My Day Trip to Ireland’s Aran Islands

40 minutes sailing from Galway City, the Aran Islands are a picturesque getaway
to Irish tradition and culture. The three islands that sit at the mouth of
Galway Bay have a remarkable history that stretches back thousands of years and
are teeming with astonishing coastal scenery.

During my time in Galway, I took a day trip out to the largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mór (Inishmore). Here is a recap of my experience and some handy tips to make your trip to these gorgeous islands one you will never forget.

My Day Trip to Ireland’s Aran Islands
Image by Sakari Mäkelä from Pixabay

to Inis Mór

Even if you are spending only 4 days in Ireland, as my friends were, Galway and Inis Mor should be on your list. Galway City is the prime launching pad to reach any of the three islands but the ferries that provide daily service are located at Rossaveal, roughly a 45-minute drive from Galway. Ferry services provide commuter bus service from Galway and can be added to your ticket to the islands. I booked a round trip ticket with Aran Island Ferries departing Rossaveal at 10:30am and taking the last ferry back to the mainland at 5:00pm.

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This is Inis Mór, the largest of the #AranIslands and a stunning outdoor museum, located west of the #wildatlanticway. From the prehistoric stone age fort to the 300ft cliffs, there's so much to explore on your day trip or overnight stay. Stunning picture of the island on a beautiful day ☀️😁😍😍 #inismor #inishmore #aranislands #wildatlanticway #island #aranislandferries #aranislandferry #irelandtravel #ireland #summer #galway #ireland🍀 #irelandtravel #sunshine #loveireland

A post shared by Aran Island Ferries (@aranislandferries) on Jun 26, 2019 at 1:25am PDT

Arriving on Inis Mór

mesmerizing boat ride offered beautiful images of Ireland’s rugged terrain and
jagged shores. The mountains from Connemara National Park stood proudly
overlooking the charming seaside cottages beside the bay. As the boat trekked further
out to sea, you could feel the waves of the Atlantic Ocean intensifying with
every passing moment. The boat swayed back and forth like an amusement park
ride forcing passengers to cling tightly to railings.

arrival at Inis Mór, we were greeted with a gorgeous white sand beach and
docked alongside the pier was a rusty ship with the word ‘GALWAY’ etched into
its stern. Just beyond the beach, there were dozens of van tours, horse
carriages, and bike rental shops waiting to whisk tourists away to the island’s
mystical wonders.

prepared to bring cash! Bike rentals and guided tours only accept cash payments
and there is only one ATM on the island (at the Spar Supermarket).

If you have no cash and are unprepared to get money from an ATM, you will be in for a scenic stroll on the island like me!

My Day Trip to Ireland’s Aran Islands


main highlight of Inis Mór is the ancient stony fort Dún Aonghasa which sits
atop stunning cliffs. There are two roads to reach the scenic cliffs with the
easier being the coastal route.

feel like you have been transported back in time with breathtaking views of
stone walls, ruins of medieval huts, and signs purely in Irish Gaelic. Enchanting
fields decorated by gorgeous flowers in bloom overlook the rocky coastline and
adorable farm animals can be spotted along the peaceful trail. Make sure to
stop by the seal colony viewpoint for a sighting of these incredible sea

Just past the seal colony, you can take a dip at Kilmurvey Beach. The glowing white sands and turquoise waters will make you think you are in the Caribbean. Brace yourself for a colder swim though!

My Day Trip to Ireland’s Aran Islands

before the Dún Aonghasa visitor center, you will have the chance to purchase
authentic Aran Island sweaters, knitwear, and jewelry. The steep and rocky
climb to the top of the cliff is a rewarding challenge that surveys the
crevices indented into the landscape.

When you reach the top of the staircase, you will feel like you have reached the ends of the Earth. The brutalizing wind sheer pummels you while standing mere inches from the edge of the cliff. Your heart races while surveying the mighty Atlantic Ocean 100 meters below.

My Day Trip to Ireland’s Aran Islands

The ancient ruins of the fort are astonishing when you realize they have stood the test of time along this towering cliff for upwards of 3,000 years. One of the most magnificent archaeological sites in western Europe!

My Day Trip to Ireland’s Aran Islands

Header Image by sktlloyd3 from Pixabay

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