Visitors to Galway city and the surrounding areas will no doubt realize just how close they are to the famous Aran Islands and head off for a day of exploring. Pick your appropriate method of transport and you are basically set to experience the life of an islander on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin or Inis Oirr. So let the adventure begin…
There are a few ways of getting to the Aran Islands. Probably the most popular at the moment is via car from Galway city to Rossaveal Harbour. This journey will take approximately 45 minutes, please allow a little extra for local traffic and road conditions.
At Rossaveal Harbour, you will board the passenger only ferry for your journey across Galway Bay to the Aran Islands. The closest island to the mainland is Inis Mór, which is only 30 to 40 minutes away. The journey time to Inis Meáin and to Inis Oirr is a little longer, as the islands are a little further away. It will take you approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to these islands.
Please view Aran Island Ferries for up to date information on timetables and fares.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a car, you can also jump aboard a privately run bus service from Galway city to Rossaveal. It is advisable to allow extra time if you are using this method of transport, as there may be pre-booked request stops along the route.
Can’t wait to see the Arann Islands and want to get there as soon as possible? How about flying there! Flights are on a daily basis from Connemara Regional Airport and it only takes 10 minutes to get to your destination. Where will I find Connemara Regional Airport, I hear you ask. Well, heading West, it is only 19 miles from Galway city. Don’t have a car, no need to worry, as Aer Arann Islands provide a shuttle service from Galway city to Connemara Regional Airport.
For further information, please view: Aer Arann Islands website for further information.
On the islands
There is so much to see and do, before you know it you will be on your return journey back to Galway, and no doubt planning another visit to these marvellous islands.
For example at Kilronan pier on Inis Mór, you can hire out a bicycle or take the more traditional mode of transport, the pony and trap and mini-bus tours are also available from here.
Keep an eye out for the round tower, which dates back to the 9th century, a stone roofed beehive, a black fort and Dún Aonghasa.
Why not bring the fishing rod along and enjoy a spot of fishing. The thoughts of lovely fresh fish for tea is overwhelming! Pollack, monkfish, cod and whiting, you can almost smell them cooking and you haven’t even caught them yet!
Or you could be adventurous and call in to the Aran Islands Dive Centre on Inis Meáin. Students from 8 years of age and upwards are accepted.
Inis Oirr is home to Áras Éanna, an arts and heritage centre with a difference. Here artists can take up residency and display their works for about 4 months. The centre also has a theatre where there is a regular programme of plays, concerts and cinema.
As you can see, all three of the islands has something different to offer, but common to all has to be some fantastic beaches, including Kilmurvey Beach on Inis Mór, which has attained the much-coveted Blue Flag status.
Hopefully these are a few convincing facts to entice you to exchange the hustle and bustle of city life for the simple and straightforward life of the islands, even if it is just for 1 day.
If you’re looking for hotels in Galway, check out our Galway hotels page.
Have you been to the Aran Islands? Why not tell us about your experience….leave a comment in the box below.