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Aran Islands

Our most recommended things to do in Aran Islands

From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Day Cruise

1. 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 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 Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher and Sightseeing Tour

3. From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher and Sightseeing Tour

Following pickup, head to Dunguaire Castle on the outskirts of Kinvara. Take some photos at one of the most photographed castles in Ireland before heading through the beautiful, stone landscape of the Burren and past Corcomroe Abbey. Then, follow the Wild Atlantic Way along the coast of the County Clare, passing Black Head and seeing Fanore Strand. From here, admire the Aran Islands locking in Galway Bay and, in the distance, the mountains of Connemara. Stop for some pictures before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher for a 2-hour stop. One of the most spectacular sights in Ireland, the cliffs rise 214 meters (about 702 feet) out of the Atlantic Ocean and offer one of the most amazing views in Ireland. Next, return to Galway via Lisdoonvarna, famous for its annual matchmaking festival. Feel the Atlantic wind in your face during a photo stop at Doolin pier. See the power of the sea as it crashes in on the shore. During the summer months, there is an opportunity to join a cruise to the base of the Cliffs of Moher (cruise not included). After you’ve worked up an appetite on the beach it’s onto Doolin Hotel for lunch (lunch not included) where you can try any of the local seafood dishes.

From Doolin: Inis Oirr Island and Cliffs of Moher Ferry

4. 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.

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 Doolin: Inis Mor Ferry and Aran Islands

7. 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.

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

8. 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.

From Limerick: Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher Day Tour

9. 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 Ennis: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Day Tour

10. From Ennis: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Day Tour

Depart from the Temple Gate Hotel parking lot in Ennis at 9:00 AM, with a fully qualified, local driver/guide taking you through County Clare to the picturesque village of Doolin. Board the 11:00 AM ferry sailing from Doolin to Inisheer, the smallest and closest of the Aran Islands. The ferry trip takes between 20 and 30 minutes. Once on the Island, take 2 hours to explore an ancient castle and church, shipwreck, lighthouse, beaches, cafes and pubs. Take the return ferry at 1:45 PM and on the way back sail beneath the Cliffs of Moher, subject to weather conditions. From the sea, you get a unique view of these majestic cliffs. Upon return to Doolin, re-board the tour coach and our driver/guide will take you to the top of the Cliffs of Moher to enter the eco-friendly visitors center, the Atlantic Edge. Then it’s time to sit back and relax on the return coach to Ennis arriving back between 6:00 PM and 6:30 PM.

Other Sightseeing Options in Aran Islands

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What people are saying about Aran Islands

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 4,119 reviews

Parking at the dock was very convenient and easy to schedule in advance. All the staff we came in contact with were friendly and very accommodating. The cruise to the island was smooth and relaxing and the return trip to the Cliffs of Mohr was everything we expected. Of course the excellent weather was a bonus. Plenty of choices on the islands from walking/hiking to biking, or bus tours. There is something for everyone. The Bar in town had excellent seafood chowder and cold Guinness but there are choices for dining and shopping when you’re done exploring.

A great day out. Just enough time in the island and such an interesting place to visit. Great views of the cliffs.

Amazing experience… the view is breathtaking and the tour very well organized. I’d totally recommend it!

I think as someone who travelled there for the first time and using the bus , it was so nice.

Wonderful Irish guide who really knew the country and countryside.