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.
Discover Connemara, a beautifully scenic region just north of Galway City with Lally Tours. This tour includes stops at Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Gardens, Leenane Village, Killary Fjord and the village of An Spidéal overlooking Galway Bay.
Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour
The unmissable Cliffs of Moher & Burren Tour with Lally Tours includes up to 2 hours at the cliffs and includes stops at the lunar-like Burren region, Dunguaire Castle, Aillwee Caves & Birds of Prey Centre and the charming village of Doolin overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Cliffs of Moher Express Bus
A Non-Stop Express Shuttle Service to the Cliffs of Moher with Lally Tours. Experience Ireland’s natural, mysterious, 214m (702 ft) high cliffs and interactive visitor centre. You’ll have 2 full hours to explore on your own before heading back to Galway.
Galway City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Explore Galway with one of Lally Tours' friendly guides to learn about this colourful city and see it from the best vantage point: an open top bus! You’ll see everything from medieval walls in the city centre to the sandy beaches of Salthill. Hop on and off as much as you’d like and your ticket is valid for 24 hours.