The Aran Islands are certainly a wonderful place to visit during the Summer, but there are also many advantages to travelling to the islands during October. The ferry services finish at the end of October, as the seas start to get very wild in Doolin from the beginning of November. From the months of November to February no ferries operate at all from Doolin, so the last chance to visit is October.
The advantages of travelling in October are the following:
To save money : The Aran Island hotels and B&Bs generally increase their rates due to the busy summer periods, meeting the popular demand. Like everywhere else, off-peak season is cheaper, so therefore easier on the pocket! (Which means you can spend more money on nice activities such as walking-tours and cycles!)
To avoid the crowds : Around October you will find that there are less tourists and less events happening. Less crowds can mean more space, less busy restaurants and shops and more time to relax and embrace the surroundings. Less busy craft shops and museums can results in you spending more time reading and taking in the true culture of the island with more ease.
If you are into sport : Tourists can enjoy some real wave action in the wintertime. Popular sports such as surfing and wind-surfing attract eager tourists.
More time with the locals : The best way to learn about the true culture of a place is by chatting with the locals. If there are less people around, take advantage and pick their brains on the history, lifestyles and wildlife of the islands. Learn a couple of ‘focal as gaeilge’ (Irish words) and chat like a real local! We have the essentials here!
The weather : The west of Ireland can certainly get extreme weather conditions, so wrapping up is essential. However, there is nothing quite like hanging out in a cosy bar by an open fire while its cold outside.