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Aran Islands
Nature & adventure

Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Aran Islands Nature & adventure

Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Atlantic Edge & Galway City

1. Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Atlantic Edge & Galway City

Escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin for a scenic full-day drive through the counties of Kildare, Limerick and Clare, passing the 15th-century Bunratty Castle and world-class golf and surf resort of Lahinch. Your ultimate destination is the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, where you will get 2 hours of free time to explore and premium entrance to the new Atlantic Edge, an interpretive visitor experience that gives you a virtual reality birds’ eye view of cliff edge life above and below sea level. Then, you can choose to walk along the cliff face and experience the power of nature at work. Feel the fresh air blowing off the ocean, and the sheer height of the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. Visit O'Brien's Tower, standing proudly on the headland, with panoramic views of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. Next, drive deep into the Burren, traveling along Europe’s edge! See native flora, ancient monuments, and megalithic tombs in Burren National Park, and look out for the unique Fairy Forts and Celtic Crosses. Continue around Galway Bay to medieval Galway City, passing the Blackhead Lighthouse and fishing village of Kinvara, famed for its Galway Hookers (boats). Upon arrival in Galway, described by W.B. Yeats as “The Venice of the West”. Enjoy a 30-minute guided walk, and learn about the city’s trade connections with Spain. You will have some free time to explore the narrow streets on your own, or relax in boutique stores and quaint cafés. 2 hour stop. Then, sit back on the return drive to Dublin, enjoying the on board entertainment, including extracts from the show “Riverdance” and other examples of Irish culture.

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

2. From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & Burren Guided Tour

Discover the history and landscapes of Ireland on a day trip from Galway with a local driver and 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 and guide outside the Kinlay Hostel. Climb aboard the bus to head to your first stop, Dunguaire Castle on the outskirts of Kinvara. Looking at the 16th-century medieval tower house castle, 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

3. 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 we depart the Cliffs we travel alongside the edge of Galway Bay which is perhaps the most beautiful coastline in Ireland and is part of the larger, world-renowned Wild Atlantic Way.

Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Tour from Dublin

4. Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Tour from Dublin

Discover the Cliffs of Moher, the number 1 attraction in Ireland on a full-day sightseeing tour. Depart Dublin in the morning by luxury bus, and drive across Ireland to the Atlantic coast, arriving at this natural wonder in the early afternoon. Stop en route at Liscannor or Doolin to experience Ireland's traditional village life. Pull over for a hearty Irish lunch and pint of Guinness on the lovely western shore, at your own expense. Drive along the dramatic limestone coast and lunar landscape of the Burren to see the only place on earth where the Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean flora grow together. Look out for 28 different types of orchids in season. Arrive at the cliffs to enjoy a short hike among the staggering rock formations. Soak up the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Aran Islands before entering the interpretive Atlantic Edge Exhibition and award-winning Visitor Center. Visit the set of the movies “Princess Bride” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Capture photos of the scenic spots along the way, including the traditional fishing village of Kinvara and the 15th-century Bunratty Castle.

From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Day Cruise

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

Take a day trip to the Aran Islands and see the Cliffs of Moher by cruise on this tour awarded the "Best Irish Experience 2021" award by travel2ireland and the ITTN. Enjoy exploring Inis Mór with an audio guide. Sail through the sea and take in incredible views of the Cliffs of Moher on your return to Galway. Depart from the Galway city docks and admire the stunning views of the Connemara and Clare Coast before arriving on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands. Learn about the history, heritage, and culture of the Aran Islands via an audio guide. Spend 4.5 hours on the island to enjoy sandy beaches, stone forts, and the serenity of island life. Your return journey takes you along the Cliffs of Moher. Formed 300 million years ago, the cliffs rise to a magnificent height of over 200 meters which you can only truly appreciate from the water. Listen to your audio guide while onboard to learn why the Cliffs of Moher are so iconic. See Ireland’s largest sea bird colony, 'An Branán Mór Sea Stack,' and a sea cave used during a Harry Potter film. Watch out for puffins, dolphins, seals, and basking sharks that call these waters home.

From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Trip

6. From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Trip

Discover the beauty of the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher on a day trip from Galway. Take a bus through the karst landscape 'The Burren' and search for dolphins on the ferry to Inisheer Island. Spend free time exploring and admire the Cliffs of Moher on the return ferry.  Depart Galway and journey through the lunar landscape of The Burren as your make your way to the Cliffs of Moher. Pass pretty villages like Kilcolgan and Ballyvaughan on the way to Doolin. Board the ferry for a 30-minute crossing to Inisheer, and keep a look out for bottlenose dolphins on the way to the smallest of the Aran Islands. Get some free time to explore the ancient sites at your own pace. Use the time to hire a bike or explore by pony and trap. Cruise beneath the Cliffs of Moher on the return ferry crossing. Then, travel to the eco-friendly visitors center, where you can stroll along the cliff top before the return trip to Galway via the famous "matchmaking" town of Lisdoonvarna.

