Inis Mór is the largest of the three Aran Islands that lie in the mouth of Galway Bay. The island's stunning landscapes of karst limestone, its spectacular sheer cliffs and shallow bays, fringed by wonderful dunes and wild habitats make it one of the most special places in Ireland.
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All events are free, places allocated on a 1st come-1st served basis! Outdoor events will be weather dependent and suitable footwear and clothing is recommended. Walks may be over rough ground. A number of events are bilingual and are indicated by (B) after the event listing.
Tuesday 7th June
- 14:00hrs Archaeology of the Aran Islands (B) Walk to Dún Dúchathair / the Black Fort with archaeologists Claire Cotter and Máirín Uí Fhatharta. The walk will include archaeology, landscape, seascape and flowers and is roughly 2-3km across some very broken ground – approx 3hrs.
Wednesday 8th June
- 14:00hrs AranLIFE project (B) Walk in the footsteps of farmers and discover how the unique farming system of the islands is responsible for creating the rich-biodiversity and habitats of conservation importance on the islands.
Thursday 9th June
- 14:00hrs Presentation on Irish cetaceans followed by a 2 hour land based watch (The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group)
Friday 10th June
- 14:00hrs Clean Coasts Roadshow
- 19:00hrs Evening Reception, Welcome to AranLIFE & BioBLITZ 2016
- 20:00hrs Céilí Mór
Saturday 11th June
- 12:00hrs Launch of Island BioBlitz 2016
Talk - AranLIFE Project: biodiversity through farming, Halla Rónáin
- 13.00hrs Setting invertebrate traps
- 14.00hrs Bees and Butterflies of Aran’s farms (Rónán FitzPatrick)
- 18.00hrs Setting up of moth traps
- 22.00hrs Bat Walk with Bat Conservation Ireland, meet at Halla Rónáin
Sunday 12th June
- 05:00hrs Dawn Chorus with Penny Bartlett & Dermot Breen, meet at Halla Rónáin
- 08:00hrs Opening of moth traps
- 09:00hrs Checking of invertebrate traps
- 12:00hrs Island BioBlitz 2016 - finishes
- 12:30hrs Island BioBlitz 2016 - winners announced
Exhibitions in Halla Rónáin from Tues 7th June - Sun 12th June
- AranLIFE project - exhibition on the importance of the farming system for conservation of priority habitats on the islands
- INFOMAR exhibition - exhibition on the topography & habitats on the seabed surrounding Inis Mór
- CFT underwater - underwater photography exhibition
- Aran Schools - Feirmeoireachta & an Nádúr ar Oileáin Árann
- Display of Schools Art Competition entries
Aran Island Ferries sales to and from Inis Mór 3 times daily. The boat departs from Ros a'Mhíl - a port 23 miles west of Galway city. For times and to book your ticket visit: www.aranislandferries.com/times_mor.php
More about inis Mór
Irish is still the native tongue on the Aran Islands so visitors can take the opportunity to practice their cúpla focal. The islands are a bastion of traditional Irish language, culture and music - unique in their geology, biodiversity and archaeology and unrivalled in their potent sense of history.
Inis Mór is defined by its dramatic, wind-swept landscapes - its labyrinth of meandering stone walls, its tiny, tightly packed fields, its pristine beaches and craggy shores and its dizzying cliffs marking the edge of Europe. The prehistoric fort at Dun Aonghasa is deemed to be one of the best examples in Europe. Located on a 300ft sheer cliff side, it provides daunting and dramatic views stretching out across the Atlantic and the length of the island.
The island’s shallow topsoil is scattered with an abundance of wild flowers – with 437 varieties being identified to date. 75% of the island is designated as a Special Area of Conservation, and with 16 habitats of ‘European Conservation Value’ being identified on the island – it really is a special place for wildlife. The waters surrounding the island are equally intriguing with submerged reef communities supporting many rare and threatened species.
The Aran Islands have lured legions of writers, artists and visitors over the centuries, their enigmatic ancient monuments, early Christian remains, holy wells and historic lighthouses ]adding to their sense of timelessness and mystery.