GCI Student Experience | Aran Islands

In conjunction with Aran Island Ferries, Galway Cultural Institute offers its students discounted prices on trips out to the Aran Islands. Do not miss this opportunity!

The trip begins in the City Centre with a bus service out to Rosaveel Harbour in Connemara. Then there is a short ferry ride to the islands. The Aran Island trip is self-guided but there are many tour operators on the islands if you wish to get one. We recommend renting a bicycle while you're here. It's the best way to take in the fresh sea air. If you wish to book accommodation for yourself and stay the night, then it shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure to make sure that there is space on the ferry home the following day!

The Aran Islands

Ireland has plenty of Islands dotted along its coastline but none are quite like the Aran Islands. A trip to the Aran Islands feels like going back in time. With cosy Aran jumpers, ancient Celtic forts, excellent festivals, the friendliest people on the planet, complete calm isolation and epic scenery, the islanders have plenty to be proud of. Each one of the three islands offers something slightly different for visiting people from the last.

Inis Mór (Inishmore)

Inis Mór is the largest and most populated of the three and is the one that makes the biggest splash internationally. It has Dún Aengus, which is an ancient Irish Celtic fort that dates back to 1100BC. The epic fort lies on the edge of a 100m high cliff so that invading armies were only able to attack from the front.

Just a short walk away from Dún Aengus, explorers can make their way to the spectacular Poll na bPeist (the Serpent’s Lair).

The Serpent’s Lair is a natural geological rock formation in the shape of a perfectly rectangular hole cut from the rock. It has been a popular swimming spot for the local islanders for years. In more recent times it has gained international recognition from daredevils across the globe due to the Red Bull Cliff Diving competition. It is now well signposted and easier to find if you don’t know the island. We don’t recommend that you jump in as it is extremely dangerous and should only be done by professionals.

We recommend our students go to Inis Mór over the other two.

Inis Mean (Inishmaan)

Inis Mean offers tourists a quieter and more local alternative to the busier islands. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a more isolated retreat!

Inis Oirr (Inisheer)

Inisheer is the smallest of the three islands and has a certain charm that the other two don’t. The tiny island is easier to get around and offers some beautiful walks and pristine beaches. There are plenty of local crafts to buy while you’re here if you’re looking for a souvenir.