Inishmor is the largest and most accessible of the Aran Islands. You can reach Inishmor by plane from Connemara regional airport at Minna, near Inverin, about 35km west of Galway or by ferry from Rossaveal about 40km west of Galway.

Inishmor, teetering on the very edge of Europe, is an island rich in culture and tradition, a place of timelessness and mysticism. When you land on the island, you will be greeted by a welcoming party of tour operators offering their services to whisk you around the island on a day trip. Speak nicely and they will escort you first to your accommodation before milling you around the island, usually the standard of guide is quite high, full of anecdotes of island life and well versed in it’s history.

One of the highlights of the trip is the spectacular Dun Aengus fort almost toppling into the mighty, pounding Atlantic, the views from the top are unforgettable. There are two other forts along the road between Kilronan and Dun Aengus well worth stopping for, namely Dun Eochal and Dun Duchathai.

The ruins of monastic settlements dot the island, the highlights being Tempall Chiarain, Teampall Bheanain, Clochan na Carraige and the Seven Churches. Return to Kilronan for a fine evening meal in the Aran Islands Hotel Restaurant recommended for it’s excellent seafood, unwind later with a few Irish coffees and some marvellous live Irish traditional music.

The next day hire a bicycle or better still a horse and tramp around the island, popping in to visit the Old Light House, Man of Aran Cottage and The Worm hole. When you get back to Kilronan make sure to take in the Aran Heritage Centre. Whittle away your evening on a wee pub crawl having a jar or two in Tigh Fitz, Joe Watty’s, Ti Joe Mac’s and the famous American bar.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source: Russell Shortt,http://www.exploringireland.net

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