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Arranmore Island

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Arranmore Island

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Arranmore Island is an island in The Rosses, County Donegal.It is the largest inhabited island in County Donegal, and the second largest in all of Ireland, with a population of 528 in 2006, down from 543 in 2002, and over 600 in 1996.

Get in

The island lies 3 miles off Burtonport and a ferry, that accommodates up to 128 foot passengers and all sizes of vehicles, runs daily all year. The trip to the island affords spectacular views and takes between 25-30 minutes passing a number of small islands before crossing a stretch of open Atlantic water. The proximity of Carrickfin International Airport (15 minutes by car to Burtonport pier) and there is accessibility provided by private coaches from Galway/Dublin/Belfast.

Get around

The best way to get around the island is by foot or bicycle, as the roads are substandard and almost impassable for cars. In any case the island is so small that walking is sufficient to see the whole of it in a few hours.


  • The coastguard station and the lighthouse, whose predecessor has warned seafarers from the islands shores since 1798, are situated on Rinrawros Point at the Northwest of the island providing a focal point for exploration of the surrounding area.
  • The island has a unique collection of wildlife inhabitants. The three miles of open Atlantic ocean prevents access to and from the mainland for land based animals. As a result Arranmore lacks a large number of land animals which might be familiar to anyone living on the Irish mainland. Birdlife is not restricted by the sea and the absence of many of their natural predators means they can live and breed with relative ease on the island. This is reflected in the large number and variety of birds seen every year.



Árainn Mhór boasts excellent lake and sea angling. There are two freshwater lakes which contain Brown trout and one, Loch Shore, is the only lake in Europe where Rainbow trout breed naturally. The rich waters around the island provide numerous Cod, Ling, Conger eel, Pollock, Wrasse, Skate, Turbot and Plaice. Boats for sea angling can be arranged locally by phoning Mickey "Eddie" Gallagher 00353(0)749520522 & Neily Boyle 00353(0)749520745.


There are many small, secluded beaches on the island as well as the main beaches at Aphort & Leabgarrow. The crystal clear waters, shipwrecks, drift dives and varied marine life provide excellent snorkeling and Scuba diving. There are dedicated visitor moorings for yachts and cruisers on the island


Excellent views of the mainland from Glen Head to Tory Island are to be found while walking the islands 7 square miles.




With no less than seven pubs, Arranmore is a pub crawler's dream. Given that there is no permanent Garda Siochana presence on the island, the pubs are usually lax in adhering to closing times, if at all.


  • Arranmore House Hotel. Phone: +353(0)749520918
  • Glen Hotel. Phone +353(0)749520505


  • Brú Árainn Mhór. Phone +353(0)749520014
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