The village, whose Irish name "An Cheathrú Rua" means a red or rugged area, is within the Irish-speaking region (Gaeltacht) of Connemara and is famous for its traditional fishing boats known as Galway Hookers. During Summer many of them are moored at Sruthán and Caladh Thadhg piers. The population is widely dispersed over Carraroe peninsula between Greatman's Bay (Cuan an Fhir Mhóir) and Casla Bay (Cuan Chasla).
Carraroe has an unusual coral beach, Trá an Dóilín, in front of which every June takes place the traditional hookers Race known as "Féile an Dóilín".