Inis Mór, Aran Islands


July 2014

Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran islands, is a great place for a holiday and the swimming is good too. Below we list four of the best places to swim, but there are more if you have time to visit. The island is easy to get around, with a rented bike the best way to travel.


Trá na bhFrancach

Situated about a kilometre from the harbour, this is a lovely and accessible place to swim. The water here is blue and the sand white. There is a gradual wade in and when we were there the calm waters allowed for a lovely, long swim.

With its sandy beach and sheltered sea, this seems to be a good spot for children and families.

Directions: From the harbour entrance go to the right and along the coast road for a kilometre until you come to the beach.

An Trá Mór:

In contrast, Trá Mór is harder to get to but worth the effort. We were there twice on sunny days and the only company we had was a curious seal. This is a long sandy beach with the lovely clear water to refresh you. It's sandy underfoot and both days we visited the water was calm and lovely for swimming. The only drawback on one of the days was the number of jellyfish being washed ashore. So be careful. As you might be the only one swimming here exercise caution and stay well within your depth.

All in all, a lovely secluded and relaxing place to swim.

Directions. From the harbour entrance go the left and follow the coast road for about 3 kilometres until you pass a pier and then the airport and graveyard. You then have to cross the large sandy inlet and find your way to the beach. Definitely not easily accessible and only for the fit.

Kilmurvey

Kilmurvey is Inis Mor's Salthill. A Blue Flag beach where young and old congregate. As it's on the way to Dun Aonghasa, the island's main tourist attraction, you will also have a good mix of nationalities.

The beach here is curved and sheltered and when we visited the water was clear and calm. It's a good place to practice your swimming with the length of the beach covering about 200 metres.

There are rocks at either end for shelter and a slipway makes it accessible for buggies and wheelchairs. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. Nearby are decent toilets and the coffee shop and other shops at Dun Aonghasa are a 5 minute walk away.

Directions: From the harbour go to the right and as you pass through the village take the road that goes inland. After a few hundred metres at Joe Watty's bar you can go straight on or yoy can take a right turn and follow the coastroad for about 6 kilometres until you come to the beach. This is an easier cycle as you don't climb the hill in the middle of the island and you can coast along by the sea.


The Worm Hole - Poll na bPéist

This must be one of the most interesting and unusual places to swim in the whole country. Made famous over the last couple of years as the location for a Red Bull Cliff Diving competition, the Worm Hole is a great place to swim, but only if you are fit and healthy. Otherwise steer clear.

The hole itself is a rectangular shaped pool with the sea water and the tides filling it from underneath the rocks. The water is lovely and fresh, with its dark blue colour adding to the mystique. However, getting in and out is not easy, especially when the tide is low.

It's a great place to swim but only if you are able for the scrambling involved. When there is a strong sea swell, getting out could be difficult.

 

A link to a film by glowpunk about the diving

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dujBfgWYROQ


Directions; From the harbour head to the right and as you pass through the village take the inland road. You stay on this road for about 5 kilometres until you come to a sprinkling of houses known as Gort na gCapall. Look here for a left turn which is signposted for the Worm Hole. Follow this road and after that you hit a dirt track and then you are cross country for about 15 minutes. It's a hike but well worth it.



Kilmurvey


Trá na bhFrancach


Kilmurvey


Kilmurvey


The Worm Hole - Poll na bPéist










Trá Mór




Trá Mór


Trá Mór

 






 

 

 

 

 

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