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Aran Islands - ferry/tours to small island and cliffs of Moher

In planning time to spend on the smallest of the Aran Islands, Inisheer, I noticed there are a few ferry companies departing from Doolin, and I would also like to combine this with a jaunt past the Cliffs of Moher. It appears there are large and small vessels used for these ferry rides/tours and some reviews elsewhere say rough seas can really toss the small boats pretty bad. Are there any recommendations or experiences with these tour boats/ferries? As mentioned above, I have seen some that will take you to Inisheer, then upon pickup later in the day, go past the cliffs before returning to Doolin.

Posted by
2941 posts

We went to the larger island, Inishmore, on what I would consider a fairly large passenger ferry. My sister, who does not become sea sick as a rule, was quite uncomfortable for the ride over and dreaded taking the boat back. The seas were fairly choppy both times. My sister was so uncomfortable, that I made a mental note that we would fly if we returned in the future.

It was quite interesting to see a young local mother out on the back deck of the ferry with her toddler in her arms visiting with her neighbors while we clung to our seats. It must be a matter of experience!

We very much enjoyed our few days in the Aran Islands and can confirm that they are wonderful to visit.

Posted by
104 posts

I took a ferry from Doolin to Inisheer in July 2018. Although it was raining much of the day, it was still quite magical. There were 2 competing ferry companies at Doolin pier with similar prices and schedules. I used the older, original one. I had been concerned about a rough ride but it was not rough at all, even in the rain. The trip to Inisheer (Inis Oirr) is much quicker than to the further away, larger, and more popular Inis Mor . They cancel the ferries for rough winds but not for rain, and less likely to cancel for Inisheer, I was told. For a few extra euros, you can include an extension of the boatride past the cliffs of Moher but not every Inisheer ferry on the schedule did that, so you have to make sure you get a returning one that goes by the cliffs.

When I went, you could get a small discount by booking the tickets online or at one of the Doolin tourist offices. I booked at a tourist office where they answered all my questions about the different islands, ferries, and schedules. I saw that people had no trouble buying tickets at the pier on the day of departure.

Posted by
10 posts

We used Doolin2Aran Ferries. Departed at 10am for the 30 minute ride to Inis Oir and spent a few hours exploring before heading on to Inis Mor to stay there for a couple nights.

Not sure what days you'll be ferrying, but our transfer to Inis Mor ended up being moved up an hour (from 3p to 2p) because everyone goes to Mass on Fridays.

Posted by
446 posts

Took the ferry from Doolin to Inisheer in May 2018. Great half day trip! We spent 3 nights in Doolin and the first day the ferry wasn't running due to high seas. Go to the ferry dock area and talk to them about schedules, weather, etc. We bought our tickets and were boarding 20 minutes later. Here's a weblink: https://www.doolinferries.com/