Unique Ireland: Welcome To The Serpents Lair On Inis Mór (AKA ‘The Wormhole’)

A very unique attraction

Poll na bPéist wormhole
photos by Stefano_Valeri + Timaldo (shutterstock.com)

A couple of months back we started a bit of a mini-series that shines the spotlight on some of Ireland’s hidden gems.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve looked at everything from secret waterfalls in Donegal to castles plonked smack bang in the middle of lakes.

Today, we’re off to County Galway to have a gander at a naturally formed phenomenon that’s found on the mighty Inis Mór Island.

Welcome to Poll na bPeist: The Wormhole on Inis Mór

Poll na bPeist
Photo by Lukasz Warzecha via Failte Ireland

Although you’ll often hear it referred to as ‘the Serpent’s Lair’ and ‘the Wormhole’, the official name for one of the Aran Islands most unique attractions is ‘Poll na bPeist’.

You’ll find Poll na bPeist around 1.6km south of the magnificent cliffside fort of Dun Aonghasa, on the west side of Inis Mór Island.

Although the finely-cut edges would lead you to believe that this is a man-made swimming pool, it was in fact formed naturally… which is a little bit mental to think, when you look at the photo above!

Poll na bPeist has a number of underground channels which connect to the ocean. When the tide is in, water rushes into the hole via an underground cave and forces the water over the edges, filling the hole from above.

Yes, this is where the Red Bull Diving Series took place

If you’re looking at the pictures above and thinking that you’ve seen the Wormhole on Inis Mór before, the chances are you saw some of the videos from the Red Bull Diving Series that went viral in 2017.

Inis Mór was the first stop on the 2017 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Divers gracefully hopped into a sinking and swelling blowhole. Bricks would be shat…

Divers jumped from a diving board on the cliffs above down into the chilly waters below. Bash the play button above and feel your stomach twitch.

How to get to the Wormhole

inis mor bike hire
Photo by MNStudio/shutterstock.com

You’ll find the Wormhole on the island of Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands. There are several ways to get here:

  • By plane (from Connemara Airport at Inverin)
  • By ferry (from Doolin Pier in Clare or Rossaveel in Galway)

Pair a visit to the Wormhole with a visit to Dun Aonghasa. You’ll reach Dun Aonghasa first. Have a nosey out at the cliffs here and the magnificent fort.

From here, follow the signs for Gort na gCapall (or just ramble (carefully east along the cliffs from Dun Aonghasa).

Other things to do on Inis Mór

Inishmore glamping guide
Photo by Chris Hill via Failte Ireland

If you’re visiting Galway and you’re debating taking a ferry (or a flight) over to the Aran Islands, then get off the fence – they’re WELL WORTH the visit!

The three islands of Aran are home to an almost endless number of things to see and do, from spectacular cliffs and plenty of forts to historic sites and lovely little cafes

Here’s a detailed guide to the Aran Islands to help you discover which island(s) to visit and what to see during your trip.

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi. Love your site and have been reading up a bunch before my trip in July 2020. What is the best way to find the worm hole? I plan on renting bikes on Inishmore and was thinking of biking to Dun Aonghasa. Then I read another blog about getting to the Worm Hole and it looked like this person went the the little group of houses where on Google Earth it has “Liam O’Flaherty Commemorative Garden” and from there they found arrows directing to the worm hole? Others seem to say to walk from Dun Aonghasa. Thanks!

    • Hi Kristen,

      Cheers for the kind words!

      If you nip into our guide to the Aran Islands, you’ll find some directions on how to get there from the fort.

      To be honest, I’m not familiar with the route from the house you mentioned (it could still be a perfect route to follow).

      If in doubt, just ask the person that’s renting out the bike to you – they’ll be able to advise on the best route to take!

      Have a brilliant trip!

      Keith

  2. Hello Keith, improvisors from around the globe were supposed to be traveling to Ireland this week for an improv retreat with workshops, shows, Guinness and Jameson drinking. Many of us were going to be touring the island before and after the retreat. That all came crashing down. We are trying to salvage what we can (we are improvisors after all) and are taking a virtual trip to Ireland. I just found your site, and it will be a nice addition to our exploratory guides.

    Thanks!

    • Ah, I know the feeling Joe! I was on a trip that had been planned for a long time and had to cut it short. We’ll both be able to resume our adventures some time some.

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Keith

  3. I have always wanted to travel back to where my family originated. But I cannot physically travel. Your site helps me look at places only mentioned by other family members.
    Keep it up I’m loving everything you do.

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