From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands Tour

7. From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands Tour

Inis Oirr (Inisheer) Spend 2.5 hours on Inis Oirr (Inisheer in the English language pronunciation), smallest of the three Aran Islands and get a glimpse of traditional island life and Gaelic culture. Ferry Ride - Cliffs of Moher Vistas (15 minutes each way) As the ferry crosses over from Doolin Pier, you'll also enjoy spectacular Cliffs of Moher from the water (15 minute ferry crossing each way). Lunch at Leisure Bring a packed lunch, grab a sandwich locally or sample delicious local food and drink in one of Inis Oirr's traditional pubs. Dublin Downtown by 19:00 Departing Doolin at 15:00 we expect to have you back in Dublin by 19:00.

Galway: Day Trip Ferry to Inis Oírr (Aran Islands)

8. Galway: Day Trip Ferry to Inis Oírr (Aran Islands)

Discover a unique culture, landscape and way of life on this island day trip from Galway. Sail back in time and immerse yourself in a small fishing village atmosphere. Prepare for a warm Irish welcome as you board the morning ferry from the harbor at Rossaveel. Enjoy full bar and refreshment service on this luxury vessel as you voyage out into the Atlantic. Jump off the boat when you dock and find yourself in a walker’s paradise of breath-taking scenery. Hire a bike or hop on a tour and admire spectacular flora unique to the island and area. Enjoy white sandy beaches, and visit O'Brien's Castle or the site of the Plassey Shipwreck. Relax in one of the island's bars, restaurants or tea rooms, perhaps enjoying some traditional live music. Enjoy the special atmosphere of this little island before picking up your ferry back to Rossaveel at 4:30 PM.

Galway: Cliffs Cruise, Aran Islands & Connemara Day Tour

9. Galway: Cliffs Cruise, Aran Islands & Connemara Day Tour

Taste the best of the west of Ireland in just a few hours on this groundbreaking small group full day tour. Start the tour by leaving Galway City behind and sampling south Connemara. Then, explore the smallest of the three Aran Islands, Inis Oirr, with your guide. Do a walking tour of the island, hire a bike (price not included) or take a pony and trap ride (not included in price) along the quiet roads of Inis Oirr. After this, take a cruise under the Cliffs of Moher. Coming back onto the mainland, take arguably the finest coastal drive in Ireland as you make your way back to Galway through the infamous Burren region. Enjoy a looped route to ensure that you experience a completely different region of the west of Ireland in every hour that passes. Be assured that you won't see the same thing twice.

From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher Small Group Tour

10. From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher Small Group Tour

Discover Ireland's beauty on a day trip from Dublin. See the Cliffs of Moher from above or from the water, Cliffs of Moher (from above or below), see the 15th-century Bunratty Castle, and relax in the comfortable Durty Nelly's Traditional Irish Pub. Begin your tour with a pickup from your Dublin hotel and head straight to the Cliffs of Moher. Choose from an optional boat tour (not included) or enjoy the view from the visitor center's telescopes. Skip the line at the visitor center and spend some time learning about the cliffs. Next, head to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. As you explore, learn about this beautiful castle's rich history. Stroll through the Folk Park and enjoy some time in nature. Finish your day with a cheeky pint of local beer at Durty Nelly's Traditional Irish Pub just outside the park. On your drive back to Dublin, stop for refreshments before returning to your Dublin hotel.

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Frequently asked questions about Aran Islands Nature & adventure

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What people are saying about Aran Islands

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 662 reviews

I would highly recommend this to anyone traveling to Galway! Our tour guide was amazing and all the stops were fantastic (of course the cliffs were great). It was January so the weather was back and forth but getting to spend 2 hours at the cliffs allowed us to catch periods of clear skies!

This trip to one od the most beautiful places was just perfect. We stopped on several interesting places and the driver was great tour guide. I would recommend this journey to everybody.

Our driver was John, he was fantastic. He answered all the questions thrown at him and made a long drive feel short just by explaining towns as we passed them.

Just a great trip! Pretty good weather and a great guide! He was very knowledgeable about the country and sites.

Excellent!! One of the highlights of my Ireland trip.