23.02.2019 - 23.02.2019
ARAN ISLANDS > INISHMORE
Trip: day trip from Rosaveel
Transportation: ferry, push bike
Travel date: Sat, 23-Feb-2019
Ferry company: Aran Island Ferries
1. We arrived by car to Rosaveel half an hour before the sailing and parked our car in a dedicated parking area for ferry users. Day parking fee of €5.
2. 3min walk from here to the pier.
3. You have to call to the ticket office first (beside the pier) and collect the physical tickets. I booked it in advance online (HINT: online discounts apply). Gave my name and was handed the tickets for the sailing out and return and kindly guided to the right boat.
4. Tickets checked before boarding the ferry. We got a free map here also.
5. On the boat there was some seating on the upper-deck (open air) with the majority of seating inside (294 pax + 6 crew). The boat was full. The sailing out was somewhat “rough” but good fun!!! Coming back the sea was actually really calm and the sailing was uneventful. 😊
6. The actual crossing is around 50min.
7. Right at the pier you have various hop-on/hop-off options to choose from. The mini-bus drivers wait there and will happily offer their services to get you around.
8. We chose the push bike option. The first rental (Aran Bike Hire) at the pier was actually closed. Not sure if this was because we were in the winter season. Next rental another 2min walk which was very visible and well signposted just beside the tourist information office. €10 per bike + €10 refundable deposit. Paid in cash (not sure if you can pay by plastic, but with 300 people landing at the same time you need to move fast and not waste any time. Just do cash. I saw another bike rental further along the bay towards the town (2min walk from here) which was also closed (not sure if this because of winter again).
9. Off to explore the island.
We cycled along the bay to (1) Airfield and (2) Teampall Bheanáin. Back the same way and took the white road (on the map) to get on to the yellow road (on the map). This was harder than we thought. Mostly uphill and we had to walk a fair bit. However, the remoteness is rewarding and very picturesque from the top of the hill. We decided to take the shortest way to the main road (red road on the map) towards (3) Dun Eochla.
Was much easier here on the main road (red road on the map) and we got to (4) Kilmurvey Beach in no time. Slightly up the hill to the crossroads where you can find some local craft shops in little pretty cottages. Also a café. 2min cycle from here will get you towards the (5) Dún Aonghasa visitor centre where you will need to park your bike, pay entrance fee (€5) and enjoy the climb up to the whole experience.
I will not comment too much here, but you have not lived yet if you have not been here and experienced the sound of Atlantic waves crashing the cliffs by the oldest stone fort in Western Europe
If you fancy some refreshments now it’s time to do it as you will not get another chance until you get back to Kilronan town. Can be busy so if you don’t fancy queuing please bring your own packed lunch.
Further up the road for a much quieter experience we got to (6) The Seven Churches. While it’s only a few minute cycle from the crossroads I was surprised so few people actually got to here (or maybe they were still queuing at the café).
On the way back we pulled to the side of the road, parked our bikes and hiked to (7) Dún Eoghanachta. That was fun as the path is kind of/ish marked and you need to get through the pens with cattle in them. I thought it was hilarious.
From here we took the lower coast road to (8) Seal Colony Viewpoint. The scenery is very different from the other side of the island. Felt that was it mostly uphill, but maybe it was just that our legs were giving up at this stage. While we did not see any seals, it was nice just to sit down for a few minutes and take in the view.
Back in to (9) Kilronan around 4pm. Was glad to be back as not sure if I would’ve been able to cycle another 5 minutes. The saddle was…how to put this politely…‘hard’ and I felt it at this stage. Left the bikes back in the rental place and grabbed something to eat from the Spar shop as time was limited. The sun was beautiful, and I truly enjoyed a pint of Guinness sitting outdoors and admiring the harbour…or just happy to sit down after hard days work (ie cycling). Shame we did not have enough time to explore the local craft shops.
10. A couple of minutes’ walk to the pier and I’m back in the boat for a 5pm sailing back to the mainland. Was a smooth 50min sailing back and was nice to see the changing colours of the Atlantic Ocean.
if you wish to get to (x) The Worm Hole you would need to get to Gort na gCapall village from the main road (you might struggle to find it on the Google maps, but it’s clearly marked on the map we collected prior boarding the ferry). Leave your bike there and walk to the edge of the cliffs.