Getting there & away
Weather permitting, there’s at least one boat a day heading out to the Aran Islands. Around Galway’s Eyre Sq are several ferry offices that can set you up with a boat ride as well as accommodation. Galway’s tourist office will do the same.
Island Ferries (568 903, 572 273; www.aranislandferries.com ; adult/child/concession €25/13/20) and Aran Direct (566 535; www.arandirect.com ; return adult/child/concession €25/15/20) have quick 40-minute crossings from Rossaveal, about 40km west of Galway. The Galway–Rossaveal bus trip costs €6/2.50 per adult/child return and leaves Galway’s Kinlay House Hostel 1½ hours before the ferry’s scheduled departure. If you’re driving to Rossaveal, you can park in the car park near the ferry offices. Transporting a car costs upwards of €160 and is only available on some crossings, but in any case you won’t need one on the islands.
All three islands have landing strips. The mainland departure point is Connemara regional airport at Minna, near Inverin (Indreabhán), about 35km west of Galway. Aer Arann (593 034; www.aerarannislands.ie) offers return flights to any of the islands five times daily (hourly in summer) for €45/25/37 per adult/child/student; the flights take just seven minutes, and groups of four or more can ask about group rates. You may find yourself sitting in the cockpit next to the pilot of the tiny planes (scary at first, but the views are stunning). A bus from outside Galway’s Kinlay House Hostel to the airport costs €6 return.