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  • Writer's pictureAlex van Terheyden

Discover Inis Mór: Your Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Largest Aran Island


Ireland Islands, Inis Mor, Innersher, The Aran Islands
Bird's Eye View of Dún Aonghasa on Ines Mór - The Largest Aran Island

Journey to the Edge: Arriving at Inis Mór

The largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mór (or Inishmore), beckons the intrepid traveller with its blend of stunning scenery and deep-rooted culture. This rugged gem, lying stoically at the mouth of Galway Bay, is not just a destination but an experience.


Setting Sail from the Mainland:

The traditional passage to Inis Mór begins with a ferry from Rossaveal, a journey that quickly transitions from the quaint Irish countryside to the vast openness of the Atlantic. The 40-minute voyage offers a panoramic view that is nothing short of cinematic, with dolphins occasionally gracing travellers with their presence.




Flying High:

For those who fancy a quicker, albeit thrilling alternative, flying from Connemara Airport offers a unique opportunity. The brief 10-minute flight provides an aerial spectacle of the islands, revealing the patchwork of stone walls and verdant fields from a bird’s eye view.


Your Home on the Island: Places to Stay

Inis Mór accommodates all, from the luxury seeker to the budget backpacker.

Charming Bed & Breakfasts: Scattered across the island are numerous family-run B&Bs, where warmth is part of the stay. These homes become your base, offering not just a bed but stories and tips from locals who cherish their homeland.


Aran Islands Hotel: Situated conveniently near Kilronan, this hotel combines comfort with stunning views of Kileaney Bay. Its proximity to local attractions and amenities makes it an ideal choice for those who prefer a more refined resting spot.


Hostels and Camping: Thrifty travellers can opt for the hostel near Kilronan or the campsite close to Frenchman’s Beach. These options not only promise a bed but also an adventure, with nature as your closest companion.


It should be noted that the majority of visitors to The Aran Islands are DayTrippers due to the lack of accommodation. Given how easy a day trip is in the summer it's a great way to visit these Islands.


Things to Do on Inis Mór

Every path and lane on Inis Mór promises discovery. Mingle with the locals or set out on your own adventure - either way, you will come away with incredible memories.


Dún Aonghasa: The island’s crowning jewel, Dún Aonghasa, stands as a fortress against time and tide. Perched atop a dramatic cliff, this ancient fort is not merely a site to visit but a place to feel the whispers of history in the Atlantic winds. The walk-up is vigorous but rewarding, with vistas that stretch to infinity. Note my video (below) for additional information on Dún Aonghasa.



Cycling the Winding Ways: For those wanting to be more active - my advice is to; Rent a bike and let the island unfold at the pace of a pedal. The freedom of cycling allows you to explore the limestone paths, leading to secluded beaches and hidden historical treasures like the Worm Hole and the Black Fort. Don't be intimidated you can also rent an Electric Bike.



The Craft of Knitting: At the Aran Sweater Market in Kilronan, delve into the craft that has clothed generations in warmth and style. Here, the iconic Aran sweater is available in its birthplace, each stitch rich with history.


Wildlife

For a serene afternoon, a guided kayak to the Seal Colonies, Otter watching or Bird watching on the Inis Mór, it all offers an enchanting escape from your usual pace of life.


Enchanting Seal Watching: Inis Mór offers a unique opportunity to observe seals in their natural habitat. The island’s seal colonies are located around its rugged coastline, where the seals can often be seen lounging on the rocks or playfully swimming in the waters. A guided kayak tour to these colonies not only allows for up-close observation but also provides a tranquil experience, paddling through calm waters with only the sound of gentle waves and the occasional splash of a seal. These tours are respectful of the wildlife, ensuring that visitors can watch these graceful creatures without disturbing them.


Otters on the Shoreline: In addition to seals, Inis Mór is home to a population of otters that inhabit its freshwater lakes and sea inlets. Otters are more elusive than seals; spotting them requires luck and timing, especially during dawn or dusk when they are most active. Guides familiar with the otters’ likely habitats can lead you to spots where you have a better chance of seeing them as they hunt or play along the water’s edge. The experience of watching otters in the wild is a rare treat, showcasing the diversity of marine life on the island.


Otters, The Aran islands, Bird Watching, Seal Watching, Ireland
With patience and a beady eye its very common to see the Otters in their natural enviroment

Birdlife and Beyond: The island’s appeal to wildlife enthusiasts does not end with its marine mammals. Inis Mór is also a haven for birdwatchers, with various seabirds nesting along its cliffs and shores. From the common gulls to the more majestic peregrine falcons, the avian life is vibrant and varied. The cliffs provide not only a sanctuary for these birds but also offer enthusiasts a chance to observe their behaviours from a safe distance. Additionally, the island’s diverse habitats support a variety of other wildlife, including rabbits, hares, and numerous insect species that are integral to the ecological balance of Inis Mór.


Taste of the Island (be it Liquid or Food)

Culminate your day with a feast at Joe Watty's Bar, where the seafood is served fresh and the music carries the soul of Ireland. It's an environment ripe with laughter and stories, offering a taste of local life.


The Soul of Inis Mór

Inis Mór is not just a destination to be ticked off a list but a journey to be savoured. Each stone, each wave on this island tells a story—a story waiting to be discovered by those who wander in search of beauty and meaning.


For a brief snippet to quench your appetite on Inis Mór, be sure to watch my video. dive into the visuals that complement the tales of this enchanting island.


If you found any of this useful then please consider Subscribing to my YouTube Channel. Or become a Member on YouTube or SubscribeStar. Or if you would simply like to buy me a coffee you can do so via Ko-Fi. I'm not sponsored by any tourist board or anyone for that matter (at least at the time of this post). I provide this information as I believe it will be helpful to readers like yourself. Happy Travelling! #Ireland

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