What to see

Top 5

If you’re planning a visit to Inis Oirr, the smallest of the three Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, you’re in for a treat.

This charming and picturesque island offers a range of activities to keep you entertained, whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or cultural experiences. From hiking and cycling to exploring ancient ruins and traditional Irish music sessions, there’s no shortage of things to do in Inis Oirr.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the top activities, and attractions to help you make the most of your time on the island. Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends or family, or on a romantic getaway, you’re sure to find something that appeals. So, let’s take a closer look at what’s on in Inis Oirr and what to do on this enchanting island.

Be sure to check out our Inis Oirr map below to see where these sights are located.

  1. O’BRIEN’S CASTLE
  2. PLASSEY SHIPWRECK
  3. INIS OIRR LIGHTHOUSE
  4. TEAMPALL CHAOMHÁIN – CHURCH OF ST. KEVIN
  5. TOBAR ÉINNE – EANNA’S WELL
Foodies & Fun

Experiences

Aran Acupunture

Work on your wellness with Trish Conneely. She is a Lic.Ac. C.Ac.(Nanjing) MAFPA trained with The Acupuncture Foundation of Ireland for three years, and undertook further clinical training at the Nanjing University Second Affiliated Hospital, China, with Dr Gu Zhaojun. T. 099 7512.

Aran Seaweed Bath and Spa

Experience a little bit of luxury Aran Island Style in this unique Island Spa. Lighthouse Road, Baile an Fhormna, Inis Oirr. T. 087 760 0684.

South Aran House

Enjoy a nice stay or take a cooking lesson at this Restaurant and Cookery School. T. 099 75073.

 

Ancient Ruins and

Castles

A.  Cnoc Raithní

View this Ancient Burial Site.

B.  Teampall Chaomháin (Church of St. Kevin)

St Caomhán’s church (10th -14th century) is located in the island’s graveyard.  Be sure to see these sunken ruins that are truly unique and not to be missed.  Until very recently the Island community used to dig out the sands that the Atlantic winds brought in, almost completely burying the church. The site would have been buried and possibly lost but for this tradition. This is the main burial site still used on the island today.

C.  Caisleán Uí Bhriain & Dún Formna (O’Brien’s Castle)

O’Brien’s Castle, also called Furmina Castle, is an early 15th century tower house and National Monument that you can’t miss when you arrive. O’Brien’s Castle is located at one of the Island’s highest points, in the north of Inisheer. The castle was built by the Clann Teige, a branch of the powerful O’Brien (Uí Briain) family, in the early 15th century around 1400. It was taken by the Ó Flaithbheartaigh (O’Flahertys) around 1582. It was captured and slighted by Oliver Cromwell’s army in 1652, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.

D.  An Túr Faire

Signal Tower.

E.  Cill na Seacht Ninío

Church of the seven daughters.

Lighthouse and

Shipwreck

F.  The Plassy Shipwreck

The Plassey was a cargo vessel in the Irish Merchant Service, operating during the 1950s. It was built as HMS Juliet, a Shakespearean-class naval trawler of the Royal Navy at the start of the Second World War, and sold into merchant service at the end of the conflict. As Plassey it was wrecked in a storm off Inis Oirr, and is best known as the wreck seen on the foreshore of ‘Craggy Island’ in the TV comedy, Father Ted.

G.  Lighthouse

The Inis Oírr Lighthouse is a spectacular attraction on the island, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the rugged coastline and vast Ocean. Built in the 19th century, this iconic structure served as a vital aid to navigation for ships traveling along the treacherous waters off the coast of Ireland. Today, the lighthouse stands tall as a testament to the island’s rich maritime history and is a popular destination for tourists seeking an unforgettable experience. A leisurely walk up to the lighthouse provides visitors with an opportunity to capture stunning photographs of the natural beauty of the island. The lighthouse was automated in 1978, but its beauty and significance remain undiminished. The Inis Oírr Lighthouse is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the island of Inis Oirr and promises to leave a lasting impression on all who experience its majestic grandeur.

H.  Tobar Éanna

St. Eanna’s well.

I.  Cill Ghobnait

Church of St. Gobhnait.

J. Cloch Memorial

Memorial stone.

 

Be sure to see our Aran Island Maps and other information on what to do on Inis Oirr.

Inis Oirr

Annual Events

Áras Éanna

This is Inis Oirr’s Arts and Heritage Centre. It was originally a weaving factory built in 1982 but in 2000 it was re-established as a community centre. They host an artists residency programme for 4 months annually. Visiting artists from all over the world and in Ireland are invited to come stay and create in this beautiful location. You can enjoy a variety concerts, plays, and shows here throughout the year.

Craiceann Inis Oirr

Take part in the traditional Irish Drum, Bodhran Festival.

Coláoste Laichtín – Irish College

Families traveling out to visit their Gael-Goers will receive a special 20% off when booking with Doolin Ferry to Inis Oírr.

Inis Oírr Wild Atlantic Fun Run

Inis Oírr Wild Atlantic Island Run is a 5km & 10km road race that take place yearly on Inis Oirr. The run raises funds for Coláiste Ghobnait, the secondary school on Inis Oirr. This year’s race will be held on Saturday 2nd April 2022. Be sure to register online. T-shirt guaranteed for online registration on or before 11th March 2022

10K Run: €35 Special Early Bird Rate (available until midnight on 11 th March 2022) – €45 after this

5k Run: €35 Special Early Bird Rate (available until midnight on 11 th March 2022) – €45 after this

13 – 16Yrs – €15

Under 12Yrs – €10

 

Stone Wall Building Course

Learn traditional dry stone wall building on this traditional course.

Inis Oirr Video

What to do

Doolin Ferry Co.

Inis Oírr Information

Sail with us on our Express Ferry Fleet. The largest, fastest, and most comfortable ferries from Doolin. Celebrating over 50 years in business!

girl running through gate to teach an Tae Cafe on Inisheer

Where to Eat

Hotel on Inisheer, Ostan Inis Oirrr

Where to Stay

Hotel on Inisheer, Ostan Inis Oirrr

Getting Around

Reviews
What Our Passengers Say ...

An absolute gem of a service, staffed by the most friendly, helpful crew. Add in reasonable fares to the Aran Islands and on the Cliffs of Moher tour, and...

Neil Whelan

This is a great boat trip to see the Cliffs of Moher. The guide was very knowledgeable but was hard to hear. Would recommend this cliffs of moher cruise.

Fionnuala Higgina

Super day out on Inis Oir & amazing views & info of the cliffs on the return.

Maeve Dockrell