The island of Inis Mór (Inishmore) meaning the big island, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland. It is Well known internationally with over 50 different monuments of Christian, pre Christian and Celtic mythological heritage. There isn’t far you can go before being somewhere where there’s something of historical interest and little reason to question its importance in modern Irish Culture. The main monuments are listed in the attractions. If you wish to have a mor thorough investigation of the island then checkout the Aran Islands history section which lists a more comprehensive list of sights.
Hotel and Bed and Breakfast accommodation is available on the island as well as Bike Rental or Bike hire. When travelling to Inis Mór it is recommended that you would organise accommodation prior to arriving. Ferries to the Aran Islands are available from Rossaveal (leaving Galway city) all year and from Doolin (Cliffs of Moher) from April to October.
Inis Mór (Inishmore)
Aran Bike Hire
Visitors to Inis Mor can explore the island by bike using one of the bicycles provided by Aran Bike Hire. This family owned business has dozens of well maintained bicycles to choose from, suitable for people of all ages. They can also suggest routes and places to see depending on how long you intend to spend on the island. Aran Bike Hire have bicycles available to hire by the day or by the week, and they can be found at the pier where passengers leave the boat.
Aran Bike Hire
+353 (0) 99 6132
Inis Mór (Inishmore)
Ferries and Flights to Inis Mor Island,
The Aran Islands from Galway
Ferries to The Aran Islands and to Aran Camping and Glamping on Inis Mor can be reached by both ferry and air all through the year. This guide to how to get to Inis Mor and the Aran Islands will help you plan your trip.
Where is Inis Mor located?
Inis Mor is one of the 3 Aran Islands located off the west coast of Ireland outside of Galway Bay. There are year around connections with the mainland with two ferry services and also air transport. Please note - it is not possible to bring your car over to the Aran islands, as the ferry services do not allow for this. Vehicles can be left at the ports and the airport before boarding.
By Ferry from Galway (Rossaveal) to The Aran Islands
The Rossaveal port is located about 20 miles away from the centre of Galway, and is the more popular access point to the Aran Islands. It is a natural stop along the Wild Atlantic Way, and also well connected with Dublin, which is just a few hours drive away using the M6. Galway is also well connected to Dublin and other parts of Ireland with a good train service.
Getting from Galway to the Port
A shuttle service runs from the centre of Galway to the port at Rossaveal and takes about an hour. This leaves from outside The Victoria Hotel which is around the corner from Eyre Square (Click Here for a google Map). If you are travelling by car, you can leave your vehicle at the port before boarding the ferry to the Aran Islands. Taxis are available from the centre of Galway.
The Crossing from Rossaveal with Aran Island Ferries
The ferry crossing from Rossaveal to Inis Mor takes around 40 minutes. As mentioned, no vehicles can be taken on the ferries. The ferry service from Rossaveal to Inis Mor runs all through the year, although the number of crossing may be reduced in the winter.
Contact Aran Island Ferries: www.aranislandferries.com
By Ferry from Doolin
The alternative crossing to Inis Mor from the mainland of Ireland leaves from Doolin, although this is only a seasonal service running from April to October. The journey time is approximately 90 minutes, and no vehicles can be taken on the ferries. Anyone travelling by car can leave their vehicle at the newly renovated pier before boarding. The ferry crossing from Doolin is more popular with people travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way from South to North.
Getting from Doolin to the Port
Doolin itself is a relatively small rural town, although it is quite spread out, with the port at the far end. People travelling by car will have no problem reaching it, but anyone who is using public transport to travel around Ireland may need to consider taking a taxi to the port. As with the Rossaveal ferry, we would strongly suggest booking your ferry tickets in advance if you intend to stay at Aran Camping and Glamping during the popular summer months to ensure you have a place.
Contact Doolin Ferries: www.doolinferries.com/
Contact Obrien Line: www.obrienline.com
Arriving on Inis Mor
No matter which ferry you decide to take to Inis Mor, you will find yourself arriving at the terminal in Kilronan, which is the main town on the island. This is a little hub of activity, where the majority of the island’s shops, bars and restaurants can be found. Aran Islands Camping and Glamping is just a short walk away, and well sign-posted. If in doubt, just ask anyone - they all know where we are!
