Doolin

Cliffs of Moher

Why
Visit
Doolin

Fun, lively, friendly Pubs with great Irish music - this is our favorite place in Ireland for Irish "trad"

One of Ireland's best small towns to experience local Irish life

Great overnight stop when visiting two of Ireland's iconic locations - the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren

Great location to slow down & take a break when you've had a hectic agenda

Close to one of Ireland's best ancient sites - Poulnabrone Dolmen

What to See and Do in and around Doolin

The Cliffs of Moher are truly one of Ireland's most popular attractions. The cliffs stretch for 8 km and reach a height of over 700 feet at their highest point. They're STUNNING! 
  • You can view the cliffs from 3 primary viewing platforms where there is a railing or some type of wall along the cliff edge. Outside of this area, there are no barriers along the cliff edge so be extremely careful.
  • The Cliffs Exhibition is the exciting interpretive centre at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience. A huge domed cave at the centre of the building, it contains a wealth of fascinating information and displays. To bring to life the many aspects of the cliffs, the dome is organized into four main themed areas: Ocean, Rock, Nature and Man. The Cliffs Exhibition is a self-guided tour.
  • Tip: If you park north and south of the cliffs in designated areas, you can walk along the cliff top path where the scenery is amazing. You'll arrive at the cliffs viewing platforms without paying any admission. If visibility is good, the scenery is stunning.
  • Tip: the admission is cheapest before 11 am and after 4 pm. We like late in the day when the sun is setting and there are fewer visitors. It's peaceful, relaxing and just a great place to be.
The Burren is one of Ireland's most unique landscapes - a karst terrain of bedrock, famously lunar in appearance, that incorporates a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone with cliffs, caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites, such as the more than 80 tombs scattered across the sparse terrain dating from the Mesolithic era right through the Iron Age. The landscape looks pretty barren compared to the rest of Ireland; however, it's stunningly attractive. Within this region is The Burren National Park - Ireland's smallest. Within the Burren National Park, the following sites are well worth a visit:
  • Poulnabrone Dolmen, known as the Portal Tomb, is one of Ireland's most photographed ancient monuments. Built more than 5000 years ago, the otherworldly dolmen (a large slab weighing 5 tons perched on stone uprights) stands amid a swath of rocky pavements. When excavated in the 1980s, 33 human remains, including adults & children, were found here.
  • Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb is one of Ireland's most famous prehistoric grave sites. It's believed to date 4000 to 5000 years ago. A magnificent gold gorget (a crescent of beaten gold that hung around the neck) found here and dating from the late Bronze Age is now on display at the National Museum in Dublin.
  • Aillwee Caves are a series of caves carved out by water some two million years ago. The main cave penetrates 600 meters into the mountain, widening into larger caverns, one with its own waterfall. Within the Aillwee Caves site is a Birds of Prey centre and guided falconry walks.
  • Caherconnell Fort is a well-preserved, drystone caher (walled fort) of the late Iron Age/early Christian period. Exhibits detail how the evolution of these defensive settlements may have reflected territoriality and competition for land among a growing, settling population. Fun sheepdog demos take place during the day.
  • After you've finished visiting the Burren, head to Hazel Mountain Chocolate and satisfy your sweet tooth. It's delicious.
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Bunratty Castle & Folk Park is a must stop on your itinerary to Ireland.
  • Bunratty Castle is named after the River Raite which runs alongside this strategic battlement. The spot on which this castle stands has been occupied for over 1000 years - from the Vikings to the Normans, great Earls and noble Lords and Ladies. Graciously restored in the 1960s and furnished by Lord Gorts magnificent collection of medieval furniture and furnishings, this is a great opportunity to experience a window on Ireland's past and explore the acclaimed Bunratty Castle.
  • Folk Park - experience a reconstruction of the homes & environment of Ireland of over a century ago. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a 'living' village and rural setting. Rural farmhouses, village shops and streets are recreated and furnished as they would have appeared at that time according to their social standing, from the poorest one room dwelling to Bunratty House - a fine example of a Georgian residence-built 1804 home of the Studdarts, the last family to occupy Bunratty Castle.
Bunratty Castle

Scenic drive

Burren 100-mile scenic loop drive

Starting in the charming coastal village of Ballyvaughan is a perfect base for the drive and to explore the Aillwee Cave, the ancient monuments of the Poulnabrone Dolmen and Caherconnell Stone Fort, the delightful Burren Perfumery in Carran, Lemaneh Castle, the ancient cathedral town of Kilfenora with its excellent Burren Interpretive Centre. Visit the little lighthouse at Black Head and view the distant hills of Connemara across Galway Bay.
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Visit the Aran Islands, the Clare Heritage Centre in Corofin, the beautiful Lough Inchiquin, relax in the spa town of Lisdoonvarna and stop anywhere and enjoy the Atlantic air and amazing landscape. It's a great way to spend the afternoon.

Pubs & Irish music

Doolin is our favorite town in Ireland for pubs & Irish music. They're fun, friendly, just stomp your feet & slap your knees. Whatever you do, just get into it.
~ McDermott's
~McGann's
~  Gus O'Connors
~  Fitzpatrick's
..............they're the best!
McDermotts Pub
McDermotts Pub

"We have some of the finest musicians in the world on our doorstep in Doolin, many of which are regulars in McDermotts. Irish music sessions are held nightly here from 9pm where you can enjoy the live traditional music."

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McDermotts Pub
McDermotts Pub

Tip: try and get here early so you make sure you get a good viewing seat. Not all seats/stools have a view. You'll definitely hear it though. Have a pint and some delicious bar food while you're waiting.

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McDermotts Pub
McDermotts Pub

"We have some of the finest musicians in the world on our doorstep in Doolin, many of which are regulars in McDermotts. Irish music sessions are held nightly here from 9pm where you can enjoy the live traditional music."

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Outdoor activities

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Coastal cliff top walk
The Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk is a 13 km trail that runs along the top of the cliffs from Doolin to Hags Head near the town of Liscannor. The path closely follows the edge of the cliffs offering stunning views of both the rocks and the sea below.
Hiking/hillwalking
There are a number of trails in the Burren National Park that offer a rocky limestone surface to navigate which makes the hike more challenging. The Burren Way is a 123 km trail that runs from Lahinch past Carran to both Corofin and Tubber. Figure about 5 days.
Adventure
Rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities are available. For those with little experience, rock climbing lessons are available.
Water activities
SURFING - great waves exist beneath the Cliffs of Moher; County Clare is pretty much the surf capital of Ireland; surf lessons available for the novice
KAYAKING - great spots, sunset paddles, cliff & cave tour and more
SAILING - there's a number of little sailing hubs along the coastline
SCUBA DIVING - PADI dive centre has courses & dive trips

Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk