Aranmore Island Donegal
The island lies 5 km off Burtonport and is served by two ferry services, a conventional ferry that accommodates up to 96 foot passengers and all sizes of vehicles. This journey takes 15 minutes. In 2007, a fast ferry service commenced which can cover the run to the island in 5 minutes. Both services run daily all year. The trip to the island affords spectacular views, passing a number of small islands before crossing a stretch of open Atlantic water.
The proximity of Carrickfinn International Airport (25 minutes by car to Burtonport pier) and the accessibility provided by bus from Galway/Dublin/Belfast make Aranmore an ideal destination for weekend and short breaks. The island is home to Ireland’s only island-based football team, and formerly Donegal’s only non-inshore lifeboat service. The Arranmore station, with its Severn class lifeboat, remains the best equipped in the county. For a visitor, the island has a character distinct from Donegal, partly through its separation from the mainland and partly through its diaspora outside Ireland.
The island, in common with many communities at the edge of Europe, has shed people to many parts of the English-speaking world. These are not lost, however, and many return for the summer school holidays, doubling the resident population. The influx of young people during the summer gives rise to an active youth culture.