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Ballyvaughan - Black Head Loop
Fanore, Co. Clare
Free to visit
Explore County Clare’s wonderfully diverse landscape on a 26km looped walk that boasts shorelines, mountain paths, hills, valleys and stunning ocean vistas too. Ballyvaughan - Black Head Loop is the ideal trail to explore this stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way from.

Perfect for the seasoned walker, Black Head Loop takes a considerable seven hours to complete but with its delightful array of terrain time simply flies.

Starting at Fanore Beach, this strenuous loop ascends 480m over green laneways, tracks, mountain paths and surfaced road.

Intersecting with Gleninagh Pass and into Feenagh Valley, the trail follows the shoulder of Cappanwalla Mountain, continues into Caher Valley and along the edges of heathery Slieve Elva.

Easiest along the coastal Fanore stretch, expect stone stiles, trickier paths and a series of tougher climbs from the Gleninagh Pass section onward on your ascent. The abundance of greenery and scenery unfolding en route will be more than just rewards for your efforts though.

Once you’ve looped back to Fanore Beach, head to the beautiful harbour village of Ballyvaughan to rest your legs and grab a tasty bite.

Trail details

Walking Trail
Dogs allowed:
    Time:7 hours
    Nearest town start:Ballyvaughan
    Nearest town finish:Ballyvaughan
    Start point:Fanore Beach mapboard
    Finish point:Fanore Beach mapboard
    Waymarking:Purple arrow on white background
    Facilities:Car park
Why we like it
  • This route showcases incredible Wild Atlantic Way views, including panoramas of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands.
  • Watch out for beautiful Burren wildflowers along the trail, depending on the season of your visit.
Contact details
Fanore Beach, Co. Clare, Ireland
Leave no trace
  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Be considerate of others
  • Respect farm animals and wildlife
  • Travel and camp responsibly
  • Leave what you find
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Protect nature from fire
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