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Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

Midland, Michigan
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Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

Next Month, I will be in Galway, and I would like to take a tour to the Aaran islands. Several tour operators offer such one-day program. I would like to hear opinions and recommendations about them.

Are there any operators that offer a better or longer tour?, are any of them guided in the Islands. I understand all offer a bus transfer to the point of departure where you take the ferry to Inish Mor, but after that in the Island is not clear what the program would be in a tour.

I assume there is some sort of transportation in the Islands to visit the sites of interest, correct?

Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

I don't think there's a need to do a tour. The company which sells the boat tickets in Galway City also sell bus tickets that will get you to the ferry. They'll give you directions were to find the bus.

When you get to the island the quayside is lined with mini buses and guides offering tours of the island. Right on the pier there's also a bike rental place if you want to explore under your own steam. There are also loads of pony and trap operators who will take you as far as Dun Aengus and back.

Personally I'd want to head off on my own on a bike, the island is lovely and it's easy to get away from the crowds.

Midland, Michigan
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2. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

Lollymcd,

thanks very much for your comments. We will probably do what you suggest and just take a bike to the sites. I understand the island is rather small. Is it possible to just walk around?

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

The island is small, but not so small that you could walk to the sites on a day trip. We rented bikes when we visited and were able to cover a great deal of ground, seeing Dun Aengus, the Seven Churches, a ring fort (where we were the only visitors), and Seal Beach, among others. Try to get to Dun Aengus as soon as you can to avoid the rush of tourists--it makes a difference!

You will need a full day on Inishmore, so if you only have a day for this trip, take the first ferry of the morning and the last ferry of the afternoon. Even better is an overnight stay (which is what we did). Aran Island Ferries had packages for ferry/B&B stays.

Finally, I'd recommend bringing a picnic lunch with you or getting picnic supplies when you get to the island. There is a Spar supermarket in town not far from the pier. When you rent your bike, you can ask for directions.

Midland, Michigan
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4. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

Thanks very much for all your opinions. All the information will be most useful.

Saratoga Springs...
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5. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

I agree with lollymcd that there is no need to take a tour. We got the ferry and took one of the cabs waiting, our family had one all to ourselves and he gave us quite a bit of history and answered all of our questions about the island. I am glad we werent biking, it is very hilly and it was pouring rain and we saw people that looked absolutely miserable trying to bike around, and it looked a little scary when on the roads with the cabs! I wish we had stayed the night and longhorn is right, get the first ferry there and take the last out because we still didn't have enough time. I absolutely loved our trip to Inishmore !!

Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

I'd be another fan of spending the night!

If it's raining the bike might not be the best idea but otherwise it's fine, it probably does look scary from within the bus but the drivers are used to kamikaze tourists!

It's a bit hilly but if you take the "low" road out the island and the "high" road back in you'll avoid one or two of the hills!

Midland, Michigan
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7. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

Thanks again for all your opinions and information.

At this moment we are somewhat undecided as to whether take the minibus tour on the island or do it on our own biking around.

Fortunately, I have found that at least one tour company gives you the option to do it either way. Others just include the bus transfer from Galway and the boat tickets.

Dublin, Ireland
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8. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

Which ever you do, I'm sure you'll enjoy!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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9. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

We (MIL, hubby and I) stayed overnight on Inishmore and did the small van tour one day and a pony/trap the next. While not necessary, it was very good to have a local's insight into the history and heritage of the island. It was a very convenient way to see all that we wanted to, without feeling rushed. Here is the travel journal with photos from our time there: igougo.com/journal-j76791-Inishmore-The_Big_… .

Chicago
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10. Re: Aaran Islands Tour from Galway

If you can, stay overnight. It's the best way to see the island. Biking around is the best too. A few moments were tough uphill but I just walked those parts. If you stay overnight you can see the island in the morning before the ferry arrives bringing many more tourists. We stayed at the Man of Aran cottage, a little pricey but well worht it, great memories!

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