Galway Bay, the Aran Islands offer visitors a glimpse into a way of life that has long since disappeared from most of the country. The Islands' raw beauty and charm leaves visitors longing to return again and again. While the South - West coast of the island battles with the Atlantic, the North - East coast offers smooth passage for visitors between the mainland at Ros a' Mhíl and the Islands.  
Aran Bike Hire (Inis Mor)

Aran Bike Hire is a family owned business that provides premium bike hire for people visiting Inis Mor, The Aran Islands. There is a wide range bikes available for hire for people visiting Inis Mor, the Aran Islands either for the day or for a holiday. Aran Bike Hire is conveniently located at the beginning of the pier on Inis Mor when you get off the boat so you don''t need to walk for ages to find a bike.

Dun Aonghasa History

Who Aongus was is unknown. According to legend , Aonghas belonged to a high ranking dynasty who were displaced from their lands in Co. Meath in the early centuries AD. Another possible candidate, is Aonghus Mac Natfraich, King of Cashel in the 5th Century AD, who had dynastic affilliations with Aran.

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Recent excavations by a team from the Discovery programme found evidence for human activity on the hilltop stretching over two and half thousand years (ca. 1500Bc – 1000 AD). First enclosed ca. 1100 BC , the most dynamic period in the history of this hillfort was around 800BC. At that time, Dun Aonghasa was probably the political, economic and ritual centre for a group of people with a common ancestry. Only the elite members of this group would have lived in the fort. After 700BC, the importance of the site waned and, over the the following thousand years, it seems to have been occupied only intermittantly. A major rebuilding programme was undertaken in the early Medievel period (500 – 1000 AD) but the fort was abandoned shortly afterwards. Dun Aonghasa became a National Monument at the end of the 19th century and was extensively repaired shortly afterwards. It is now conserved by the Office of Public Works.

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The late Bronze Age hillfort
Covering an area of 5.7 hectares (14 acres), the interior of the hillfort is divided into an outer, middle and inner enclosure by three curvilinear walls terminating at the cliff. An additional stretch of wall runs along west side and, when the fort was occupied, there was probably a 'safety wall' along the cliff-edge . Outside the middle closure is a broad band of chevaux de frise (closely-set stone pillars) that even today are difficult to negotiate.

The original approach to the fort was from the north and the main entrances through the outer and middle walls face in this direction. Today, the entry point is through a breach in the outer wall, but the original doorway can be seen at some distance to the right.

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Middle Enclosure
The original doorway to the middle enclosure, about 50m to the right of the present entrance, is now blocked up because of the poor condition of the roof lintals. The entrance would have been closed off by a wooden gate and the sudden drop inside the threshold was probably designed to trip any unwanted visitors. The bodies of two young men were interred in the paved entrance around 1000 AD. These may have had Viking connections, but there was no evidence to suggest that they died violently.

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Inner Enclosure
The inner enclosing wall measuring 5m in width, was built up in layers so that the foundations could be stepped over rising ground. Originally, it was probably about 6m high and ca. 6,500 tonnes of stone were used in its construction. The terrace on the interior gave access to the wall top and a small chamber in the west side of the wall may have been used for storng precious or perishable goods.

Lifestyle
The stone foundations of seven houses were found in the inner enclosure. The floors were paved and a number had a stone hearth. The outline of a circular house, ca. 5M in diameter, is still visible near thewest wall. Its foundations are partly covered by the enclosing wall , indicating that the house predates the final alterations to the defences. A stone trough outside the door was probably used either for storing water, keeping shellfish fresh, or for boiling meat using the hot-stone cooking method. In addition to meat and cereals, fish and shellfish were an important part of the diet of the late bronze Age occupants. Almost 8 tonnes of limpet shells were found during the excavations. Most of the tools in everyday use (hammers, axes, whetstones, and quern stones) were made of stones) were made of stone. Clothing was made from wool or leather and fastened with bone pins; the range of needle types found also showed that the Late Bronze Age people used a variety of organic materials.

Ritual
The rock platform at the edge may have had a ritual or ceremonial function and hoard of four bronze rings deliberately buried beside it was probably an offering to a deity. At the opposite end of the inner inclosure, a large hearth seems to have been associated with communal feasting and with the casting of bronze weapons and tools.

Kilmurvey Craft Village

Kilmurvery craft village is located at the foot of Dun Aonghas and contains an eclectic mix of Irish Arts and crafts shops. Many visitors to the island browse through before entering Dun Aonghasa.

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Kilronan Village

Kilronan is a bustling little fishing village and hosts the port where boats to Inis Mor Island Dock. Most people hire bikes for the 6km trip to Dun Aonghasa. The village is the perfect place to get a coffee, use the Islands only ATM machine at the local SPA,
drop you bag off where you are staying, have a swim in the turquoise water, watch the goings on in village life, people watch, and just relax in the sun. On return from Dun Aonghasa, Kilronan village is a great place for a Pint of Guinness.

