Posted by: Laura | March 12, 2010

Island Sites: The Worm Hole, A Hidden Gem

Most people think that on an island only 6 km long by 3 km wide, one would be able to see most everything there is to see in one or two days. While many tourists do explore much of what Inis Mor has to offer on a day trip, I have had plenty to see and do over the past month. And there are still many places on the island I’ve yet to find.

When I visited Inis Mor back in September, my friend Shannon and I attempted to tour the island on a bike as many tourists do. However, we failed to get a map and got lost. Needless to say we didn’t see anything other than the tower – and a lot of rocks. The next day, we paid another ten euro and got on a tour bus. After the disaster from the previous day, I still consider this possibly the best ten euro ever spent. While on the tour bus, we saw many of the island’s main features, one of the coolest places, The Worm Hole, is off the beaten path and thus not included on the tour. So I’ve been looking forward to visiting this elusive location.

Poll na bPeist as the locals call it, is a rectangular pool in which the sea flows in and out. Many visitors don’t get to see this fantastic site because it’s not an easy place to find. But when you do, you are rewarded with remarkable views of the cliffs and a front row seat to a truly unique, natural landmark. Located just south of the famous Dun Aonghasa (Angus Fort), The Worm Hole is a beautiful hike along the coast that involves climbing over, and around towering, limestone cliffs. I was lucky to have my friend, Cathal, guide Anni, Desiree and I out to there. Without him, I’m not sure I would have ever found it. To get there, follow the only road going through the village of Gort na gCapall until it ends. Turn right onto a smaller “road” (I use that term loosely because its not paved, and I’m not sure a car could drive down the rocky lane)  walking until you reach a small gap in a short, stone fence. From there you wind along the shore for about 30 minutes. Anni, Desiree and I honestly started to doubt Cathal even knew where he was going because it just seemed like we were walking for ages. But, just as we started to question whether he was taking the piss at our expense, we arrived at our destination.

It was really quite amazing to see such a perfect rectangular pool that wasn’t man-made. And, if you walk a short ways past The Worm Hole, the views of the cliffs and Dun Aonghasa are simply breathtaking. Cathal said it was the best view on the island, and I’m inclined to agree with him.



  1. Wow! Wish we would have made it there, it looks really neat – and so incredible that it’s that shape and not man-made.

    I am just imagining all we could have seen (besides rocks) had we not gotten so lost 🙂

    I’ll have to see it next time I make it that way!

    • yes, we will have to make plans to meet up there sometime!! honestly i’m not sure we would have found it…it turns out many tourists can’t find it because its a much longer walk (along the shore) than one would think. most people turn around too early thinking they messed up.

      just so you know – still haven’t attempted to bike the island again after our last experience! and i get free bikes…how sad is that?

  2. My husband and I visited the Aran Islands last May by bike. I loved the spot and wished we’d stayed longer. Rode out on old farm tracks to Dun Aonghasa, marvelled at the birds, and ate very well at The Pier House – just hated the ferry from Doolin to get there.
    Wish we’d seen the worm hole.

    • I agree, Leigh. I was first here in September and felt two days just wasn’t enough…and I really failed miserably at biking. This island has so many wonderful places to see and enjoy – I’m so glad I get to hang around for a while!

  3. That’s VERY cool! Impressive to say the least!

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