Main Attractions on Inis Mor

About Inis Mor (Inishmore) Island

The Aran Islands
The Aran Islands are a group of three islands in a row across the outer end of Galway Bay on the West coast of Ireland. The largest is Inis Mór (Inishmore).  Each island has a very different atmosphere but they share the common trait of being havens of authentic Irish language, culture and heritage.

The Landscape
The landscape is hewn from limestone eroded over centuries by relentless Atlantic winter storms. Generations of islanders tending hard-won fertile land have formed a patchwork of fields bounded by the dry stone walls typical of the western seaboard. Inis Mór is home to a wide range of historic and prehistoric monuments, from the dramatic Bronze Age cliff top fortification Dún Aonghasa to tiny Teampall Bheanáin, said to be the smallest church in the world. Cultural landmarks spanning thousands of years can be visited with ease by hiring a bike and taking a leisurely trip back through time.

Inis Mór Island
Inis Mór is the largest of the three Aran Islands (7,635 acres) and includes several ancient stone forts and churches among its antiquities. Most impressive of the stone forts is Dún Aonghusa. It is semicircular, resting on the edge of a perpendicular cliff 100 metres above the sea. The fort consists of an inner court 50 metres across surrounded by a wall six metres high and five metres thick at the base. Outside is a rampart, a defence formed by sharp-pointed stones set closely together. Dún Aonghusa’s superb position and its structural perfection have led many experts to pronounce it one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Europe.

Below are the More popular sights on the Island of Inis Mor
(click on the title to reveal the information)

The Worm Hole (Location for the Redbull Cliff Diving)

The Worm Hole (Location for the Redbull Cliff Diving)

This is a remarkable feature and a major attraction for the visitor. It has become just as popular with tourists as Dún Aonghasa since its role in the Red Bull Cliff Diving Competition. It is a natural rectangular-shaped pool into which the sea ebbs and flow at the lower cliff-end south of Dún Aonghasa. Access to it is gained by walking east along the cliffs from Dún Aonghasa or, more easily, by following the signs from the village of Gort na gCapall.

The stone walls and small fields

 

The stone walls and small fields

The Lighthouse and Dún Eochla

 The Lighthouse and Dún Eochla
This fort is found in the middle of the island south of the village of Eochaill from which it gets its name. Eochaill means “Place of Yew Trees”. The fort is circular with two terraced walls. Exact dates are not known but it is thought to have been built somewhat later than Dún Aonghasa, possibly late Iron Age. It is easily accessed from the main road. Nearby are the remains of an early nineteenth century Lighthouse which, while on the highest point of the island was situated too far inland to ever have effected its purpose.

The Landscape

The islands strike one immediately as being like a desert of rock. They are in fact a continuation of the ‘boireann’ (burren) limestone rock in Co Clare to which they were once joined millions of years ago. Owing to the limestone landscape the islands enjoy a rare flora and fauna and are a haven for botanists. From May time onwards the visitor can enjoy a tremendous profusion of colour which marks an attractive contrast to the grey limestone rock. The warmth of the Bloody Crane’s- Bill( Crobh Dhearg) or Spring Gentian( Ceadharlach Bealtaine) in bloom are just two such examples among many. Some flowers such as Purple Milk Vetch( ) are uniquely found in Inis Mór and Inis Meáin and are not found elsewhere in Ireland.

The Inis Mor Seal Colony

The Inis Mor Seal Colony
The Seal Colony has in recent times become one of the more popular attractions on Inis Mór. It is located on the coastal road a 10-minute cycle east of Kilmurvey beach. The advantage of cycling here is that you can meander and be at one with nature on your way along the northern shore.
On a good day,and with a favourable tide, in this natural habitat you will come across numerous seals bathing. The scene is enchanting. Just before the seal colony is a small lake that has wild swans and ducks wading in the reeds as well as, sometimes, many rare birds. This is a favourite interval for bird watchers.

The Inis Mór Puffing Holes

 The Inis Mór Puffing Holes
These are holes in the ground at the top of the cliffs and have tunnel-like channels that lead down to the waters below. On days when the seas are rampant, water gushes up to create a spray over the ground in a similar fashion to the puffing of a whale.

The Cliffs on Inis Mor (Inishmore)

 

The Cliffs on Inis Mor (Inishmore)
The cliffs of Inis Mór stretch along the entire southern face of the island and form a spectacular sight. Easy mostly for walkers and cyclists to reach, the cliffs are generally isolated and one should exercise due caution when viewing such areas.

