Explore the Aran Islands this summer

Wild Atlantic Way

Doolin Ferry Co. ‘Cruise Company of the Year Ireland’, has set sail for the summer season, with their state-of-the-art ferries operating once again from Doolin Pier to the Aran Islands. Passengers can also opt to board a Cliffs of Moher cruise, or the thrilling Seafari experience, which was introduced in 2021.

With the popularity of the Aran Islands continuing to increase year-on-year, the family-run business now offers up to 20 sailings per day between Inis Óirr, Inis Mór and Inis Meáin.

As a top destination in the West of Ireland, the Aran Islands offer visitors the chance to step back in time and experience Irish culture in its truest and most traditional forms. For families, friends and couples, a trip with Doolin Ferry Co. to the Aran Islands is a day-trip unlike any other where a variety of exciting activities await across the three picturesque island locations.

The largest of the three islands, (translated as ‘Big Island’), Inis Mór is the most popular and most visited of the islands. With green flowing fields and traditional stone walls, Inis Mór lives up to the romantic image that most will have dreamed up when planning their trip. Upon arriving, visitors can choose to explore the island by bike, by foot, by minibus or by pony and trap.

Adventure seekers can opt to scuba dive, swim, hike, or explore the rugged terrain in a Land Rover Defender jeep on a guided tour. Inis Mór also has lots for foodies to enjoy, including the delicious Aran Goat Cheese, made by local artisan producer Gabriel Faherty. Wildlife enthusiasts should keep their eyes peeled for the Inis Mór seal colony and the beautiful wild swans a truly a treat for the eyes!

With the fastest operating ferry fleet from Doolin, Doolin Ferry Co. will get you to Inis Oírr in just 15 minutes, making it the perfect location for a half or full day visit, and in particular for families. The welcome to Inis Oírr could not be more scenic, with a beautiful white sandy beach and a great view of O’Brien’s Castle just beyond it. Families will love the newly built playground on the island, which is also home to picnic benches – perfect for lunch in the sun!

Explorers will be kept busy with holy wells, ancient ruins, the Áras Éanna cultural centre and the Fardurris Point lighthouse awaiting them. This island is particularly popular amongst Father Ted fans, thanks to the Plassey Shipwreck, with the annual ‘Tedfest’ taking place on Inis Oírr every February.

For history buffs and walking enthusiasts, Inis Meáin will be a dream come true. As there are not many tours available on the island, those that visit should be prepared to explore the island by walking, hiking or biking. Inis Meáin is home to two stunning beaches, both of which are ideal for swimming, relaxing or picnicking.

As a well-known and famous retreat for many writers, artists and poets, this island is full to the brim with culture, one such site is JM Synge’s cottage, where many of his classics were written. History lovers will enjoy wandering around the famous fort ruins of the island, Dun Chonchuir and Dun Fearbhai, both of which were built in the bronze or iron ages.

* Ticket prices for Aran Islands sailings with Doolin Ferry Co. range from €6 one way / inter island and from €18 return. Find out more about ticket prices and sailing times here. Visitors can book ferry tickets by phoning 065 707 5555 or online at www.doolinferry.com

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