How to get to Aran Islands from Galway | Galway to Aran Islands (Inishmore) ferry

Photographer Galway Ireland
Catch the bus to the Aran Islands ferry terminal from Galway Ireland.

How to get to Aran Islands from Galway: Aran Islands tour from Galway. Catch the bus from Galway to Aran Islands ferry terminal. A Galway to Aran Islands day trip (Inishmore) is easy.

Visiting Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands off Ireland’s west coast, was a dream come true. This island, home to prehistoric hill forts and crumbling churches, has a magic to it.

The Aran Islands Inishmore
Residents of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, are friendly and welcoming.

Pictures are beautiful, yet one thing is clear — come see it for yourself. Even the weather here at the edge of the North Atlantic lends itself to the dramatic nature of this ancient landscape.

There’s nothing like seeing the Bronze and Stone Age Dún Aonghasa ruins. Walk the stone path to the top of the fort, which, to ancient man, would have looked on the world’s end.

Due to the island’s size, this means it is very accessible to travellers. I’d like to help tell people how to get to Aran Islands from Galway, as this is where I started my adventure.

I booked my tickets to Inishmore through the Aran Islands Ferry website. At the time, I picked them up from the Eyre Square Shopping Centre kiosk — it may have changed since my trip.

The Aran Islands Inishmore, Medieval Church
Peek into the ruins of medieval churches on Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The ferry docks at Ros a’ Mhíl (Rossaveel) and not Galway. Visitors bound for the Aran Islands, and in this case, Inishmore, catch the bus at Queens Street just around the corner.

The ocean was calm on my trip to Inishmore. I’ve read some reports that the North Atlantic can present a challenge. If you’re sailing in stormy seas, have some seasickness pills and hang on.

Adventure starts immediately when you land at the dock at Kilronan. The island settlement is pure charm — you’ll have three options for travel around the island, bicycle, horse cart or van.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes await visitors who just wish to stay in the village. To me, setting out on bicycle is the most freeing option as you’re experiencing the island at your own pace.

The Aran Islands, Inishmore
The landscape of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, is rocky like the mainland Burren region.

There are plenty of bicycles; there’s no need to book ahead. I pedalled to the corner market where I purchased a deli sandwich for the road — the price was right and the food, amazing.

My time on the island started with me biking the low road by the sea, past medieval churches and the seal colony. You’ll want to stop and visit the crumbling ruins of these places of worship.

They’re nothing short of guardians on the land, calling out from an age long gone.

Visiting the Aran Islands and Inishmore was amazing. Much of my travels on the mainland were by bus and I was finally touring on my own accord — seeing Ireland at it most rustic and wild.

There’s also a stop along the way where visitors can get their Aran Islands sweater.

Dun Aonghasa, Inishmore, Aran Islands
Dun Aonghasa, Inishmore, Aran Islands

The ruins of Dún Aonghasa loom large on the horizon, impossibly perched on the cliff face. Whereas the island is an attraction unto itself, these ruins are not to be missed.

After parking my bike at the bottom of the path, I started up the winding road. The incline isn’t steep, yet it may prove a challenge for people with mobility issues.

As you’re walking approaching these Stone Age ruins, consider for a second the people who had to defend this site thousands of years ago — history comes alive at Dún Aonghasa.

Take it from this traveler, the high road back to Kilronan is a bit of a grind, but well worth it to bike through some of the homes. It’s also a chance to interact with some of the residents.

Back at the village — more than a little tired after my ride — I enjoyed coffee at RUA caife. I’d definitely enjoy revisiting the Aran Islands and Inishmore, or one of the other islands.

At different points of the year, festivals take place, the biggest one being the Festival of the Patron, where people travel and compete in different games, and contests.

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