Aran Off Road Experience, Inis Mor, Ireland
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Visiting Inis Mór and the Aran Islands

Of all the islands off the shores of Ireland, the Aran Islands may be the most well known.

About the Aran Islands

Located off the west coast of Ireland, the Aran Islands are accessible by ferry from County Galway, Rossaveel year-round or Galway City from March thru September, and Doolin from March thru mid-September.

There are 3 Aran Islands:
Inis Oírr (Inisheer), the smallest island and closest to Ireland.
Inis Meáin (Inishmaan), the middle and least visited island.
Inis Mór (Inishmore), the largest and most visited island.

Horse on Inis Oirr, Aran Islands, Ireland. © 2016 Jody Halsted, Ireland Family Vacations; Halsted Enterprises, Inc.

The terrain of the Aran Islands is low lying and quite similar to the lunar limestone landscape you may have seen in the Burren. The green fields you see now on the islands were created over generations by the island's inhabitants laying seaweed on the bedrock.

Inis Mór, the Largest Aran Island

A visit to the Aran Islands is like stepping back into time. The islands are a Gaeltacht, or Irish speaking area, where culture and traditions are quite strong.

The top attraction on the island is Dún Aonghasa (Dun Angus), a prehistoric stone fort (over 3000 years old), perched at the edge of a 300 foot cliff.
TIP: Dún Aonghasa is an OPW Heritage site.

Most people will visit Inis Inis Mór as a day trip from either Galway or Doolin, but you will find B&Bs, a hotel, and even glamping pods on the island (book early for best option!). An overnight stay offers an entirely different experience.

When you arrive on the island you have three main methods of touring: minibus, bike rental, or horse & carriage. All of these tours will visit the same spots; Dún Aonghasa, the coast road, and the seal colony. If you are doing a self-guided bike tour you may also visit the 7 Churches (cemetery).

Aran Off Road Experience

Nearly 1600 people can visit Inis Mór on an average summer day. If you want an ‘uncommon' tour with an authentic feel the Aran Off Road Experience may be what you're looking for.

Aran Off Road Experience, Inis Mor, Ireland

Aonghus and his brother Padraig have a long family tradition in tourism, growing up doing pony and trap (horse & carriage) tours of the island, which his father and two brothers still offer.

The brothers knew that part of the island wasn't being seen by tourists due to location and terrain. (Of course this part of the island has the best views.)

It took a few years for the brothers to find a customized off-road vehicle that could carry 12 people, and the business launched in 2019. With only 24 seats available per day booking early is highly recommended.

The Aran Off Road Experience vehicles sit high, so you have terrific views of the limestone terrain and you can see above the stone walls. After collecting you at the ferry port you are whisked away from the crowds to the side of the island where people don't go.

The tour pauses multiple times allowing the small group to take in amazing views. Other tour stops include the filming location of The Banshees of Inisherin, the Wormhole (via a walk through the Hernon family farm), Dún Aonghasa, and back to the ferry via the coast road or the town.

Learn more about the Aran Off Road Experience on their website or follow on Instagram or Facebook.

Inis Mor- Aran Off Road Experience - Ireland

3 Things You Shouldn't Miss on Inis Mór

Dún Aonghasa prehistoric stone fort

The Wormhole (swimming is not recommended as ocean currents can be treacherous)

Talk to the Locals and experience the Irish language.

Traveling in Ireland podcast episode 213

Enjoy the podcast episode with guest Aonghus Hernon who, with his brother Padraig, owns and operates the Aran Off-Road Experience on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands.

Jody Halsted
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