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Aran Islands

Our most recommended things to do in Aran Islands

From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour

1. From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour

Discover the history and landscapes of Ireland on a day trip from Galway with a local driver/guide. Marvel at centuries-old buildings and striking natural features before taking in one of the best views the country has to offer from the Cliffs of Moher. Stop for plenty of photo opportunities. Meet your trained driver/guide outside the Kinlay Hostel. Climb aboard the coach to head to your first stop, Dunguaire Castle on the outskirts of Kinvara. Looking at the 16th-century medieval tower house castle, you'll discover why it is one of the most photographed castles in the whole of Ireland. Then, drive through the unique glaciokarst landscape of the Burren and past the 12th-century Corcomroe Abbey, a Cistercian monastery noted for its distinguished carvings and rich ornamentation. Then, follow the Wild Atlantic Way as it wends its way along the coast of County Clare. Pass Black Head and Fanore Strand, Discovery Points on the Wild Atlantic Way, from where you can marvel at views of the three Aran Islands, Inishmore (Inis Mor), Inishmann (Inis Meain), and Inisheer (Inis Oirr), locking in Galway Bay, and in the distance the Connemara mountains. Next, stop for photos at Doolin pier. Feel the Atlantic wind in your face and admire the power of the sea as it crashes onto the shore. After you've worked up an appetite on the beach, tuck into lunch at the Doolin Hotel (not included). Try any of the local seafood dishes. You won't be disappointed. Then, head to your main stop of the day, the Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy 2 hours at this Signature Point along the Wild Atlantic Way. Admire one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Rising 214 meters out of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cliffs of Moher offer one of the most amazing views in Ireland. After the Cliffs of Moher, return to Galway via Lisdoonvarna, famous for its annual matchmaking festival.

From Galway: Aran Islands Day Trip & Cliffs of Moher Cruise

2. From Galway: Aran Islands Day Trip & Cliffs of Moher Cruise

Take a day trip to Inisheer (Inis Oirr) from Galway and discover the ancient churches and castles on the smallest of the Aran Islands. Visit the Cliffs of Moher and admire the coastal scenery. From the meeting point in Galway, get driven south along the Wild Atlantic Way and into the lunar-like Burren region. From there, head to the picturesque fishing village of Doolin where you’ll board the ferry to Inisheer. Once there, explore the island's churches, castles, lighthouses, shipwrecks, cafes, and pubs. Discover one of Ireland's most beautiful beaches and, if you like, take a pony and carriage, hire a bicycle, or stroll the country roads. Stop for a hearty meal at a traditional local pub before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher. You will receive free entry to the cliffs and the eco-sensitive visitor center. Take a stroll along the cliff edge and consider how tiny everything looks from above. Once you depart the cliffs,l take the coast road home, following the Wild Atlantic Way. Make one last stop at the stunning Baby Cliffs in Ballyreen where you can walk atop the Burren, before returning to Galway.

From Doolin: Inis Oirr Island and Cliffs of Moher Ferry

3. From Doolin: Inis Oirr Island and Cliffs of Moher Ferry

Explore Inis Oírr with this ferry cruise from Doolin. Hop aboard and take in sea views before disembarking for free time on the island. Take the ferry back to see the Cliffs of Moher, O'Brien's Tower, and the An Branán Mór sea stacks. Hop aboard the spacious ship in Doolin and admire the views of the shore on your way to Inis Oírr. Have several hours of free time to check out the island's medieval ruins, seal colonies, shipwreck, and lighthouse with options to walk, rent a bicycle, hire a horse and cart or take a minibus tour. Depart the island for the return trip in the afternoon. Pass by the Cliffs of Moher's highest point. Sail beneath the famous O'Brien's Tower. Listen to onboard commentary and facinating stories that dive further into the sights. Circle back passing by An Branán Mór, the great sea stack, which is home to Ireland’s largest mainland nesting bird colony. Get up close birds such as puffins, guillemots, and razorbills. Capture pictures of the the sea cave that was used to film 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' and the famous surfing spot 'Aill na Searrach' where the 'Aileen' wave is caught.

