The West of Ireland is renowned for its consistent winds coming in from the Atlantic ocean. We guess it’s not called the Wild Atlantic Way for nothing! Irish adventure tours are all about the rugged West Coast of Ireland.
Sailing along the coast has grown in popularity over the past decade. With sailing festivals popping up around the country and the famous “Volvo Ocean Race” embracing Galway City as one of their official stops, the people of Ireland have become hooked by the sport.
Before the advent of roads and rail , all transport to and from the mainland was done by sailing boats. Our most famous sailing vessel hails from county Galway. The traditional “Galway Hooker” sail boat with its signature maroon sails was used by fishermen in Galway Bay to transport fuel and food from the Aran Islands to the mainland as well as for fishing purposes.
Today we have an unusually named festival in honour of these majestic sailing boats which is held in the stunning fishing village of Kinvara. This festival is called Cruinniú na mBád or the Festival of the Hookers! Needless to remark we have a bit of explaining to do to our guests when we travel through the village during the festivities! During your Overland Ireland small group tour you will definitely see some of these magnificent vessels.
There is a life-sized replica of a Galway Hooker for visitors to see for free at the Galway City Museum. Your guide is happy to show you around during one of our Irish adventure tours.
On your custom Overland tour of Ireland, we have the option of sailing in Galway Bay in a Galway Hooker or travelling to the Aran Islands on your own private yacht. You will learn the ropes from our experienced skipper. He will teach you how to keep the boat on course and keep you entertained with stories along the way. Guests can also just sit back, relax and enjoy the journey keeping an eye out for dolphins, whales and seals who like to follow in the wake of the boat.
Guests who choose the option of the yacht to Aran can overnight on the boat after an activity packed day exploring Inishmore – the largest of the Aran Islands. The sailing trip has been a highlight for many guests on their Ireland small group tour.