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Spar Supermarket and Gourmet food
Spar supermarket is located in Kilronan Village and is where the islanders purchase their weekly food shops. It contains a wide variety of foods and has a fully stocked delicatessan, off licence, Hot foods, and food to go. Spar also has the islands only ATM machine.
Kylemore Abbey Visitor Centre

Kylemore Abbey, known as Ireland's most romantic Castle is located in Connemara, Co. Galway and is the most visited attraction in the West of Ireland. The Abbey is situated beside an idyllic Lake and is backed by steep mountains providing a postcard perfect view. Originally built in 1867 as a romantic gift, Kylemore Abbey and the surrounding mountains and lakes are steeped in history including engineering initiatives, model farms, tragedy, royal visits, gambling debts, a hideaway during Ireland's troubled history as well as excellence in education.

Home to the Benedictine Nuns since 1920, much of the Kylemore estate has been restored to its former glory and is open to visitors all year. Visitors can also browse in the Craft shop and retail centre, viewing our unique Kylemore Abbey Pottery as it is produced in our Pottery Studio or relax over coffee in the Restaurant whilst sampling the freshly home-cooked delights.

The Claddagh

Claddagh (Irish: an Cladach, meaning "the shore") is an area close to the centre of Galway city, where the Corrib River meets Galway Bay. It was formerly a fishing village, just outside the old city walls. It is just across the river from the Spanish Arch, which was the location of regular fish markets where the locals supplied the city with seafood as recently as the end of the 19th century. People have been gathering seafood and fishing from the area for millennia. It is one of the oldest former fishing villages in Ireland - its existence having been recorded since the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century.

During the 19th century the Claddagh attracted many visitors, including writers who spread its fame. The original village of thatched cottages was razed in the 1930s and replaced by a council-housing scheme.

The Claddagh is most famous internationally for the Claddagh ring,[citation needed] which is popular among those of Irish heritage as both a friendship and wedding ring. This traditional design consists of two clasped hands holding a crowned heart, and symbolises love, friendship and loyalty.

The Claddagh area contains a national school, Community Centre and a Catholic Church.

Notable natives of the area include Thomas Grady.

Na Seacht dTeampaill( the Seven Churches)

Situated in the west of Inis Mór at the village of Eoghanacht the seven churches or Dísert Bhreacáin as it is also known was for centuries one of the biggest monastic foundations and centres of pilgrimage along the west coast of Ireland. Breacan is believed to have come here in the earliest period from Kilbrecan near Quin in County Clare. Tradition on the island has it that his foundation rivalled St Enda’s foundation in the east of the island. Indeed the two saints are held to have eventually agreed to divide the island between them. Although termed ‘ the seven churches’ there are in fact only two churches with a number of domestic buildings. The title seven is possibly an allusion to the pilgrimage circuit of Rome which incorporated seven churches.
Teampall Bhreacáin( St Brecan’s Church) is a large multi period church c. 8th-13th century. It contains fine massive masonary with an impressive arch, nave and chancel. An inscribed stone in the west gable reads ‘ OR AR 11 CANOIN’ ‘ Pray for the Two Canons’. Teampall an Phoill ‘ (the Church of the Hollow) is a 15th century church smaller and simpler in style. The remains of a number of penitential beds and fragments of decorated crosses are also to be found on site most notably Leaba Bhreacáin and leaba an Spioraid Naoimh. There are also a number of interesting cross inscribed stones and graves in the south east corner of the site. One of these has the words ‘ V11 ROMANI’ The Seven Romans written on it and another has Tomas AP( Thomas the Apostle). There used be two Holy Wells -now enclosed-Tobar an Spioraid Naoimh and Tobar Bhreacáin on site.

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Festivals

The Aran Islands has established itself as a bit of a boutique festival destination especially with the growing popularity of the Father Ted festival which amounts to a lot of fun and laughter. The Aran Islands bars are electric with fanfare, fun and laughter over this weekend. There are also a growing amount of groups coming to the islands attracted by the warm sea air of summer, beaches and just general place to have fun. The Aran Islands is great to get away from it all!!.

