Getting the ferry to the Aran Islands from Galway City is nice and straight forward.
The first options is to take the Rossaveel Ferry, which is around around a 45-minute drive from Galway City.
The second option is to take the relatively new ferry from the docks in Galway to the Aran Islands. Read on for the details.
Some quick need-to-knows about the ferry to the Aran Islands from Galway City
Although getting the the ferry to the Aran Islands from Galway City is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
1. They leave from the city, Connemara and Doolin
The handiest option to get from Galway to the Aran Islands is to take the seasonal ferry from the city’s docks. The other option involve driving a bit of a distance and then getting a ferry from either Rossaveel (Connemara). Info below.
2. You need to be very clear about what’s involved
There are a number of different routes and types of services that sail from County Galway to the Aran Islands. For example, it’s possible to book direct sailings to any one of the islands and back or one-way tickets. Some sailings also include a scenic tour of the Cliffs of Moher on the way back.
3. How long it takes
The duration of the sailing varies depending on where you’re departing from and which island you’re sailing to, as well as other things like tours. Inis Mor is the closest to the Galway coast and is the quickest route. From Galway City, the journey takes around an hour and a half, or between 30 and 40 minutes from Rossaveal.
4. Passengers only
Bear in mind that all of the ferry services in this guide are for foot traffic only and there are no regular car ferries. That’s no problem to be fair. All three islands are small enough to explore on foot or by bike.
5. You can also fly
Yes, you can fly from the Aran Islands to Galway and vice versa. Flights depart and arrive at Connemara Airport and they leave nice and frequently. Just make sure to book in advance.
Option 1: The Aran Islands from Galway City ferry
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Galway, the ferry from the city’s docks across to Inis Mor is well-worth considering.
This tour (affiliate link) lasts 8.5 hours in total and has excellent reviews online. Here’s a rough outline of what’s involved:
- Leave Galway City and sail across to Inis Mor
- Spend 4.5 hours on the island seeing Dun Aonghasa, the Worm Hole and more
- The return journey takes you past the Cliffs of Moher
Option 2: The Aran Islands from Galway’s Rossaveel
The second option is to take one of the ferries from Rossaveel, around a 45-minute drive from Galway City.
This option will suit those of you staying in one of the various Connemara hotels. You can sail to any of the three Aran Islands from Rossaveel. Here’s three tours to check out (affiliate links):
FAQs about how to get to the Aran Islands from Galway
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Which boat to the Aran Islands is the best?’ to ‘When do they leave?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
How long is the ferry ride from Galway to Aran Islands?
This will depend on which of the islands you’re visiting, but it can take around 40-minutes from Rossaveel and 1.5 hours from Galway City.
Is there a direct ferry from Galway to Aran Islands?
Yes. A ferry leaves from the docks in Galway to the Aran Islands (Inis Mor) during the tourist season. This is a great option for those staying in Galway City Centre.