Aranmore Island, off the coast of Donegal offers beautiful scenery with its wild, unspoilt and rugged landscape.
This Gaeltacht region is well known for it’s warm welcome, friendly atmosphere, traditional music and great pubs.
Getting to Aranmore island
It is one of Ireland’s most accessible islands to reach from the mainland, with the ferry crossing taking only 15 minutes from Burtonport.
Bikes can be hired from Earlys pub, which is a short walk to the right of the ferry port.
“Take the strenuous uphill cycle to reach the West side of the island where you will find the lighthouse. Leave the bikes at the gate and walk left down the hill and you will find the top of a stone path leading to a unique stone stairway which creeps down the cliffs to the sea below.”
The search for Aranmore Island’s mysterious fisherman stairs
We began our journey to Aranmore Island by ferry on a beautiful sunny evening and calm sea. After filling our bellies in Jerry Earlys pub, we enjoyed the uphill walk to his B&B. The setting was magical. The B&B was high on a hill and offered spectacular views of the sun setting on the nearby islands and the mainland. Mount Errigal’s distinctive cone peak could be spotted in the distance.
We rose at 6am and cycled to the far end of the island in search of Aranmore’s lighthouse and the elusive stone stairs. The steep uphill ride was a calf-burning struggle but the views and endorphins were worth it.
We enjoyed the downhill ride to the lighthouse with epic views of enormous sea cliffs, sea arches, and sheep… lots of sheep.
Leaving our bikes at the gates of the lighthouse, we began exploring the coast by foot until we found the stony path that lead to the stone cliff steps that descended the cliff down to the sea.
Delighted with our find, we returned to Early’s for a delicious breakfast. The following hours were spent on Aranmore’s beautiful beach resting our legs and enjoying a dip in the sea before returning to the mainland on the ferry. A perfect trip.
Staying on the Island
There are plenty of options for accommodations on the island including B&B’s, a hostel, hotel and holiday home rentals.
See here for options.