Arranmore Island situated only 3 miles off the North West Coast of Donegal is the perfect place if you’re looking for an adventure off the beaten track. The island has a small population of approximately 400 residents but there is no shortage of activities to take part in on your trip.
Water Sport Activities – Cumann na mBád will bring you kayaking through caves, sailing and paddle boarding along the beautiful, calm coast of the island. If you are looking for that extra adrenaline rush try Sea Stack climbing with Unique Ascent.
Experience a day on the ‘Elsie Jayne’ charter boat with Dive Arranmore Charters. A wide range of marine activities are available including diving, wreck diving, sea angling, sea safari trips, seal watching and marine heritage tours.
The Arranmore Lighthouse – situated only a 5km walk from the ferry pier, you’ll be surrounded by spectacular views of the cliffs and the Atlantic Ocean. Bring a picnic and enjoy the views in one of the many picnic areas on route. There are steps near the lighthouse that bring you on a thrilling trip down the cliffs, if you are brave enough! Many of the locals say this is the hidden gem of the island.
Please note that the steps can be dangerous and often slippery from their proximity to the water.
Arranmore Guided Tours offer a walking tour of the island which will gives a great insight to the history of the island while you experience tremendous views. Walking guide Denis is known for showing hidden gems of the island such as a hut built from Stone with the views of the cliffs and lighthouse seen below.
Cycling is one of the best ways to see the island. There are many townlands with stunning lakes, mountains and beaches to explore. You can rent a bike from as little as €3 an hour.
Bumper Balls is a popular activity among visitors to the island particularly with stag, hen and staff parties. It is the perfect bonding activity if your workplace or family are looking for a team building exercise. You’ll bounce off each other in no time!
Fishing off the rocks is the perfect way to spend a relaxing summers day. Kick back and relax with your fishing rod and you might even catch dinner!
Brown Trout can be caught in the twin lakes and Rainbow Trout can be caught in the biggest lake on the island (below). This is one of the very few places in Ireland where rainbow Trout naturally breed.
Trout, Pollock and Mackerel are a common catch while sea fishing.
Food – If you would rather buy dinner than catch it there are plenty of places to dine. Enjoy fresh Fish and Chips in Caifé an Ghabhann, Pizza & Bar Food in Early’s Bar, Stone Oven pizza at Neily’s Bar, Pick up a few snacks for the beach at Boathouse Beach Bites (link) and many more delicious options.
The Arranmore Ferry – The 15 minute ferry crossing to the island is an experience in itself. Often you will see dolphins swimming alongside the ferry, which runs every hour in peak season. Timetables and tickets available here.
Glamping – looking for a different and quirky stay? The Arranmore Pods offer luxury self contained accommodation that sleep up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children. The Pods are the ideal accommodation if you’re looking for a tranquil island escape.
Traditional Music & Nightlife – Although the island has a wonderful tranquility during the day, it also has a good reputation for its nightlife. You will find a buzz of traditional music played by local band Green Island in Teac Phil Ban during the day, followed by evening music in Early’s Bar and many often end up in Smugglers Nightclub until the early hours of the morning.
As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do on Arranmore. With the Covid-19 restrictions this may be the closest you will get to island hopping this year. So, get on board and tick Arranmore Island off your Wild Atlantic Way list.
A great place to visit for a day or to stay…