Planning an Aran Islands Escape? Here’s How to Make the Most of It

The Aran Islands are a gorgeous group of three islands located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland. The names of these three islands are; Inishmore, Inisheer, and Inishmaan. 

Planning an Aran Islands Escape? Here’s How to Make the Most of It 
[image: unsplash by jessica knowlden]

They are known for their unique landscapes, which include cliffs, stone walls, and sandy beaches. Visitors to the islands can enjoy activities such as hiking, cycling, and kayaking.

If you’re new to hearing about these beautiful Islands or are planning a trip over there, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we will discuss some tips on how you can make the most of your Aran Islands vacation!

What Do The Islands Offer 

Interestingly, not many people know about the Aran Islands. So, where do you begin with knowing where to go or what to do!? Well, each of these beautiful Islands has its own unique offerings for visitors. 

The largest of the Aran Islands is Inishmore. Its main attractions include the prehistoric fortification Dun Aengus, the well-preserved 14th-century Caisleán Ghráinne castle, and the picturesque Cliffs of Moher.

[image: unsplash by fabrício severo]

Inishmore is also a great place for nature lovers, with its variety of walks and birdwatching opportunities. For those interested in history and culture, there are plenty of ancient sites to explore.

Inishmaan is the middle island of the three and is often considered the most “authentic” of the Aran Islands. There are plenty of things to do in Inishmaan, from hiking and cycling to simply taking in the island’s natural beauty. 

Be sure to visit Dun Aengus, a prehistoric fort perched on the edge of a cliff with breathtaking views out over the sea.  Other highlights include the Seven Churches, a group of early Christian churches dating back to the 6th century, and Killeany Cemetery.

Inisheer is the quaintest island of the three. This island has a long and fascinating history dating back to the Bronze Age. The island was once home to a thriving community of fishermen and farmers. Today, the island is known for its traditional thatched cottages and stone walls. The island is covered in lush green fields, dotted with wildflowers.

Plan Your Travel In Advance

The Aran Islands are located off the coast of Ireland, so you'll need to take a ferry or plane to get there. Ferries depart from Galway City and cost approximately €30 per person. Flights are also available from Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport. 

[image: unsplash by paola franco]

It’s recommended to book your travel in advance! The Aran Islands are a popular destination for tourists. And it’s not uncommon for transportation corporations within the United Kingdom to strike from time to time. Plus, there are many great benefits to planning your travel far in advance. Planning the travel well ahead of time is a lot more cost-effective than paying on the day. So make sure you book beforehand! 

How To Get Around The Islands

Firstly, it’s important to note that you’re not allowed to bring your car to the Aran Islands - the ferries do not allow for this. Similarly, even if you’re only spending a couple of days on the Island, the Islands are relatively small and a car is not needed. 

So! What’s the best way to get around the islands? The answer to that is by bike! There are plenty of great bike hire services on the Islands, so be sure to check them out in advance before your trip! By cycling around the islands, you’ll be able to take in the cliffs of Moher, the history, culture, beautiful birds, wildlife, and all the wonderful ancient sites the islands have to offer. 

[image: unsplash by tim foster]

Visit During The Off-Season 

If you're looking to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit the Aran Islands is during the off-season (September to June). During this time, you'll be able to enjoy the islands at a more relaxed pace.

There are many other benefits to taking trips during the off-season. Usually, accommodation is cheaper, as well as transport. Bars and restaurants are likely to lower their prices for less touristy seasons as well. Similarly, it’s nice to not have to queue for main attractions during less busy periods. It’s a win-win situation!

Choose Your Accommodation Carefully 

There are a variety of accommodation options on the islands, from camping and hostels to bed and breakfasts and hotels. If you're planning to visit during the peak season (July and August), it's important to book your accommodation in advance.

[image: unsplash by jan gemerle]

Pack For All Weather Conditions

The weather on the Aran Islands can be unpredictable, so it's important to pack for both warm and cold weather conditions. Bring along a raincoat, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes.

Explore The Island's History And Culture

The Aran Islands are steeped in history and culture. Be sure to visit some of the island's historical sites, such as Dún Aonghasa (a prehistoric fort) and the Seven Churches (a group of early Christian churches). You can also learn about the island's traditional Gaelic culture by attending a folk music concert or taking a Gaelic language class. 

By following these tips, you're sure to have a wonderful time on your Aran Islands escape! Bring your camera – the views are breathtaking. And remember, plan ahead of time for your travel to the islands, as well as your travel around the islands by bike! And be sure to pack some warm clothes too, even in summer – the weather can be changeable. Have fun!

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