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Posted by on Jun 19, 2009 in Ancient, Aran Islands, Historic, Scenery, West | 2 comments

Visiting the Stunning Aran Islands

Phil says…

If you are visiting Ireland and are keen to discover some of the smaller islands that make up this stunning country, the Aran Islands are a must see. Made up of a group of three isles located at the mouth of Galway Bay on the west coast, the islands are named using the native Irish language, which is commonly spoken in this area. The largest is Inishmore, second largest Inishmaan and smallest of three islands Inisheer.

Getting to see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay can be achieved by renting a car, which can be hired from Dublin Airport Car Hire or other locations around Ireland, and then driving over to the west coast before using one of a number of approaches to the bay.

Galway Bay near North Sound. Photo by Suey J

These routes which lie between the mainland and the Aran Islands include the North Sound, which runs between Aran and Lettermullen in County Galway, Gregory’s Sound, running between Aran and Inishmaan, Foul Sound that lies between Inishmaan and Inisheer and South Sound which is found between Inisheers and County Clare.

The summer months are particularly busy for tourism on the islands with people using ferry services to get across to them from Rossaveal in County Galway and Doolin in County Clare. There is also an air service run by Aer Arann from Inverin, which offers a connecting bus service to those staying in and around Galway City.

Dun Aengus Fort. Photo by FABIÀ

Those flocking to the islands go there not only to enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscapes, but also to visit a number of places of interest and historical strongholds.

Dun Aengus is a fort on Inishmore, positioned 100 metres high on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is made up of a series of circular walls, with the citadel enclosing an area of 50 metres.

O’Brien’s Castle is a 14th century fortress located on Inis Oirr which was captured from the O’Brien family by the Flaherty clan of Connemara in 1582.

A church thought to be the smallest in the world can also be found amongst the Aran Islands. Teampall Bheanain is also notable for its north to south orientation instead of the traditional east to west.

A view of Athlone, a town located on the drive between Dublin and Ireland's west coast. Photo by Regina.

You can learn more about the Aran Islands at www.visitaranislands.com and www.aranislands.ie. and you can read what Damon and Lisa from the One Year In Europe blog had to say about their visit at http://oneyearineurope.blogspot.com/2007/09/adventure-1-aran-islands.html

Thank you to Phil for sharing this information.

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2 Comments

  1. We loved it so much, we are going to stay a week at Man of Aran Cottage/B&B on our next visit—(hopefully next year–5th trip–yeah!}, easy walk to the beach, Joe will call a van for a tour, etc. The island is well worth seeing, if for only a day! Would love to move to Ireland, husband said he didn’t think so.

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