Getting to Inis Mor By Air
Flights to Inis Mor are available via Aer Arann Islands based at Inverin (just outside of Galway). The plane only flies in good weather, and the timetable such as it is, subject to change.
Contact Aer Arann Islands: www.aerarannislands.ie
For further information on how to get to Aran Islands Camping and Glamping, or what to see and do on Inis Mor, please contact us today. We’d love to answer any questions you may have, and help you plan your holiday with us. Please remember to check our gift vouchers page and bookings page before you go as well.
Please note * In case of adverse weather conditions please contact your Ferry/flight operator in advance to ensure your ferry is departing on time. Times may be affected by weather conditions.
Who Aongus was is unknown. According to legend , Aonghas belonged to a high ranking dynasty who were displaced from their lands in Co. Meath in the early centuries AD. Another possible candidate, is Aonghus Mac Natfraich, King of Cashel in the 5th Century AD, who had dynastic affilliations with Aran.
Recent excavations by a team from the Discovery programme found evidence for human activity on the hilltop stretching over two and half thousand years (ca. 1500Bc – 1000 AD). First enclosed ca. 1100 BC , the most dynamic period in the history of this hillfort was around 800BC. At that time, Dun Aonghasa was probably the political, economic and ritual centre for a group of people with a common ancestry. Only the elite members of this group would have lived in the fort. After 700BC, the importance of the site waned and, over the the following thousand years, it seems to have been occupied only intermittantly. A major rebuilding programme was undertaken in the early Medievel period (500 – 1000 AD) but the fort was abandoned shortly afterwards. Dun Aonghasa became a National Monument at the end of the 19th century and was extensively repaired shortly afterwards. It is now conserved by the Office of Public Works.
The late Bronze Age hillfort
Covering an area of 5.7 hectares (14 acres), the interior of the hillfort is divided into an outer, middle and inner enclosure by three curvilinear walls terminating at the cliff. An additional stretch of wall runs along west side and, when the fort was occupied, there was probably a 'safety wall' along the cliff-edge . Outside the middle closure is a broad band of chevaux de frise (closely-set stone pillars) that even today are difficult to negotiate.
The original approach to the fort was from the north and the main entrances through the outer and middle walls face in this direction. Today, the entry point is through a breach in the outer wall, but the original doorway can be seen at some distance to the right.
The original doorway to the middle enclosure, about 50m to the right of the present entrance, is now blocked up because of the poor condition of the roof lintals. The entrance would have been closed off by a wooden gate and the sudden drop inside the threshold was probably designed to trip any unwanted visitors. The bodies of two young men were interred in the paved entrance around 1000 AD. These may have had Viking connections, but there was no evidence to suggest that they died violently.
The inner enclosing wall measuring 5m in width, was built up in layers so that the foundations could be stepped over rising ground. Originally, it was probably about 6m high and ca. 6,500 tonnes of stone were used in its construction. The terrace on the interior gave access to the wall top and a small chamber in the west side of the wall may have been used for storng precious or perishable goods.
The stone foundations of seven houses were found in the inner enclosure. The floors were paved and a number had a stone hearth. The outline of a circular house, ca. 5M in diameter, is still visible near thewest wall. Its foundations are partly covered by the enclosing wall , indicating that the house predates the final alterations to the defences. A stone trough outside the door was probably used either for storing water, keeping shellfish fresh, or for boiling meat using the hot-stone cooking method. In addition to meat and cereals, fish and shellfish were an important part of the diet of the late bronze Age occupants. Almost 8 tonnes of limpet shells were found during the excavations. Most of the tools in everyday use (hammers, axes, whetstones, and quern stones) were made of stones) were made of stone. Clothing was made from wool or leather and fastened with bone pins; the range of needle types found also showed that the Late Bronze Age people used a variety of organic materials.
The rock platform at the edge may have had a ritual or ceremonial function and hoard of four bronze rings deliberately buried beside it was probably an offering to a deity. At the opposite end of the inner inclosure, a large hearth seems to have been associated with communal feasting and with the casting of bronze weapons and tools.