Inis Mór (pronounced Inish More) is the largest of the Aran Islands, a group of three Irish-speaking islands located in Galway Bay. Traditional culture has long been protected by the islands' isolation and the hardy people who have made their home here.
The landscape is similar to the Burren in geology with the limestone karst pavement criss-crossed by a network of stone walls that stop abruptly at sheer cliffs that drop into the depths of the Atlantic. Sand and seaweed are mixed together to create a layer of fertile soil on top of the rocks and there is a high diversity of flora and fauna here.
It's a fascinating place to explore and to do so in the company of a local brings a deeper understanding of traditional culture and the remarkable history of the islands.
This full-day tour begins in Galway at the port of Rossaveal, where you board a ferry for the 40-minute journey to the island. When the ferry from the mainland docks in Inis Mór you’ll be met by your private guide, a local who should be able to answer any questions you have about island life.
You’ll spend the day exploring by the peaceful mode of jaunting car (horse and cart) as your private guide takes you around the different archaeological sites, geological wonders and wildlife watching spots. This is a relaxing mode of travel, made more tranquil by the absence of cars. There are only a few vehicles on the nine-mile-long island and only three roads, one of which is just for walkers and cyclists. There will also be ample time for lunch (not included).
You’ll spend the day exploring Inis Mór both by jaunting car and on foot, visiting sites such as the impressive cliffside Dún Aengus stone fort, the seal colony, the standing stones at Teampall Chiarain and the bizarre, perfectly rectangular but completely natural rock pool known as the ‘wormhole’, which was used as the site of the Red Bull diving competition.
As you travel across the island you’ll pass ruined churches and cottages dotted amid the rocky landscape, much of which is divided into fields by stone walls. You’re likely to see locals working in the fields, whom your driver will probably know by name — with a population of only 800 people, everyone here knows each other. You’ll also pass beautiful white-sand beaches, particularly if you venture to the east of Kilronan, the only small town on the island.
At the end of the day, your jaunting car driver will return you to Kilronan in time for your return ferry.
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