This loop starts and finishes in Fanore, a small village situated on the west coast of north County Clare. Fanore's Gaelic meaning "fainne oir" means ring of gold, with reference to its beautiful sandy beach. The Caher Valley runs down to Fanore between Slieve Elva and Gleninagh.
It has one of the few rivers in the Burren, the Caher, which cuts its way down through the rock and glacial deposit to emerge on the strand at Fanore and enter the sea. This loop walk is part of the network of walks under the Shannon Region Trails Programme.
A-B. Starting from the mapboard at Fanore Beach, exit from the car park and turn left following the red arrow. The other coloured arrows are for other walks that start and finish at the car park. Follow the road for approximately 500m to reach a minor road on your right. Take a right turn here (leaving the longer Black Head Loop as you do).
B-C. Follow this minor road past St. Patrick's Church (on your right) and with the Caher River running on your left. This river has the distinction of being the only one in the Burren to remain over ground! Continue to follow the red arrows for approx 4km to reach a junction with a roadway on your right at Fermoyle. Note that you join the Burren Way (a long distance walking route marked with the familiar yellow man and arrows) here, and rejoin the Black Head Loop (purple arrows). Turn right here.
C-D. Having turned left, follow the red and purple arrows along the roadway for 500m to reach a
Y-junction where you veer right onto a grassy and climb onto the shoulder of Slieve Elva and down to reach a surfaced road at Ballelly. Turn right (and downhill) here.
D-A Enjoy the descent toward the coastline for 3km and reach a 3-way junction where you turn right onto a sandy roadway which joins the R477 at Fanore National School. Taking care of traffic, walk along the main R477 for 200m and re-enter Fanore beach carpark.