Jun 5th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Head to Galway Ireland

Galway and the Aran Islands are famous and my travel hero Rick Steves agrees. The Arans are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland. They constitute the barony of Aran in County Galway, Ireland. Irish is the main spoken language on all three islands, and is the language used naming the islands and their villages and townlands. Irish remains the first language of the islanders, and despite the hundreds of senior tourists who pour off the ferries each summer day, the islands maintain an untamed character that makes them a highlight of the western coast.

Getting to the Islands

The three Aran Islands, Inis Mór Island (Big Island), Inis Meáin Island (Middle island) and Inis Oírr Island (East island)  can be reached by sea by catching a ferry at Rossaveal, or by air at Connemara Regional airport near Inverin. Two ferry companies operate regular services from Rossaveal to Kilronan, the main village on Inis Mór. A regular coach service links Galway to Rossaveal which is located about 50km (one hour drive). The crossing takes about 40 minutes.

Now listen to “Galway Bay”

Thomascow`s version of Galway Bay It is a traditional 1947 Irish folk song with some very green backgrounds. Celtic Woman are renown for singing the same Irish melody and the woman who sings this is my favorite singer in the group. Perhaps you have seen Celtic Woman. I think that you will enjoy this presentation as well (performing You Raise Me Up). What a terrific group! A little jeb rabbit trail…

Seniors Enjoy A Rich Cultural Heritage

Famous for the island’s geological formation, the country’s historical monuments and their linguistic and cultural heritage,  the three islands are total beauty as this video shows.The Irish(Gaelic) language is still spoken here and in the twenty first century all native born islanders are bilingual in both Irish and English.


The largest of the three islands is Inishmore.  You will find an excellent Visitor’s Center, Ionad Arainn, that provides a solid introduction to the history and culture of the island. Sites to see include the interesting remains of Arkin’s Castle, a Cromwellian fort that maintained a garrison during the 17th and 18th centuries. Saint Ciaran’s Monastery, east of the village, where senior visitors can see several early cross-slabs, pillars and a holy well dedicated to the early saint. Also in this locality is the very early Saint Soorney’s Church. To the west of Kilronan is the church of Saint Enda, the saint most closely identified with the spread of Christianity on Aran.  Undoubtedly the most famous and impressive site on Inishmore is the great stone fortress of Dun Aonghasa — the largest of the prehistoric stone forts of the Aran Islands. It is perched spectacularly on the edge of a sheet 100m (300 ft) cliff that falls away into the Atlantic Ocean.

Set up a Senior Tour

There are several reputable tour companies that depart for the Cliffs of Moher where you will discover Irish culture in an original, natural, magnificent setting. Ireland has so much to offer senior visitors and the Aran Islands are just a small part. There is no better way to explore and experience history, culture and wildlife of the Aran Islands than by taking a guided walking tour.  Seniors will keep occupied with several things to do on the Arans and you will find great accommodations as well.

And souvenirs…

The Aran sweater first began to emerge in the early part of the twentieth century. Aran women had always been knitting fisherman’s jerseys, or ‘ganseys’, as islanders call them, to help their husbands and families weather the often-treacherous island conditions. I can’t think of a better souvenir. I picked one up in at the airport on my way back from Europe and have loved it and worn it for years.

Anyway you slice Ireland, seniors will come up with Galway as one of the main attractions full of history, events and good old Irish recipes. Write down a few of these important phrases and you’ll go a long way to getting what you want.   So for now, Slán (Slawn) = Goodbye. jeb

Tags: , , , ,

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.