Next up is a visit to the pretty seaside village of Fanore and Fanore Beach. Popular with walkers, joggers and surfers, the beach is of particular interest to botanists because it’s right beside The Burren. Book a lesson on the beach with Aloha Surf School and see if you can manage the swells.
Fanore is famed for its angling and fishing competitions. Head to the local tackle shop to buy some bait, the owner is a great source of knowledge about the best fishing spots.
Book into Aillwee Cave where you’ll discover enchanting caverns, unusual rock formations and a frozen waterfall. The 35-minute guided tour is a popular family activity, as kids are enthralled by stories of cave bears and secret passages.
While you’re there, stop off at the Burren Birds of Prey Centre to see a flying display from rare and exotic eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, and vultures. It's just a short walk from the cave and you can pick up a combo ticket which allows you admission to both.
If time permits, book in for a guided hawk walk across The Burren and learn about the art of falconry. Before you leave, pop into the farm shop and pick up some local produce to recreate the taste of Clare at home.
The word “Burren” comes from the Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. The beauty of The Burren is accented by the mystical rock formations and rare native Irish plants that peek out from its limestone floor.
This unique geopark is open to visitors all year round and while you can explore yourself, it’s worth booking a guided walk with one of the knowledgeable local experts. Look out for fascinating fairy forts and the Poulnabrone Dolmen, the oldest megalithic monument in the country. Don’t leave without a visit to The Burren Perfumery, stroll around the organic herb garden and choose a special scent made from Irish wildflowers.
Make time for a visit to the fascinating Doolin Cave, home to the longest free-hanging stalactite in Europe. At 23 feet long, the Great Stalactite lives up to its name with people visiting from far and wide to see the icicle formation.
Visit the award-winning visitor centre to learn how the Great Stalactite was formed from a single drop of water, and after, drop by the giftshop to see the intricate cave pottery and handmade crafts.
An entry on every Irish bucket list, the spectacular Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s top tourist attraction for good reason. Experience the otherworldly roar of the Atlantic as the waves crash against the cliffs and learn about the history of the area at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre.
The rugged sea cliffs stretch for 8km and reach 214m above sea level at their highest point, making for the perfect Instagram snap. If you visit in May or June, look out for colourful puffins on the cliff face.
Part of the Burren Geopark, no visit to Clare is complete without a trip to the cliffs. After, drop into Moher Cottage for some homemade fudge and a takeaway hot chocolate to warm up after the bracing sea air.
Journey to the south-eastern edge of the Burren where you’ll find Dromore Woods, one of the most diversely populated forests in the county. Dromore Woodland Nature Reserve spans over 400 hectares and was established in 1985 to protect the rare flora and fauna of the area.
There are two self-guided, looped nature trails beginning from the main car park and lasting an hour each. Stroll along woodland paths and pass peaceful lakes, enchanting ring forts and local landmark, O'Brien Castle.
If you’re in Clare, you can’t miss a trip to Spanish Point Beach. Set your alarm for a special start to the day, watching the sun come up over the water. See the sky light up in a haze of fiery reds and pinks and if you’re lucky, you might just get the golden strand all to yourself. After, take a short 2km stroll into scenic Milltown Malbay for breakfast. Make a stop at The Bakers Café for the best doughnuts on the West Coast, a true local tip.
Clare is known for its magnificent coastline and you can’t miss a trip to Kilkee Cliffs. Less crowded than the Cliffs of Moher, the views from the 8km Kilkee Cliff Walk are nothing short of spectacular. Spot the natural rock pools at the Pollock Holes, and if you have time, stop here for a sheltered swim. Journey along the rugged coastline and look out for the Diamond Rocks… these stunning white quartz rocks glitter in the sunshine.
The looped route starts at Kilkee's West End and follows the marked trail, finishing up at the Diamond Rocks Café, the perfect place to stop and refuel.
Then it’s onto Kilkee Bay for a spot of diving, once named the best place in Europe for diving. With dives to suit all levels of ability, it’s time to plan your great seabed adventure.
Book in with Dolphinwatch and board the Draíocht passenger boat, this is where magic really happens. The journey starts from picturesque Carrigaholt Castle Pier and seeing a pod of dolphins playing in the blue waters is an epic holiday memory to treasure forever. This is one of Ireland’s most unique experiences and has been awarded gold certification from Sustainable Travel Ireland.
Chat to the friendly skipper, Geoff Magee for the chance to learn more about these majestic marine creatures and their habitat.
The journey to Loop Head Lighthouse takes you along winding country roads and past sandy beaches, scenes straight from a postcard.
Climb to the top of the 90m high lighthouse and experience breathtaking panoramic views. On a fine day with bright blue skies, you’ll see down to Dingle and Kerry Head across the Shannon. Keep an eye out for the 160 bottlenose dolphins who live in the waters near Loop Head and if you have time, take a spectacular horseback ride across the Loop Head Peninsula.
From invigorating sea swims to unforgettable cliff walks, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures in the Banner County. You’ll experience natural wonders around every corner and our Clare destination page features even more inspiration for your next holiday, it’s time to start planning…