Our Island

The Aran Islands, Co. Galway

This Hardy Landscape & Unique Micro-Climate

The landscape of Inis Mór (Inishmore) has been hewn from limestone eroded over centuries by relentless Atlantic winter storms. Generations of islanders tending hard won fertile land have formed a patchwork of fields  bounded by the dry stone walls typical on the western seaboard. Inis Mór (Inishmore) is home to a wide range of historic and prehistoric monuments, from the dramatic bronze age cliff top fortification Dun Aonghasa to the Teampull Bheanáin, said to be the smallest church in the world.

Island History

Little is known about the first inhabitants to cross over to the islands, but they likely came across in search of a safe haven from attack. The islands are made up of Carboniferous limestone and do not have naturally occurring topsoil. Early settlers augmented the soil with seaweed and sand from the shore. Drystone walls were built to protect the soil. Seven prehistoric stone forts are on the islands. Dún Aonghasa, on Inishmore, dates back to 1100 BC. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nearby is the Worm Hole, a rectangular natural pool. The medieval Christian ruins of the Seven Churches are in the northwest. Clochán na Carraige is a stone structure with a beehive roof. Kilmurvey Beach is known for birdlife and a nearby seal colony.

Modern Day Inis Mor

The island has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. It has always been popular with tourists but there are now more options for visitors than ever.

The accommodation ranges from traditional B&Bs to hotels and glamping. The food offering covers everything from food trucks to cafés and gastropubs to fine dining.

See the island on a minibus with experienced local drivers. Pony and trap tours are available and for the more energetic you can hire a bike. Then head off to see the ancient ruins, the seal life, the shorelines, the Wormhole. There’s so much to see but remember to take it easy at an island pace.

Cultural Richness of the Aran Islands

The Aran Islands are a treasure trove of cultural heritage, offering international visitors a unique glimpse into Ireland’s rich and storied past. Steeped in tradition, the islands are renowned for their distinctive stone walls, ancient forts, and traditional Irish music.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the Gaelic language, still spoken by many islanders, and experience the warmth and hospitality that defines the local community. The islands’ vibrant festivals, craft markets, and historical sites, such as the iconic Dún Aonghasa, provide a captivating backdrop for exploring the island’s deep-rooted traditions and way of life.

From the intricate patterns of Aran sweaters to the timeless tales passed down through generations, the cultural tapestry of the Aran Islands offers an authentic and enriching experience that resonates with history, artistry, and a profound sense of place.