My perfect family day – a visit to the Aran Islands

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My perfect family day – a visit to the Aran Islands

April 01, 2021

Aran Island Ferries are launching a brand new route from Galway city centre to the largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mór, this summer.

But final details of this exciting route, including a surprise addition to the return leg of the journey which takes in one of Ireland's most celebrated attractions, hasn't been revealed yet!

Get up early and enjoy The Galmont Breakfast which offers a range of cooked options, finest meats and cheese, fruit juices and fresh fruits all accompanied by home-made pastries and Irish breads.

Grab a coffee in Badger & Dodo outside the hotel and walk just 5 - 10 minutes to catch the ferry from the Docks in Galway’s city centre, passengers can enjoy an audio guide during their 90-minute trip to Inis Mór

5 of the Best Family Friendly Activities on Inis Mór
Hit the Beach

There’s no shortage of shimmering turquoise waters on Inis Mór. Pack a picnic basket and head down to Kilmurvey Beach, 7km from the main village, Kilronan. It’s suitable for old and young swimmers as there is no strong current. Take a dive for a refreshing swim – or just dip your toe if the weather’s too chilly – either way, you can’t help but be awestruck at the serene stretch of sea and sand. Take a gentle family stroll and enjoy the tang of sea air, build sandcastles, or go shell-hunting before tucking into your sandwiches at one of the nearby picnic spots. Nature has also provided a thriving seal colony nearby to keep the little ones suitably entertained. If you’re lucky you’ll see some friendly seals bopping up to say hello. At low tide they’ll be lounging on the rocks, so take this opportunity to take a few pics and wave hello!

Get Lost in the History of Dún Aonghasa

The ancient stone fort of Dún Aonghasa clings precariously to a cliff-edge, and it’s the largest prehistoric stone fort on the island. The best way to get there is by biking through the stone-walled boreen of the island, a little adventure in itself. It’s a 1km walk from the visitor centre and just before you get to the top the path, it gets a little rough, so younger children need to take extra care. The cliff’s edge doesn’t have a protective barrier so hold onto little hands as you soak in the breath-taking views. The fort contains evidence of human habitation that dates back to 1500 BC, with three terraced walls surrounding an inner platform. Excavations carried out in the 1990s indicated that people had been living at the hill top from c.1500 BC with the first walls and dwelling houses being erected c. 1100 BC!

Pedal to Paradise

Bike riding around the island is an attraction in itself, with Aran Bike Hire offering a range of bikes, including child bikes, tag-alongs, and buggies so there’s endless options for families. There are three roads that you can take from Kilronan. From Kilmurvey beach you can take the north side road which runs by the ocean and gives you stunning views of the mainland as you pedal your way back to the main village. You’ll hop off your bike plenty of times on your trip, to explore the sites and attractions: one of our favourites is Teampall Chiaráin, a small 12th century church; check out the beautifully carved boundary cross with a circular hole at the top on the eastern side, once possibly used as a sundial and symbol of fertility and good luck. Kids will love the wildlife – donkeys, rabbits, otters, and ponies call this island home.

Playtime Bliss

If you fancy a rest but the kids are determined to burn off more energy, there’s a playtime bliss on the island in the form of the island’s playground, complete with swings and an obstacle course. It's a 10-minute walk from the pier and boasts stunning views of the Atlantic vistas. Let the kids roam free, while you sit back and relax.. sound like a plan?

Have a Bite to Eat

A trip to Inis Mór wouldn't be complete without experiencing the warm, lively atmosphere of Joe Watty’s a cosy haven for families looking to recharge on tasty, traditional fare, after a busy day on the island. Dig into a delicious plate of seafood or an Irish stew and recall the events of the day. Children can enjoy a number of options from the kids menu.

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