The easiest way to get on either of the three Aran Islands is by flying to Galway. Once you reached the airport here, there is the bus option or the more scenic ferry ride from the Galway Harbor. In case you decide for the water ways, make sure that you check the availability depending on the season you are traveling.
Current weather nearby
- Broken clouds
- Temperature: 7 °C
- Wind: West, 14.8 km/h
- Pressure: 1023 hPa
- Rel. Humidity: 93 %
- Visibility: 10 km
70.0 km Southeast
Tue, 11/06/2012 - 02:30
Nicknamed the ''Sun of the West'', the Irish Aran Islands have the longest growing seasons because of their unusual climate where arctic can be found side by side with Mediterranean. Completely covered by ice during the last glaciation period, the present landscape is known to be one of the finest examples in the world to show past Glacio-Karst traces. A retreat where peace and quiet comes with bloomed orchids, the smallest church in the world and some of the oldest ruins in the country of leprechauns, the three Arans amaze through their simply remarkable beauty.
Inishmore, Inishmaan, Inisheer
The Irish Oileain Arann as the Irish would call them are located on the West coast, at the mouth of Galway Bay in Galway county. Sparsely populated until the mid 17th century, the islands group used to constitute the barony of Aran, a historical region created after the Norman invasion which started in 1169. Among the three, Inishmore is the largest, followed by Inishmaan, Inisheer covering the smallest area.
Sun of the West
The formation and transformation of the Arans is one that will fascinate every geology passionate. Around 350 million years ago, the three islands are believed to have been part of a tropical sea which ''fell victim'' to glaciation. In time, the ice melted and about 10,000 years ago karstification occurred. This phenomenon characterized by dissolution of the layers causing openings in the rock allowed scientists to discover important fossils of corals, crinoids or sea urchins, all evidence of the past warm waters. Nowadays, the ''Sun of the West'' as the islands were nicknamed, have an unusually temperate climate with soil temperature which rarely drops under 6 degrees Celsius.
Fishermen Tales in Aran Sweater
The Aran Islands symbolize a place of isolation from technological innovation, a spot where minimalism is appreciated and oral tradition functions as entertainment. The tales with fishermen are so popular here that the so-called Aran sweater was invented. This wardrobe piece for the ones cultivating the sea is usually cream colored and can be identified by complex textured stitch patterns.
The Smallest Church in the World
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Dun Aegus on Inishmore represents one of the oldest relics of Ireland dating ever since the Iron Age. For other monuments of ancient times, visit Dun Chaonchuir, Dun Duchathair (Black Fort) or the 14th century O'Brien's Castle. A visible trace of the past, the ancient stone wall enfolds all three Arans, covering a surface of approximately 1600 kilometers (1000 miles).
Still looking for the one of a kind? Teampull Bheanain is the name of the smallest church in the world. This holy edifice individualizes itself not only through its proportions but also through its unusual orientation North-South instead of East-West.
Observe the three Irishh Oileain Arann, ancient examples of an extreme transformation where arctic and mediterranean coexist.