Carl O’Grady takes some time to talk about the wonders of Clare Island and Corey offers a few tips that will help you take a second look at your travel plans and assure you don’t over extend your itinerary.
Have a listen and feel free to read the show notes:
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Photos from Clare Island:
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Intro – The Devil’s Bit by Theresa Larkin and Noel McQuaid
Chat with Carl O’Grady
Located in Clew Bay. Clare Island is 5 miles long by 3 miles wide.
Nearby: Achill Island, Westport, Newport, Croagh Patrick (Ireland’s Pilgrimage mountain), Louisburgh (surfing beaches).
A twenty-minute ferry ride from Roonah Harbour/Roonah Pier (www.clareislandferry.com). You may see bottlenose dolphins, seals, and seabirds on the crossing. Tickets are available online or on-site.
Home of Grace O’Malley’s Castle at the beach on Clare Island.
Inner bay is dotted with islands called drumlins that were created by glaciers… as well as Inisturk Island and Caher Island (once a Cistercian monastery).
Why visit Clare Island?
Clare Island for history buffs: megalithic tombs (burial chamber), 45 Fulachta Fia (ancient cooking sites), still-visible potato ridges from the pre-famine era (“Paddy Fields” 1845-52), Grace O’Malley (Granuaile – Ireland’s Pirate Queen).
Clare Island for Adventure-Seekers: hiking, walking, Knockmore climb (1520 feet above sea level with ocean cliffs at the back), cycling, archaeological trail walk, raft-building events/festival, coasteering packages (maneuvering along the island’s rocky coastline), cliff-jumping, snorkeling, rock climbing, abseiling, orienteering, and a single’s adventure festival.
Clare Island for Romance-Seekers: Clare Island Lighthouse (luxury accommodations with an astounding location), romantic walks along quiet roads and lonely hills.
Cycling and 12th Century lookout tower. Five miles from harbour with a shop about halfway out.
Abbey with 12th Century frescos that are among the best-preserved in Europe.. also site of Grace O’Malley’s grave.
Clare Island for Families: Grace O’Malley story, Blue Flag Beach, hiking and trails, snorkeling, light coasteering, family yoga retreats, equestrian trekking (specializing in natural horsemanship), Ballytoughey Loom, chocolate cake at Anna’s Cafe, captaining the ferry.
The O’Grady family on Clare Island.
Accommodation on Clare Island: GoExplore Hostel (community areas, guest kitchen, en-suite family rooms, en-suite small dormitory rooms, cold breakfast), Clare Island Lighthouse, Yoga Retreat Centre, Guest Houses/B&Bs (O’Grady’s 4 Star and McCabe’s), holiday rentals (apartments and cottages), camping.
Nightlife on Clare Island: live bands, trad sessions, ceoltis (dancing, singing, traditional music) singer/songwriter nights.
Safety on Clare Island.
Weather on Clare Island.
Visitor season on Clare Island April to October.
Last-minute booking on Clare Island.
Avoiding the overloaded itinerary and feeding you soul.
- dedicate at least 36 hours of your trip
- choose a location you can settle in
- don’t create a checklist, just basic research
- book your arrival and accommodations
Music: Free Bird by Anne Roos www.celticharpmusic.com