Shamrocker All Ireland Rocker Day 4: Dun Aonghasa

Day 4 began with a biking adventure for me and a horseback riding adventure for Ioana! We would be reunited for our next stop – Dún Aonghasa. This popular tourist attraction is a stone fort, that sits at the top of a 300 ft cliff! Archaeologists believe this site has been inhabited since 1500BC.

Whilst we were walking to the Worm Hole, we were able to catch a glimpse of Dún Aonghasa off in the distance.

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Can you spot Dún Aonghasa? Toward the right side of the photograph, on top of a cliff!

Pretty incredible!

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After the Worm Hole, we continued on our bikes to Kilmurvey Village. Here, we purchased tickets to visit Dún Aonghasa.

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We left our bikes behind in the village and continued up to the cliff and Dún Aonghasa on foot. It was a climb but the views at the top were definitely worth it! We would definitely recommend a visit to Dún Aonghasa if you are exploring Inis Mór. If biking doesn’t appeal to you, you can also find your way to Dún Aonghasa via mini-bus or pony and cart.

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Check out this view – looking out over the south coast of Inis Mór, including the Worm Hole!

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Look at that vertical drop, straight into the Atlantic Ocean!

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We even spotted a friend!

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I love cliffs – but secretly I’m a bit scared of heights! But the chance to sit at the edge of a cliff looking out at the Atlantic Ocean was just too tempting to pass up. So here I am!

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It IS a long way down from up here!

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And, of course, there had to be a selfie to document this moment – sitting at the edge of a 300 ft cliff with your best friend!

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After a couple more selfies and more cliff photographs, we had to start our journey back! We didn’t want to miss our ferry back to the mainland! (Dave told us we were scheduled to be on the last ferry back to the mainland, so if we missed it, we would be spending the night on our own here – not that it would be such a terrible thing!) So we walked down from Dún Aonghasa, hopped on our bikes and headed back to Kilronan Village.

Note: This island is not a flat island! There are hills to cycle up, so expect a bit of a workout! But going the other way, the hills become great fun to cruise down – with the wind whipping through your hair!

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The beautiful views did not end with the cliffs – check this out!

We had some time to spare, so we ventured into the Aran Sweater Market. The Aran islands are also famous for the Aran Sweaters – wool sweaters that were designed to keep generations of locals warm and dry in this harsh environment, by the Atlantic Ocean. The Aran Sweater Market had some gorgeous scarves and sweaters here. Being a bit of a knitter myself, I bought some beautiful Aran wool to make myself a souvenir to remember this trip by! Check out my next post for more on my project!

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And finally, after an exciting day, it was time to leave this breathtaking island behind. We boarded the ferry and headed back to Galway.

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Review: We were very lucky to have such spectacular weather for our day here. I can imagine the island would be vastly different if it was raining or if there was a storm. We definitely would not be able to get right to the edge of the cliffs and rocks – an errant wave might sweep us away! We had an amazing day visiting Inis Mór – definitely one of the highlights of our entire Ireland trip. 

We would definitely recommend a visit here, if you are in Ireland. If you have some time, consider staying overnight at one of the hotels, bed & breakfasts, campsites or hostels located on this island. I’m sure the sunsets (or sunrises!) would be a sight to behold! It would also give you more time to roam the island – on foot, on horseback or on a bike. We only visited the eastern and southern parts of the island on our day trip. But if you had more time, you could wander slowly all over Inis Mór, enjoying the spectacular views and getting to know the locals.  You might even consider venturing out to the other two Aran Islands!

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After our epic adventures, we were famished! There are many, MANY options for food in Galway. It wasn’t an easy decision to make and we kept changing our minds as we walked up and down High Street. Eventually we settled on one (The King’s Head) and most of us ended up ordering the Fish and Chips!

Since we were in Ireland, we couldn’t miss out on Irish Dancing! So a bunch of us asked our tour guide, Dave, where we could try out Irish Dancing. He told us to check out Monroe’s Tavern – they had Irish set dancing that night (Tuesdays). So after grabbing our now-very-late-dinner, we headed over, thinking we would be late for the dancing! Our trip mates had gone ahead to the Tavern and when we ran into them on the streets of Galway, they said there didn’t seem to be any dancing that night. It was really too bad – but it just means we’ll have to come back to Galway for our turn on the stage!

We wandered back to High Street in search of the rest of our group. We ended up at The Quays, where we grabbed a couple of drinks, tables and got settled in for the night! This was our last day with our tour guide Dave. To our surprise, we found out that our tour consisted of people on a 5-day tour and those of us on a 7-day tour. Dave was heading back to Dublin with those on the 5-day, while we were continuing on with our next guide – Gillian. It was a good night – story telling, sharing adventures, laughs, licking strangers’ faces as a means of introduction… Don’t ask! After a round of late night/early morning hugs, we wandered back to the hostel.

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Those of us on the 7-day tour had the luxury of a later start on Day 5. This gave us a chance to explore Galway during the daytime! While looking for a place to eat this evening, we saw that Galway had many neat, small stores that we wanted to venture into! Dave also told us that Galway is the city to get our Claddagh Rings. So tune in to our post on shopping in Galway for more about the Claddagh Rings!

From Vancouver with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
LettersofWanderlust3


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