The chances are that you’ll have come across pictures of Dún Aonghasa fort at one point or another.
The cliff-side fort on Inis Mór in Galway is one of the most iconic places in Ireland, and it tends to grace the cover of many a postcard and travel guide.
It’s not hard to see why, either – the ancient fort of Dún Aonghasa is perched at the edge of a 300-foot high cliff.
In the guide below, you’ll find out everything you need to know about Dún Aonghasa, from its history and location to how to reach it and more.
About Dún Aonghasa
You’ll find Dún Aonghasa (anglicized Dun Aengus) on Inis Mór, the largest of the mighty Aran Islands, at the mouth of Galway Bay.
Dún Aonghasa is one of a number of prehistoric hill forts that are scattered across the three Aran Islands.
However, it stands out from the crowd thanks to its dramatic location. Yep, that’s the fort in the photo above – perched on the side of a 300-foot high cliff.
Although Dún Aonghasa’s date of construction is unknown, it’s widely believed that much of the structure was built between the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
According to Wikipedia, it’s believed that the fort was constructed during the 2nd century BC by the Builg – ancient people who are believed to have resided in southern Ireland.
It’s believed that Dún Aonghasa was once 3,000 feet above sea level
Excavations carried out at Dún Aonghasa in the ’90s revealed that people lived at/near the fort from c.1500 BC.
It’s believed that the first walls and dwellings were erected c.1100 BC. Imagine sleeping here for a night, never mind a lifetime.
The fort is made up of four dry stone walls and a gorgeous network of defensive stones that date back to c.700bc surround the entire structure (see photo above).
When Dún Aonghasa was originally built, sea levels were much lower, and it’s thought that the fort could have sat 3,000+ feet above the chilly waters below.
How to get to Dún Aonghasa
You can get to Inis Mór by ferry or by plane. There’s a departure point for the Aran Islands from Doolin in Clare. There’s another from Rossaveel in Galway.
If you’d rather dodge the sea and travel by air, you can grab a flight from Connemara Airport at Inverin.
Once you arrive on Inis Mór, you can travel to the fort by foot or you can rent a bike near the pier (I can’t recommend exploring the island on bike enough!).
The visitor centre
You’ll find the Dún Aonghasa Visitor Center on the edge of Kilmurvey Craft Village where it boasts a wealth of information about the fort, the Cliffs, and the island.
There are several presentation outlets and heaps educational material at the centre which will give you a solid insight into the fort and the island. Here’s how much it costs to visit:
- Adult: €5.00
- Group/Senior: €4.00
- Child/Student: €3.00
- Family: €13.00
- Free admission when staying overnight on Inis Mór participating accommodation.
If you’re visiting Dún Aonghasa fort, make sure to carve out some time to visit the nearby Wormhole.
A visit here is arguably one of the most unique things to do in Ireland. Find out everything to know about the Wormhole on Inis Mór.
And that’s a wrap. Have you visited Dún Aonghasa yet? If so, did it live up to expectations?