Doolin to Aran Ferry Explore Aran Islands By Ferry
Explore Ireland of Old

Doolin to Aran Ferry

The Aran Islands are a top destination in the West of Ireland. These beautiful Islands display Irish Culture at its best in many traditional forms. From winding stone wall boreens, beaches lined with fishing boats, to the craic of the local pubs. When you arrive to Aran you instantly feel like you’ve been taken back to Ireland of Old. Gaelic (Irish) is the main spoken language and backbone of life on these Islands today. Though most Islanders speak English too, Irish is still the preferred language by far.

You can escape to a place lost in time when you take a trip to Aran.

Location of the Aran Islands

They are located about 48 km from Galway City, however they are only 8 km from Doolin Pier, Doolin, Co. Clare. Inis Oirr (Inisheer) is the closest Island to Doolin. There are three islands to choose from when planning your trip. Each one is well worth a visit and will not disappoint. However, we do understand you need to make some choices when planning. Depending on which Island you visit it takes about 15 minutes to 35 minutes to get from Doolin to the Aran Islands by ferry.

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Which Aran Island to visit by Ferry?

Deciding which Aran Island to visit can be a tough choice, as each island offers its own unique attractions and experiences. Inis Mor, the largest of the three islands, is the most developed and has the most amenities, such as shops, restaurants, and accommodation options. It is also home to several historical and cultural sites, such as the prehistoric hill fort of Dún Aonghasa and the Celtic Christian ruins of the Seven Churches. Inis Meain, the middle island, is the quietest and least visited of the three islands, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat. It is also known for its traditional Irish knitwear and handcrafted jewelry.

Inis Oirr, the smallest of the islands, is a popular destination for those looking to explore Ireland's natural beauty and rural charm. It has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and swimming. It is also home to several cultural attractions, such as the 16th-century castle ruins of O'Brien's Castle and the charming thatched-roof cottages of Tigh Ned. Ultimately, the choice of which Aran Island to visit will depend on your personal preferences and interests, as each island has its own unique character and appeal. Take a look at some of the options below

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Inis Mór

The Plassey Shipwreck on Inis Oirr, Aran Islands.

Inis Oírr

The Plassey Shipwreck on Inis Oirr, Aran Islands.

Inis Meáin

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Culture and History

These Islands are a celebration of Irish language, culture, history, and music. You can find an amazing display of some of the oldest archaeological remains in all of Ireland such as the world famous fort Dun Aonghasa on Inis Mor. It’s all there from castles, prehistoric forts, ancient church ruins and dwellings, to holy well’s visited by its first settlers. As shown in Robert J Flaherty’s 1934 film ‘Man of Aran’, life here hasn’t always been easy. But with that resilient Irish spirit and grit, life on these Islands has persevered and thrived over centuries.

Island Time

The Islands have a distinct character and life is slower here, a sanctuary from modern life. Aran Islanders preserve their traditions with great dedication while at the same time welcoming visitors to experience it. The thatched cottages and dry stone walls throughout the Islands are examples of this dedication to traditional Irish craftsmanship. No other item conjures up Irishness like the Aran Jumper (Geansaí Arainn). Irish Craft shops can be found on all three Islands. Be sure to take home your very own Aran Jumper from a local craft shop or the Aran Sweater Market.

Pub Life

Music can be enjoyed almost every night in the traditional Irish pubs. Therefore if you’re looking to meet some locals and practice your Irish- this is the place to be.

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Famous for their wild landscapes and off the beaten track roads, these Islands never fail to wow. The three islands were once ‘one’ with the famed Burren Region, in County Clare. They are located just west off the coast of the Burren and are separated from it by the South Sound. They have most likely been separate islands for 8,000 years. Likewise with the Burren, they are a unique place of ecological significance. It is the only place in the world where plants from the Arctic, Antarctic, and Mediterranean all grow in the same area.


The rich wildlife of the Islands is also another reason to visit. The local wildlife such as seal colony’s, dolphins, and basking sharks are something to keep watch for on your visit. In addition close by on the Cliffs of Moher is one of Europe’s largest sea bird colonies. So the Islands are also a bird watchers paradise.

Father Ted

Immortalised in Irish hearts forever is the famous BBC series, ‘Father Ted’. This wildly popular television program brought Aran Islands and traditional West of Ireland culture to global audiences. Father Ted fans can visit the very places this iconic series was filmed such as the Plassey Shipwreck on Inis Oirr, and most importantly our very own ticket office on Doolin Pier!

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How to get there?

You can get to there by ferry from Doolin Pier, Doolin, Co. Clare. Doolin Ferry Co. operates March to November, 7 days a week (Bank Holidays included). Our new Express Ferry service from Doolin offers the fastest sailing times to the Aran Islands.

How long does it take to get there?

  • 15 minutes from Doolin to Inis Oirr
  • 20 minutes from Doolin to Inis Meain
  • 35 minutes from Doolin to Inis Mor
How much is the ferry to Aran Islands?

Inis Oirr ferry ticket prices

Ticket prices range from €13 – €25 one way/inter island, and  €17 – €34 return trip per adult to Inis Oirr.

Inis Mor ferry and Inis Meain ferry ticket prices

Ticket prices range from €15 – €30 euro one way/inter island, and  €22 – €44 return trip per adult to Inis Mor and Inis Meain.

In short we have Family tickets, Student, and Senior rates to all three Islands available. Please note you can not visit all three in one day. You would need to stay over night on any Island to have enough time to visit more than one, why not?

What Our Passengers Say ...

Went on a trip to the cliffs of moher and Inis Oírr thís week. Enjoyed it immensely. The staff at the office were so friendly and helpful especially Liam...

Mary Kennedy

Great experience heading over to Inisheer. Couldn't fault them, very fast crossing and extremely helpful with boarding & alighting with bikes etc. Will definitely travel again with them to...

David McNamara

Excellent way to see the Cliffs of Moher. Great and informative young guy who took us out was so friendly and helpful, even offering to take photos for us...

Audrey Whittaker