From Doolin: Inis Mor Ferry and Aran Islands

4. From Doolin: Inis Mor Ferry and Aran Islands

Inis Mór, also known as Inishmore, is the largest and most traveled of the Aran Islands. Its very name, which means big island, suggests its size compared to the other islands. The population of Inis Mór is about 900 people. This day trip departs Doolin Pier at 10:00 AM and then departs the island at 4:00 PM to return to Doolin Pier. The ferry journey from Doolin Pier to Kilronan Harbor on Inis Mór takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  The Aran Islands are believed to be an extension of the Burren Region in County Clare. The famous rocky landscape has helped to create its iconic image of an island divided by fields separated by winding stone walls. The stunning views from this Island reveal an Atlantic gateway from Connemara to Clare.  You won’t be short of things to do and wonders to see on the island of Inis Mór. A full day is needed to see the sights of this beautiful island.  The ferry will arrive at Kilronan harbor on Inis Mor. From this port, you can choose from several different options to explore the island. You may choose to hire a bicycle, take a mini bus tour or experience a horse and cart tour. More information on the tour options is available at the Kilronan Harbor area upon your arrival. The most popular attraction on this island is the famous ring fort, Dun Aengus. The magnificent fort is a semi-circular structure that rests on the edge of a high cliff rising 100 meters out of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the largest of the prehistoric ruins on the Aran Islands. It is a short 900 meter hike from the Visitor Center to the base of the fort. On arrival, it takes about 10 minutes to climb to the top of the fort. The fort consists of an inner court 50 meters across, and is surrounded by a wall 6 meters high and 5.5 meters thick at the base. Dún Aonghasa’s superb position and its structural perfection have prompted many experts to declare it one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Europe.

Inis Mor Island and Cliffs of Moher by Ferry from Doolin

5. Inis Mor Island and Cliffs of Moher by Ferry from Doolin

Have the opportunity to enjoy the Island of Inis Mór and even stay the night if you wish. Inis Mór (Inishmore) is the largest and most traveled to of the Aran Islands. Its name means Big Island and has a population of around 900. The ferry journey takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes each way. You may choose any day to return and after your return to Doolin Pier, you will then stay on board for the Cliffs of Moher cruise. Or, if you would like to use your Cliffs of Moher ferry pass another day, that is fine too. You will receive a separate ticket for the Cliffs of Moher Cruise to be used on another day.  The ferry will circle back passing An Branán Mór, the great sea stack, which is home to Ireland’s largest mainland nesting bird colony. The great sea stack plays host to thousands of seabirds making it their summer home. The ferry will get you up close to view birds such as puffins, guillemots, and razorbills. Along the journey back to Doolin Pier, you will pass the sea cave from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the famous surfing spot Aill na Searrach, where the Aileen wave is caught. This 1-hour journey along the cliffs provides many fantastic photograph opportunities and is never the same experience twice.

Rossaveel, Galway: Ferry Transfer to Inis Mór (Aran Islands)

6. Rossaveel, Galway: Ferry Transfer to Inis Mór (Aran Islands)

Prepare for a warm Irish welcome as you board the luxury vessel, which includes a full bar and refreshment service. The ferry departs daily at 10:30 AM from the sheltered fishing harbor of Rossaveel in Connemara, Galway. Sail for about 40 minutes to Inis Mór (Inishmore), located just off the coast of County Galway in the heart of Galway Bay. The largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mór offers visitors a glimpse into a way of life that has long since disappeared from most of the world. Upon arrival at the island choose from a variety of activities. Rent a bike or hop on a bus tour with a local guide. Explore ecclesiastical ruins and prehistoric stone forts such as the world-renowned Dún Aonghasa. Enjoy live music, taste seasonal local foods, or visit the Aran Island Sweater Market. Hop back on the ferry at 5:00 PM at Kilronan Pier on Inis Mór for your journey back to Rossaveel Harbor in Connemara.

From Limerick: Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher Day Tour

7. From Limerick: Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher Day Tour

Departing Arthurs Quay, Limerick at 8:30 AM daily, your local driver/guide will take you via Bunratty Castle and Ennis to the picturesque village of Doolin in County Clare. Here, you will board the 11:00 AM ferry sailing from Doolin to Inisheer, the smallest and closest of the Aran Islands. The ferry passage takes between 20 and 30 minutes. Once on the Island, you will have 2 hours of free time to explore an ancient castle, church, shipwreck, lighthouse, beaches, cafés and pubs. Return to the ferry, departing at 1:45 PM and, on the way back, sail beneath the Cliffs of Moher. From the sea, you get a unique view of the majestic Cliffs of Moher. Upon return to Doolin, reboard the tour bus before your driver/guide takes you to the top of the Cliffs of Moher. Once there, entry to the eco-friendly visitor's centre, the Atlantic Edge, is included. After your visit here, sit back, relax and enjoy the picturesque scenery on your way back to Limerick. The tour returns between 8:30 - 9:00 PM.

