All aboard for the smoothest way to Aran

IN a summer where we’re being discouraged from taking to the skies for our annual dose of Vitamin D, there’s a wonderful alternative summer holiday destination and it’s right here on our doorstep.

One of the very few downsides to being a Galwegian is we can often take for granted the multitude of amazing destinations we have within our county boundary. One of our most under-appreciated assets is the Aran Islands, which have this year come into their own as they offer a substitute ‘foreign’ escape in that we actually have to leave terra firma to get there.

The trek to Rossaveal for the ferry, or Inverin for the flight was enough for some of us to put off a day trip to Inis Mór, but now that excuse is gone with the launch of a new service from Galway docks that takes in all three islands, as well as a stunning cruise past the Cliffs of Moher on the return journey.

Saoirse na Farraige is nothing like any Irish passenger ferry I’ve travelled on. Its plush leather seats below deck and covered upper seating give a sense of life on the ocean wave in a way no previous ferry managed to conjure up for me.

The smoothness of the journey may well have been down to agreeable sea and weather conditions on the day but either way this is a mode of transport that definitely fits the comfort bill.

Docking into Kilronan mid-morning gives ample time to decide which of the island’s many gems are worth exploring and a plethora of bike hire businesses all the way up from the pier means there’s no escaping the fact that two wheels are undoubtedly the best way to get about.

Read the full feature in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald, on sale in shops and online