Connemara loop – a drive through Joyce county
Connemara loop - a drive through Joyce county
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The Connemara loop is just a really beautiful way how to get to know the Joyce county. You can do it in one day but you might feel sad driving through all the beauty only for one day. Anyway this is the map of the Connemara Loop , have a look & think about the journey yourself. Every spot is worth stopping.
Connemara loop - a drive through Joyce county
Lough Corrib 
Unfortunately you won't be able to do this trip
on a bus because there is not much public transport around this area. You can try hitchhiking if you want. People are very friendly over here so it might just work for you. We drove from Galway to do the Connemara loop and started in Maam cross, which is a beautiful spot and had a pint of Guinness in the Maam village, tasted really good.
Connemara loop - a drive through Joyce county
On the way to Leenane village 
Driving further towards to Leenane village will be very pleasant because you'll see lots of lakes and turf hills. This area always makes me think about the famine times, because you can really see that the people of Ireland had nothing else than potatoes. Life must have been tough here.
The road will bring you to one of my favorite parts of Connemara - Leenane village & Killary fjord - the link is to another post of this blog especially dedicated to Killary fjord. Make sure to stop here. The Leenane village & its surrounding is just breathtaking. Killary fjord is the only fjord in Ireland so have enough time to see it.
Connemara loop - a drive through Joyce county
Kylemore abbey
Driving from Killary fjord will take you to the Kylemore abbey. Kylemore is a home to a community of nuns of the Benedictine order. Don't hesitate to visit this place because the Victorian gardens are full of seasonal plants, gazibos and lovely benches with beautiful views. Just a bit further down there is Connemara national park. A unique spot in the heart of Connemara with lots of hiking possibilities.  I might repeat myself again but don't miss it.

Connemara loop - a drive through Joyce county
Overviewing the Atlantic ocean 
You can now choose how you want to go back, either follow the map or just drive along the coast. Both ways have their own beauty. The inland way is stunning, you will be passing the twelve pins and see the marble mines. The coastal way via Cliffden reveals the stunning coast so you decide. I hope you will love Connemara as much as I do. Enjoy.

Connemara loop - a drive through Joyce county
Overviewing the Killary fjord

Connemara loop - a drive through Joyce county
Lettergesh beach
Connemara loop - a drive through Joyce county
Driving towards Galway








































































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Kilmurvey Craft Village

The Kilmurvey Craft Village is a favourite spot to visit for most people. Consisting of a handful of celtic inspired crafts people it has its atmosphere. All people who visit Dun Aonghasa pass though this little area.

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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.

Teampall na Naomh( The church of the Saints)

Teampall na Naomh( The church of the Saints) is located behind the visitors centre at Dún Aonghasa. Nothing is known of this church which is simple and rectangular in shape.

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.

Teampall Bhreacáin( St Brecan’s Church)

Teampall Bhreacáin( St Brecan’s Church) is a large multi period church c. 8th-13thTeampall an Phoill ‘ (the Church of the Hollow) is a 15th century church smaller and simpler in style. The remains of a number of penitential beds and fragments of decorated crosses are also to be found on site most notably Leaba Bhreacáin and leaba an Spioraid Naoimh. There are also a number of interesting cross inscribed stones and graves in the south east corner of the site. One of these has the words ‘ V11 ROMANI’ The Seven Romans written on it and another has Tomas AP( Thomas the Apostle). There used be two Holy Wells -now enclosed-Tobar an Spioraid Naoimh and Tobar Bhreacáin on site. century. It contains fine massive masonary with an impressive arch, nave and chancel. An inscribed stone in the west gable reads ‘ OR AR 11 CANOIN’ ‘ Pray for the Two Canons’.

Old Light House

Content coming soon

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Kilronan Village

This is the main village of Inis Mor and is one of them most picturesque spots in Ireland. Once for the sole purpose as a fishing port for the Aran fisherman, today it is the main port for the ferry companies, main area for festivals. With its adjoining white sandy beach it has a wide selection of first class restaurants serving seafood, and traditional Irish Bars, Buskers, and accommodation it is a splendid spot to people watch and a base yourself before exploring the island.

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Clochán na Carraige

This is the island’s best example of an old dry stone house. It is signposted in a field to the north along the road from Cill Mhuirbhigh to Sruthán village. Dating from the early Christian period it is rectangle in shape( about 6m by 2. 1/2m). It has two opposing doorways in the traditional manner and a small window to the south west. The corbelled or beehive roof is a fine example of its kind.

Dún Eoghanachta

This fort is found in the western head of the island in the townland of Eoghanacht south of the village of Sruthán. It consists of a circular single two terraced wall of an impressive height. There are the remains of several Clocháin(stone houses) inside. The fort takes its name from the Eoghanacht tribe of Munster who were associated with the island in Medieval times. Exact dates are not known but it is probably Iron Age.

War of Independence Memorial

Memories of the British Black and Tans forces visiting Inis Mór survives. Fifty of them arrived on the island in 1920 in search of three volunteers on the run. They rampaged and terrified the community. A stone on the lower road( Bóthar ó Thuaidh) marks the spot where islander Lawrence Mac Donagh who was on his way to mass was shot dead by them.

Túr Mháirtín

Located in the village of Iar- Áirne in the extreme eastern tip of the island this is a small dry stone tower over looking Gregory’s sound, the stretch of water between Inis Meáin and Inis Mór. In former times it may have been a look-out post. Legend on the islands has it that St Gregory was buried here.

 

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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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