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Transportation to Arramore Island

Salem, VA
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Transportation to Arramore Island

Hello! I will have one week to spend in Ireland on my way to Germany in early August 2010. This will be my first visit to Ireland. The purpose of the visit is to see some sites that are part of my family history, the most important of which is Arranmore Island, County Donegal. I’ll be traveling by myself (I’m a physically fit 39 year old female). I have no objections to renting a car but don’t want to spend most of my time driving.

I would like some advice about getting to Arranmore. I will be flying from Washington, DC to Dublin and then plan to catch a domestic flight on Aer Arann to Donegal Regional Airport. I suppose I’d need to stay overnight somewhere near the airport then head to Burtonport the next morning. Can I rent a car at the airport? What other transportation options are there? Any suggestions? Thanks!

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

I would hate to spend money on a car just to have it sit on the pier in Burtonport while you spend time on the island. I don't know if there is any local taxi service at Donegal airport (it's a REALLY tiny operation there!) but maybe you can give them an email and ask if no one here pipes up with any info.

http://www.donegalairport.ie/contacts.htm

You may be able to get out to the island on day of arrival, depending on when your flight from Dublin gets in. Airport to Burtonport is probably a 30 minute trip or less, and the boats goe out to Arranmore up until 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening at that time of year. I think there are two companies doing the ferries now:

http://www.arranmoreferry.com/

http://www.arranmorecharters.com/

Enjoy your visit - August is a great time to be out there.

wichita,ks
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2. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

If you contact the airport they can give you phone and/or e-mail's for the taxi's in the area. They did this for me a couple of years ago.

Western Ireland...
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3. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

you can bring a car on the ferry.

Maryland
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4. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

"you can bring a car on the ferry."

True, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it for a tourist due to cost, and I'm not sure what you'd do with it once out on the island. I've always just walked wherever I needed to go once out there, and there's a local guy usually waiting for the boat if you don't feel like lugging a suitcase or something.

Car hire has gotten so expensive in Ireland I guess I just don't see the point in having one if all or most of the trip is going to be out on the island.

Dublin
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5. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

You might want to put your plans for Arranmore in the context of your trip to Ireland. You say that you area spending a week here. Are the other locations you wish to visit exclusively in Dublin with the exception of the visit to Arranmore? If yes, then maybe the travel plan you outline for the visit to Arranmore makes sense. Alternatively, would your schedule allow you to drive from Dublin to Arranmore? Hiring a car and driving there might make more sense and also allow you enjoy the drive across the country, maybe taking in a few more sights on the way. Burtonport is about 190 miles from Dublin by road - about 4+hours driving depending on the route taken. Air connections from Dublin to Donegal are very limited, so despite the drive time being longer, you might benefit from the overall flexibility you get in driving rather than flying to Donegal.

As the other posters mention, you might wish to consider if you need to take a car onto the island - it is not very large and the longest stretch of road there is about 3 miles or so. Also bear in mind that you might need some local assistance in finding your way around, particularly if you are trying to find obscure townlands or distant long-lost family connections. In that case, using a local to drive you around the island might make more sense - particularly as the roads on the island are far from US highway standard and may be difficult for the uninitiated!

In terms of accommodation, there are several hotels and B&Bs in west Donegal particularly in areas such as Gweedore, Glenties and Ardara - all convenient to Burtonport and Ardara.

Salem, VA
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6. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

Thanks everyone for the great information. I’m so embarrassed that I misspelled Arranmore in my subject line. You folks are so nice for not calling me out for it. I can see that this is a friendly forum!

You’ve all given me much to ponder. I would certainly like to see more of the country than just Arranmore and Dublin but don’t want to feel rushed. I’m still giving some thought to what you’ve all presented. One question that comes to mind is how long to spend on Arranmore? If just a day or two will enable me time to explore most of the island, then I’ve got a lot more time to spend in Dublin and the surrounding vicinity.

Thanks again!

Dublin
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7. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

Arranmore is quite small in area - about 3 miles east-west by 3 miles north south, so a day would more than suffice to see it. However, if you have roots or family connections there and if you have taken the trouble to get as far as the island, you might want to stay over for a night rather than just stay for a few hours. You can get more information about the island, including visitor accommodation, on arainnmhor.com/Arainn_Mhor_Island/Welcome.ht…

Salem, VA
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8. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

Thank you so much!

Donegal
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9. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

Where you book accomodation depends on which flight you get from Dublin.

aerarann.com/travel_information/Timetable31A…

If you get the flight & decide to hire a car, this will be how you'll get it.

http://www.donegalairport.ie/CarHire.htm

When you go from mainland Donegal to arranmore will depend on ferry times & this link will show you the times.

www.arranmoreferry.com/DepartBurtonport.htm

For accomodation on mainland Donegal I recommend

http://www.caisleainoir.ie/

Its very near the airport, lovely clean hotel & excellent food.

The hotel / b&b or indeed the airport will be able to arrange local taxis for you no problem. There are plenty available.

If you are spending time on mainland Donegal you will definately need a car as you would need to use taxis otherwise & that would be very expensive.

Dungloe is the main town near the island.

Salem, VA
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10. Re: Transportation to Arramore Island

Thank you Ammers! The links you provided were quite helpful and Caisleain Oir looks lovely. I'm fairly certain I'll be able to make out to Arranmore the day of my arrival but Caisleain Oir looks to be a comfortable base for my exploration of Donegal. Do you agree with previous posters that just a day or two in Arranmore will enable me to see most of the island?

My preliminary flight information is as follows: arrive in Dublin at 10:20 AM; catch 1:00 PM flight to Donegal with arrival in Donegal at 1:50 PM; grab some tea and chill out before heading to catch the 5 PM ferry to Arranmore. Does this sound like a resonable plan?