Tourist attraction and activities near you:
An Creagán B&B is a perfect place to stay as a base for exploring such a unique island. There is something here for everyone, from one of the finest playgrounds in Ireland to a stunning beach with its own resident dolphin. The most westerly Arts Centre in Europe Áras Éanna is a stones throw from An Creagán as are the various pubs, cafés and restaurants.
There are many ways to explore Inis Oírr, being 3m square it is easily explored by foot or by bicycle. Other novel ways is to take a horse and trap or tractor tour which is available by the harbour. Inis Oírr is steeped in history, with a number of ruins waiting to be discovered and an abandoned shipwreck from 1960 perched on a stony beach.
The most prominent ruin is O’ Briens castle situated on top of the hill over looking Galway Bay. The three story castle dates back to the 14th Century. The castle is built inside a more ancient fort called Dun Forma that dates back to pre-Christian times. The O’ Brien clan were known to have controlled much of Co. Clare during medieval Ireland. From here you can enjoy a fine view across the island to Galway Bay and on to the Burren and the Cliffs Of Moher.
Teampall Chaomháin is a buried church named after the islands Patron Saint Caomhán and is also home to his grave. St. Caomhán’s feast day is celebrated on the 14th of June with an open air mass. It is said that Caomhán was a brother of St. Kevin of Glendalough.
The Plassey wrecked onto finnish rock on a stormy night in March 8th 1960. The cargo ship was sailing to Galway carrying various cargo such as whiskey, yarn and plumbing equipment. A group of local islanders the Inis Oírr rocket crew rescued the entire crew from the stricken vessel using a breeches buoy. The ship is visible in the opening credits of the television Father Ted.
Further along the coastline is Inis Oírr lighthouse. A magnificent structure built in the mid 19th Century at a height of 34 metres. The tower and dwellings were built of local very hard chrystaline limestone. In 1978 the lighthouse was antomated.
Tobar Éanna, the holy well of St. Enda the patron saint of the Aran Islands is situated on the southwestern part of the island. The wells fresh water source never runs dry. The well is still used by pilgrims and is said to have healing powers.
Cill Ghobnait is a small eight or ninth century church. Named after St. Gobnait of Cork and a patroness of bees who escaped from Clare and took refuge on Inis Oírr.
The Aran Islands are renowned for their rich history, Irish culture and stunning natural beauty. It is a place where ancient traditions still prevail. Inis Oírr the smallest island is often thought as of the most stunning of the three islands. The island is an extension of the unique geographical landscape of the Burren in Co.Clare. The Burren is what is known as a karst landscape, a unique geographical formation made of rugged limestone. Inis Oírr like the Burren enjoys unusually lush greenery and unique flora. The result is a diverse selection of birds and wildlife on this tiny beautiful island, making it a botanists or nature lovers delight. Here they will find artic, mediterranean and alpine plants thriving side by side.
The most striking visual aspect of Inis Oírr is the number of stone walls that seperate the land into small fields. The dense network of walls provide protection to crops and farm animals against the harsh winds. It is believed the stone walls were built out of neccessity, pastures had to be cleared of the sheer volume of stone. The simplist way to clear the stone was to build walls and pile them artfully on top of one another. The traditional art of dry stone wall building techniques varied from village to village and from clan to clan. The different styles are very evident as one wanders on the meandering pathways. The islanders are very resourceful people and were pretty much self sufficent down through the centuries. Food was plentyful with the ocean on your doorstep. Clothing was handcrafted wool which was turned into yarn to make the now famous aran jumper.