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Things to do in 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 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

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: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Day Cruise

3. 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.

Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Atlantic Edge & Galway City

4. 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.

Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Tour from Dublin

5. 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 Doolin to experience Ireland's traditional music capital. 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.

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 Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Tour with Cruise

7. From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Tour with Cruise

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.

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.

From Doolin: Day Trip to Inisheer with Bike or Tractor Tour

9. From Doolin: Day Trip to Inisheer with Bike or Tractor Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of mainland Ireland on this day trip to Inisheer from Doolin. Discover breathtaking views of the Cliffs of Moher, explore the island on a tractor or bike, and relax on the white sands of the island's beach. Meet your guide at Doolin Pier and hop on the ferry to Inisheer for a 15-minute journey. Take in breathtaking views of the Cliffs of Moher along the way and maybe even spot some of the friendly dolphins who like to ride alongside the boat. As you step onto Inisheer, you will immediately grasp what island life is all about. See horses and local farmers, hear Irish being spoken by the locals, and smell the freshest air the Atlantic Ocean can provide. Next, begin your bike tour of the island with your guide. Explore sunken graveyards, shipwrecks, castles, and much more. If you're not feeling up to a bike ride, hop on the back of a traditional Irish tractor instead to experience Inisheer from a local perspective. In peak season, finding a restaurant to sit down and eat in can be difficult. After your guided tour, head to a local cafe that has a reservation for you. No waiting in line, just walk in and enjoy. After lunch, enjoy some free time to explore the island at your own pace. You could go to the pub for a pint, check out the playground with the kids, or simply chill on the beach. At the end of the day, meet your guide back at the pier and board the ferry 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

4.7 / 5

based on 4,976 reviews

Fabulous day trip. Richard and Chrisna were both very nice and knowledgable about the area, things to see or do while out. Safety was their most important aspect while guiding us throughout the day, which I appreciated. The commentary was hilarious and the Irish history tidbits along the way kept us all interested.

John was an amazing guide! Highly recommend so you don't have to drive the winding roads. There are many stops along the way so you can get photos. It was super windy at the cliffs so bring warm clothes for windy conditions.

John was a fantastic tour guide. He was incredibly knowledgeable, funny and kind. Such a good guy. I highly recommend this tour for any age.

Punctual consistent good price guide and at the same time pleasant and prudent driver ... Beautiful cliffs !!!

The tour guide was unbelievable, never mind the actual tour itself which was out of this world.