This Wild And Rugged Island Off The Coast Of Donegal Is One Of Ireland’s True Hidden Gems

Welcome to Arranmore Island

Arranmore island ireland

The words ‘hidden gem’ are thrown around too lightly these days.

Mainly by mad-for-the-clicks websites who refer to Ireland’s ‘hidden gems’ as everything from bog standard cafes to popular tourist attractions.

Calling something a ‘hidden gem’ drives allllllll the clicks.

That being said, Ireland is home to many a hidden gem. Often, though, they’re places that are a little off the beaten track, and aren’t as easily accessible as the likes of the Cliffs of Moher or the Giants Causeway.

This is going to be the first in series of guides that’ll help you discover some of Ireland’s real hidden gems.

Welcome to the wild, rugged and gorgeous island of Arranmore 😍😍

You’ll find Arranmore Island around 5 km off the Donegal coast.

This mighty island is a wild and rugged hidden gem that boasts magnificent cliff views, dramatic sea caves and lovely golden sandy beaches.

Explore the island by day, and kick-back by an open turf fire and listen to some traditional Irish music in one of the islands lively pubs by night.

Don’t take my word for it – hit play on the video below from Dave Davis to see it for yourself.

Hungry for more?

About Arranmore Island

At around seven square miles in size, Arranmore island is the second largest of Ireland’s inhabited islands, and it’s the biggest of Donegal’s islands.

For those looking to explore, the island has many marked trails that’ll take you past an ever-changing tapestry of natural beauty, from sandy beaches to craggy cliffs.

The island, which has been inhabited since prehistoric times, has a rich and vibrant heritage and culture, and many Gaelic traditions still thrive here.

Here’s a little gander at what the island has to offer from the eyes of Arranmore Hostel’s Sebastian Sebo.

arranmore island walks
Photo by ‎Sebastian Sebo

You can nearly hear the crash as wave after powerful wave clatters against the jagged cliff face.

arranmore island donegal ireland
Photo by ‎Sebastian Sebo

Who needs a gym…

These steps remind me a little of the ones found on Skellig Michael in Kerry.

arrandmore island donegal
Photo by ‎Sebastian Sebo
arranmore island cliffs
Photo by ‎Sebastian Sebo
arranmore island views
Photo by ‎Sebastian Sebo

Things to do on Arranmore Island

From marked walks that offer spectacular views in every direction, to scuba diving and more, there are an endless number of ways that you can fill a day on Arranmore.

Hit play on the video below for a look at some of the many things there are to do on the island.

Arranmore Activities
  • Dabble in a bit of deep sea diving (info here)
  • Get the heart-rate up on a looped walk around the island (more info on the walk here)
  • Head off on the Sea Safari & Marine Heritage Guided Tours (more info here)
  • Try your hand at a bit of sea angling (more info here)
  • Give water sports a crack (find out more)
  • Try your hand at rock climbing (there’s a pun in there somewhere – info here)

Thinking about visiting Arranmore?

If you’ve been overcome by a wave of wanderlust and fancy taking a trip to the island, here’s some info on how to get there and where to stay.

How to get to the island

Whether your exploring Donegal by car, bicycle or foot, you can hop on one of two ferries that leave for Arranmore:

Ferries leave every hour during the summer months and take just 15 minutes

arranmore island ferry
Photo via Donegal Cottage Holidays

Where to stay on Arranmore Island

For those of you planning on visiting Arranmore, there are a number of highly recommended places to stay on the island.

Places to stay on Arranmore

Here’s some of the places for you to rest your head on the island;

Have you been to Arranmore? Are you mad to check it out? Is there something you’d like me to add to the guide above?

Pop a comment in the comments section below!