From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher Small Group Tour

8. From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher Small Group Tour

Your first stop is the 13th-century King John’s Castle in Limerick. The castle itself was built by the notorious King John, brother of Richard the Lionheart, and it is widely regarded as one of the best preserved Norman castles in Europe.  Learn about the medieval era of Ireland, from the Viking invaders to the Lords of Ireland. Following your visit to King John’s Castle, drive through Lisdoonvarna, home of the oldest matchmaking festival in the world. Pass Kilfenora, home to one of Ireland’s most popular traditional Céilí bands. Travel along the Wild Atlantic Way, brimming with magical views, including over the Aran Islands and the surfing beaches of Fanore and Galway Bay. During the coastal drive, go off the beaten track and view the famous Baby Cliffs of Moher. Shorter than the Cliffs of Moher, these smaller cliffs offer the ideal opportunity to see whales and dolphins. Gaze over the magical limestone landscape known as the Burren region.  Dating back over 300 million years, this rugged landscape is home to over 1,100 species of plants ranging from arctic flora to Mediterranean perennials and is one of the most fascinating regions of Western Europe. Stop at the traditional village of Doolin, boasting some of the best Irish pubs and restaurants. Order a local dish for lunch, such as Doolin’s famous seafood chowder, soda bread, and freshly brewed Guinness. Arrive at the world-famous Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy a relaxing walk and breathtaking views. The cliffs offer a stunning view of Galway Bay, the Aran Islands, and the rugged Connemara wilderness. You will also have the chance to see many of the 30,000 birds nesting in colonies along the cliffs and explore the award-winning Atlantic Edge Exhibition.  Return to Dublin at approximately 7:30 PM, where you will be dropped off in downtown Dublin, or at the same location that you were collected from.

From Doolin: Inis Oirr (Inisheer) Ferry and Aran Islands

9. From Doolin: Inis Oirr (Inisheer) Ferry and Aran Islands

Visit Inis Oírr, one of the 3 Aran Islands. Board a clean and modern ferry and depart from the Doolin Pier. Enjoy a scenic ferry ride to the island including striking and dramatic views.  Take in breathtaking views of the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. Discover medieval ruins. Watch the seal colonies sunbathing on the beach. See a shipwreck that was featured in the beloved Irish TV comedy Father Ted. Although it’s the smallest of the Aran Islands you’ll find plenty to do and see in Inis Oírr. Enjoy a walk through the lush landscape and take in the natural life of the island. The flora of this island contains rare alpine species which are under conservation. Look out from the Clare coastline and admire the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher from a unique perspective. Explore the island’s rocky landscapes and fields surrounded by stone walls. If you'd like a snack or a drink during your time on the island, you can stop at one of Inis Oírr's many delightful bars and cafes. After 5 hours on the island, board the ferry make the trip back to Doolin.

Rail Tour from Dublin: 6 Days All of Ireland

10. Rail Tour from Dublin: 6 Days All of Ireland

Day 1 Check in Dublin Heuston Station (Customer Service Desk) for 7:00 departure of InterCity train to Cork (breakfast available). We visit Blarney Castle, the Queenstown Story at Cobh, then train to Killarney for two nights B & B with en-suite facilities. Day 2 10.00 depart Killarney on Ring of Kerry tour. We have a wonderful day viewing some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery, including Dingle Bay. We also see the Macgillicuddy Reeks, Ireland's highest mountain Carrantuohill, Moll's Gap, Ladies View and the world famous Lakes of Killarney. Overnight in Killarney. Day 3 07.30 transfer from Killarney to Limerick, to join the Cliffs of Moher Tour, visit Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher, O'Connors Pub at Doolin, Galway Bay, overnight Galway City in 3 star Hotel (2 nights). Day 4 10.30am transfer to Connemara Airport for flight and tour of Inishmór, largest of the Aran Islands Day 5 10.00 depart Galway for tour of Connemara, including Kylemore Abbey after which we depart Galway by train, arriving Dublin Heuston 20.45 transfer by tram to three star hotel for two nights (room only). Day 6 Check in Dublin Connolly Station at 07.10 departure for the Giants Causeway tour. At Belfast we join our tour and head to the famous Antrim Coast Road crossing the lovely Glens of Antrim en route to Ballycastle and the Carrick-a-rede* rope bridge (Mid March - October only. Glimpse the Scottish coast on a clear day. We continue to the stunning Giant's Causeway next, seeing Dunluce Castle (photo stop only). We return to Belfast and our train to Dublin arriving at Connolly station at 22:20 for second night in three star hotel. Depart Monday/Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday (March to October only) * Price is per person sharing Single Room Supplement applies

Other Sightseeing Options in Aran Islands

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What people are saying about Aran Islands

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,608 reviews

Fantastic tour. The guide was VERY informative and fun which enhanced the experience. Each part of the trip was a highlight...riding bikes on the island, seeing the Cliffs of Moher from the water then seeing them from the top. And lunch. Great tour. I highly recommend it. Later we took a tour of the Ring of Kerry with GetYourGuide and it was horrible. This tour was fantastic. Having a great guide makes all the difference.

We had the most amazing guide, John. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining throughout the day. He took excellent care of us and we thoroughly enjoyed the Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher.

The trip is well organize, our driver and guide Allan was really nice and funny. We had a great time. The cliffs are magnificient!

We were wondering how we were going to fill 8 and a half hours but the day went by so fast!

Tommy was the best driver we could’ve get! The tour was amazing!!