Mannin Bay Blueway, Clifden
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Clifden, Galway, Republic of Ireland
Mannin Bay, located southwest of Clifden has a roadside beach which you enter via the small car park. This is an ideal spot for a range of water-based activities.
Mannin Bay to the southwest of Clifden has a small roadside beach which is an ideal launch point for a range of water-based activities. Entry to the beach is via the small car park. Look closely at the sand here and you will see it is made up of the remains of a type of coralline seaweed and the skeletal remains of barnacles, mollusks and sponge.
The Blueway is a network of water trails at which you can to experience a variety of water based activities, including kayaking and snorkelling, in a safe controlled environment.
A series of rocky pools to the right (north) provide a haven for a variety of sea life and may tempt you to continue snorkelling to the adjoining beach some 400 metres further. Along the way you will see the reddish coloured coralline seaweed which when broken becomes one of the bleached white skeletons that makes up the local sand. This underwater plant takes many years to grow so please be gentle and leave no trace.
Setting off to the right (north) paddle the 4.5 km round trip along the rocky shoreline towards and around the small island. This trail can be extended into the small bay to the east of the island (7 km). To the left (west) of Mannin beach, you can follow the rocky shoreline dotted with beaches many difficult to land on. A number of short ‘out and back’ kayak trips can be made along this section of shoreline depending on the kayaker’s level of experience. A trip from Mannin Bay to Truska beach is an option for more experienced kayakers (7 km each way).
The bright white sand of the area allows a clear view of the marine life passing underneath - be sure to look down as well as around you.
There are a number of water-sports providers operating in the area and these providers can introduce you to snorkelling and kayaking in addition to a range of other water sports. To avoid disappointment you are advised to contact and book in advance, although you might be lucky and be able to book them on the day.
Do you have your own equipment and some experience? Use the on-site Blueway Be Safe guide and map to plan your route. Phone a local water sports provider if you want additional information - see the back of the on-site information board for local water-sports provider contact details.