Inis Mór, The Aran Islands

8 Oct

As part of our weekend excursion to Galway we were able to visit the magnificent Aran Islands, specifically Inis Mór. The island is the largest of the three Aran Islands, the other two being Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr, and has a population of only around 800. The most exciting part of the island was Dun Aengus, a 2500 year old fort that is situated on a cliff. I found it weird that there were no rails or fences to keep you from going over the edge, but you could go right up to the edge of the cliff and sit down on it, dangling your feet. I have a serious fear of both heights and falling but the cliffs proved to be far more exhilarating than fearful. The weather was absolutely perfect and we were able to enjoy the view for miles around.


Another popular feature of this island is the amount of stones, particularly the stone walls that enclose small plots of land. The tour guide told us that it is estimated that there are nearly 7000 miles worth of stone walls scattered around this island that takes up only 12 square miles. The story was that when a young couple would marry, they would be given a plot of land, essentially a square of rock, and would make the wall around their land. The greenery on the island is not native; the islanders would poor sand over their land and then plant seaweed or grass in order to create the grazing land. Being an otherwise isolated island, Inis Mór is also home to some very nice beaches. One small beach in particular had purely white limestone sand and aqua blue water, which I have never seen in person before. Beaches like that can’t be found on the brown watered and seaweed infested shores of the Gulf of Mexico.


The main town on the island is Kilronan, and serves as a central hub for tourists. With only 4 pubs, a few restaurants, and a famous Aran Sweaters gift shop, the small town provides a nice change of pace from the big city of Dublin. With multiple ways to explore the island including bus tours, bike trails, horse drawn carriages, and horseback riding, Inis Mór was an unforgettable experience and I would highly recommend spending a day there if you ever find yourself in Ireland.  



1. retreived 8 October 2013

2. retrieved 8 October 2013

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