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Which Aran Island??

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Dec 15th, 2017, 11:40 AM
  #1
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Which Aran Island??

We will be in Ireland next September on our 3rd visit there. We are basing in Kinvara for 5 days and would like to visit at least one of the Aran Islands for a day. They appear to have much the same sights and we can't tell which one would be the most representative/comprehensive, or "best", to visit.
Should we do more than one? We don't like racing around, prefer to savour sights, and don't want to feel rushed, so think one would be sufficient, but then will we be missing something special on the two we don't visit?? How do we decide? Please advise and thank you!!!
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Dec 15th, 2017, 11:57 AM
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You are close to Doolin so would probably just do the small island. I have done the big and little one and liked the bigger one better but a bit farther to drive.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 01:37 PM
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I've been to Inis Oirr (Inisheer) and to Inis Mór. Inis Oirr is the smallest island, and the closest to County Clare. Inis Mór is the largest, and is easy to get to from Galway and the Connemara peninsula. I wouldn't call them similar.

There is a large prehistoric fort on Inis Mór, and ruins of several old churches. Near the fort is a very high cliff, which I would consider more worth a visit than the Cliffs of Moher.

Inis Oirr is much rockier and has a very striking landscape, with lots of tiny walled fields. It doesn't have much of touristic interest, but for some people Inis Mór is a bit too touristic. It depends on what you want.

The third island (located between the other two) is the least visited, and I don't know much about it.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 02:14 PM
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I agree that the cliffs at Inis Oirr are better than the cliffs of Moher. There are seal colonies there also and the best cafe before you climb to see said cliffs and fort. Rossaveal Port has the ferry and it is a larger boat if you tend to get seas sick.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 02:20 PM
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I think you mean Inis Mór, Macross. Thats the one with a ferry from Rossaveal, and with the fort and cliffs.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 08:34 AM
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Thank you both! Inis Mor would, perhaps,be our best choice, but we can depart from either port. Seasickness has never been an issue before. Would it be too much to visit both InishMor and InisOirr in one day??? Or is that rushing it? We do need to visit one that is easily toured (won't be doing biking, although some walking is good!) It sounds as if InishMor has more to see. Generally we shy away from "touristic", but it doesn't appear that that would be a big issue. ***Bvlenci, you were very helpful with our trip to Sicily/Italy last spring. I believe you were the one who recommended we visit San Leo and Ravenna (the area)...we did and it was a highlight. LOVED San Leo, its charm, history, beauty!!! We drove all around the area, visited several of the villages...was a lovely addition to our trip!!! But I digress...back to Ireland.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 09:18 AM
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I'm glad you enjoyed San Leo! It's one of my favorite areas. It used to be in my region, Le Marche, but they seceded and joined Emilia Romagna (hiss, hiss!)

I don't think you could see two islands in one day.

When I was last on Inis Oirr, the only way to get around was walking. That may have changed, because it was years ago. We had as a tour guide the little daughter (about 12 years old) of our boat captain. He left her in our charge so he could spend his time in the pub until it was time to head back to Doolin. She lived on the island and was a great guide. She took us to the famous shipwreck, and the ruins of an old church.

In Inis Mor, much more recently, there are horse carts to take you around. We took one to the fort, and then walked back to the port.

Near the end of the day, I realized I had misplaced my camera, and it had almost two weeks of photos of Ireland on it, including photos of the house where my father was born, and of elderly relatives. I was heartbroken and didn't have any idea where I had left it. I walked back to the port and looked for our cart driver. I didn't see him, and asked one of the other drivers if anyone had found a camera. He told me my driver had found the camera and was now driving all over the island looking for me! You can imagine my gratitude. I wanted to reward him, or at least pay for his time (and the business he had lost) looking for me. However, he absolutely refused any payment.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 12:51 PM
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Yes I did, wish we had edit and don't think the new forum will have it.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 03:44 PM
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I read that the new forum would have edit. I certainly hope so.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 09:42 AM
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What a wonderful story, bvlenci! And how lovely to hear that there was a happy ending, thanks to the cart driver!! You don't happen to remember his name? We could ask/look for him when we are there! So then I think we will just do InishMor...one island will be good, and one of our party can not walk far or long, so pony trap availability would be wise and probably necessary. It all sounds so fantastic....I love the wildness of what the islands appear to be!! And an available pub would suit us fine, as well....love the local atmosphere anywhere we go! Hope it's not overrun with "daytrippers" like us!! Thank you so much for your input!!
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Dec 17th, 2017, 01:37 PM
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No, I'm afraid I didn't even ask the cart driver his name. I think almost any of the drivers there would have done the same thing.

We were there in June, and I'm pretty sure the day trippers outnumbered the permanent residents (831 according to Wikipedia). However, the only place where they were really bunched up was near the port.

Be sure to read up on the fort before you visit.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 08:14 AM
  #12
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Yes, I will read up on the fort! Thanks!!!
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Jan 3rd, 2018, 11:19 AM
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> In Inis Mor, much more recently,
> there are horse carts to take you around

When we got off the ferry boat, there were literally a dozen tour vans waiting for people to hop aboard and go to various sites. We took this tour, and it's typical:

http://www.failtebustour.com/tour.html
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Jan 13th, 2018, 03:44 PM
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Paul Rabe, Would the bus tours need to be booked ahead, do you think? How long did the tour take? How much was it? The buses look like shuttle buses, holding about 10 people, is that about right?
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