The Number One Travel Guide for Galway Ireland
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Galway Hookers are a distinctive form of native Irish boat, and beautiful Carraroe is the epicentre of their preservation and revival. Here the small number of Galway Hookers which are still in seaworthy condition are pitted against each other in the annual “Féile an Dóilín”, the largest Hooker festival in Ireland, and indeed one of the largest maritime festivals in the country. But Galway Hookers sail these waters throughout the year, gliding silently in and out between the headlands and the islands, their black voluminous hulls riding high on the water, and their bright rust coloured sails heeled over in the Atlantic wind. Up until the 1950′s the Galway Hooker was the means by which all supplies and livestock were ferried in and out of the islands, and the Hooker’s hull was built wide and deep to accommodate heavy loads.

Carraroe’s Blue Flag beach, which translates into Irish as “Trá an Dóilin”, is set in an area of great natural beauty. The beach is noted for its very fine coral, one of just two beaches on the West of Ireland with coral shingle. There are lots of little rock pools to explore, as well as excellent scuba diving, and snorkeling opportunities.

Getting to Carraroe

By bus, or car. Bus Eireann Route 424 provides a service from Galway to Carraroe. Alternatively take the R336 west from Galway to Casla, and then the R343 to Carraroe.

Where to stay

Carraroe has a good selection of comfortable places to stay including small hotels, self-catering holiday homes, guesthouses and B&B's.

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Follow the coast

Carraroe is surrounded by beautiful coastal towns. Don't miss Lettermore and Kilkieran if you are travelling north, and Rossaveel, and An Spidéal, if you are travelling south.

Things to do in Carraroe.

  1.  “Labhair Gaeilge”. The local shops and cafes will be delighted to have you practice your Irish. Don’t be shy about trying out your “cupla focal”.
  2.  You have to swim on “Trá an Dóilin” just one of two Irish beaches with coral shingle. Be aware however that visitors are asked not to remove pieces of the coral.
  3.  Potter around Caladh Thadhg pier and enjoy the presence of traditional boats. Ask locally is any boats are being made on the area, and if possible get to visit.
  4.  Carraroe is perfect cycling territory, and indeed views like these are best seen from a bicycle. Put your bike in the back of your car and take to two wheels as soon as you arrive.

Carraroe Map

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