Aran Islands - overnight or day trip?

Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 12:38 PM
  #1  
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Aran Islands - overnight or day trip?

We will be travelling in the west in September. The Islands have been highly recommended, but how much time should we allow? If we are taking the ferry from Rossaveal and want to overnight, is there a secure car park to leave our rental? Any other tips on where to stay, what to see, etc.?

Thanks,
Alison
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 01:36 PM
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If you can stay overnight, I would. You get a different feel for the islands if you stay on after all the daytime visitors leave.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 01:41 PM
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I went out to Inishmore in late September once in 1997, and there were all of 15 or 20 of us there who weren't locals. I was at Dun Aengus (the fort) by myself.

Take a horse cart ride, the driver will take you everywhere there is to see and it's a beautiful ride on a good day.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 01:47 AM
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I was on Inishmore a few weeks ago and stayed for a night. We left our car at Doolin and it was perfectly safe. I'm sure there are similar safe parking facilities at Rossaveal. You could do the island in a day - take a horse & cart that will bring you to see all the sights and you could fit everything in in a matter of hours and get the last boat back that evening. On the other hand, the island is lovely at night. It was busy when we were there (June bank holiday weekend), but the evening was much quieter when the day trippers had gone and you do get a good feel for the island. My only hesitation would be the accommodation. We stayed in a B&B but I would put it more on a par with a hostel, and it didn't seem clean. We could, however, have been unlucky. So - whatever you do - don't stay at St. Brendans!!! There was one B&B that looked quite nice very close to the port in Kilronan, although I'm afraid I don't know the name.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 02:45 AM
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I think the accommodation standard in a place like inish mor is more like that of 20 years ago. I stayed in a place near the bike rental shop and while it was clean...it had shared bathrooms...like a nicer hostel but not worth what you pay. I am sure there are nicer places but I have not stayed in them. Someone recently rented the QUiet MAn cottage on the island and it was a B&B. It looked lovely from the website. I would try that next time. Also if you want to buy sweaters wait till you get to the islands. The nicest jumpers I saw were in the shops here. I like unusualy ones or long coat like ones and I unfortunatley did not have the cash at the time. My better half promised to take me back for a little retail therapy!
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 07:48 AM
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Alison,

Most visitors to Inishmore make the mistake of limiting their visit to a day, but that's all the better for overnighters. The largest of the Aran Islands takes on a decidedly different quality after the daytrippers have departed. You'll want to experience this contrast, as you'll be able to be among the first to explore the great Stone Age fort of Dun Aengus and stroll a beach at Kilmurvey.

Consider, too, taking a short and highly scenic flight to Inishmore, via Aer Arann (in Inverin, west beyond Spiddal). It's a terrific alternative to the forgettable ferry crossing, and you can leave your wheels at the safe Aer Arann parking lot during your stay on Inishmore.

Lastly, consider staying in the shadow of Dun Aengus at the Kilmurvey House, a 150-year-old country house. It's not an upmarket kind of place, but it's clean, comfy, features a good restaurant, and is perfectly situated for island exploration. For a more memorable meal, make the short stroll from Kilmurvey House to the wonderfully atmospheric Man of Aran Cottage. It's a traditional-style cottage with a seaside setting.

Best of luck.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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Actually, if you have time while you're there, you should also go to Trawmore beach. Kilmurvey was quite busy the weekend we were there, however we were the only ones on Trawmore - it's a lovely large beach, and the water was turquoise - almost reminiscent of my time in Thailand until I dipped my toes in the water!!!
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Old Jun 26th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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Thank you all for your advice. I will definitely plan an overnight stop. Can't wait!

Alison
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