The Black Fort

The Black Fort
This impressive cliff side ruin on the southern side of the island, like Dun Aonghas is gaurded by natural defences and by a Cheavaux – de – frise. The Black Fort whilst not as popular as Dun Aonghas has a similarly impressive presence.

The beaches of Inis Mor

The beaches of Inis Mor
The three islands are noted for their sandy sheltered beaches and interesting shorelines. On Inis Mór there is a blue flag beach at Cill Mhuirbhigh which is attended by a lifeguard in summer months. In Inis Oírr, there is an idyllic cove at the main landing pier known as An Trá Mhór (The big beach). In Inis Meáin there are numerous sandy coves. There are also storm and block beaches throughout the islands, evidence of the power of the Atlantic.

Teampall Chiaráin & the Standing Stones

Teampall Chiaráin & the Standing Stones
Teampall Chiaráin is in the village of Mainistir (meaning monastery). It is said to have been founded by St Ciarán of Clonmacnoise who studied here under St Enda before sailing up the Shannon to establish his foundation at Clonmacnoise. The church which dates from about 12th century stands on the old site of Mainistir Chonnacht. Several cross-decorated slabs stand near the church. These may be old Tearmann crosses( boundary crosses). The most striking one is immediately to the east of the church. It is well decorated and has a hole in it indicating it may have been used as a sundial. Traditionally islanders draw a handkerchief or scarf through the hole for luck or fertility.

Teampall Bhean’in (St Benan’s Church)

This is reputedly the smallest church in Ireland. It stands atop a hill overlooking Cill Éinne Bay and is a landmark on the island for fishermen at sea. In contrast with churches elsewhere in Ireland it has a north south orientation. It dates from about the 7th century. The views from it are outstanding. Nearby are the remains of a cashel wall and a clochán( stone cell).

Na Seacht dTeampaill (the Seven Churches)


Na Seacht dTeampaill (the Seven Churches)
Situated in the western village of Eoghanacht the site of the Seven Churches (or Dísert Bhreacáin by which it is also known) was for centuries one of the largest monastic foundations and centres of pilgrimage along the west coast of Ireland. Breacán is believed to have come here 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’, in fact the site holds 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 masonry with 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 onsite, 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 insription “ VII ROMANI” (The Seven Romans) and another has Tomas AP (Thomas the Apostle). There once were two Holy Wells (now enclosed), Tobar an Spioraid Naoimh and Tobar Bhreacáin on this site.

Kilmurvey Blue Flag Beach

Kilmurvey is a beautiful white sand sheltered beach just off the road between Kilronan and Dun Aengus. The beach is situated in a cove and as such is not subject to the same strong currents that some of the beaches on Inis Mor are. On a sunny day the water is crystal clear and very inviting and invigorating!

Flora & Fauna

The close proximity of the Gulf Stream makes for a mild and pleasant climate and also encourages a unique mixture of all year round Alpine and Mediterranean flora. In spring and early summer countless tiny stone walled chemical free fields exude the powerful intoxicating aroma of brightly colored wild flowers. Many unusual wild birds live on or visit the Island. The sea surrounding the Island is still startlingly clean and all the beautiful Island beaches are safe and usually uncrowded. The Island is low lying and attracts little rain while enjoying a great deal of sunshine

Dun Eoghanacht

Dun Eoghanacht
This fort is found in the west of the island in the townland of Eoghanacht. It consists of a circular single two terraced wall of impressive height. There are the remains of several Clocháin (stone houses) inside. The fort takes its name from the Eoghanacht dynasty who ruled as kings of Munster and were associated with the island in Medieval times. Exact dates are not known for this fort either but it is probably from the Iron Age.

Dún Aonghasa (Aengus’s Fort)


Dún Aonghasa (Aengus’s Fort)
is enclosed by three massive dry-stone walls and  “chevaux-de-frise” consisting of tall blocks of limestone set vertically into the ground to deter attackers. The fort is about 900m from its Visitor Centre and is approached, on foot, over rising ground. Visitors with disabilities may learn about the fort and the island at the Visitor Centre.  As much of the tour is outdoors, visitors are advised to wear weatherproof clothing and shoes suitable for walking over uneven terrain. Please note that Dún Aonghasa is a vulnerable site and therefore visitors are asked to co-operate with efforts to protect this monument by not interfering with the site in any way.

 

 

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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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