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10 things to do on your trip to County Clare
Uninterrupted views as far as the eye can see at the majestic Cliffs Of Moher, Co. Clare
There’s so much to love about county Clare; from the incredible coastline along the Cliffs of Moher, to the geological wonder of the Burren and the surfer’s paradise that is Lahinch — Clare is somewhere to both lose and find yourself.

Irish people love getting away to The Banner County for a break. Here are ten great reasons why.

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1The Cliffs of Moher

When you think of Clare, you probably think of the Cliffs of Moher looming 700 feet above the crashing Atlantic along 8km of rugged, unspoiled coastline. Whether you tackle one of the coastal walking routes or make a quick pitstop to see the natural masterpiece, a visit should be high on your list.

Head to Clare for a coastal walk along the world-famous Cliffs of Moher.
Head to Clare for a coastal walk along the world-famous Cliffs of Moher.

A short drive from the cliffs, Lahinch Beach’s famed flooding tide makes it ideal for surfing, sea kayaking and kite surfing. Seasoned surfers travel here from all over the world, but beginners can sign up for lessons at one of the many local surf schools. 

If you prefer gazing out over Atlantic waves than catching them, book a table at Barrtrá, a whitewashed country cottage overlooking Liscannor Bay that serves up some of the best seafood and steak in the county — try the mussels.

Surfers walking back to town on Lahinch.
Surf's up at Lahinch Beach.
3The Burren

Heading inland, the 1,500 hectares of the Burren are open all year round and free to access, but it’s worth booking a guided walk or exploring the Burren Discovery Trail. You'll learn about the iconic limestone pavement and the many rare species of flora and fauna in the area.

Car touring The Burren.
Explore the rugged landscape of the Burren.
4 Fanore

Head back to the coast towards Fanore Beach. The unspoiled stretch of sand sits alongside broad dunes with the rocky Burren as its backdrop – it doesn’t get much more picturesque than this.

Fanore Beach, Fanore, County Clare
Walk the long stretch of sand at Fanore Beach.
5The Burren Food Trail

While you’re in the area, check out the Burren Food Trail, a selection of curated gastronomical expeditions with themes like Farm to Fork and Taste the Ocean. Stop at every point, or dip in and out along the way.

6Golfing in Clare

World-class scenery makes for some pretty spectacular golf. From the stunning natural terrain at Lahinch Golf Club’s ‘Old Course’, to the idyllic crescent beach at Doonbeg Golf Club with Atlantic views on almost all of its 18 holes, Clare is a golfer's paradise.

Golfers playing a round by the ocean in Lahinch County Clare
Play a round at Lahinch Golf Club overlooking the Atlantic.
7Aillwee and Doolin Caves

Clare is also home to two of the country’s most famous caves. The tour at Aillwee Cave (aka "The Very Dark Caves" from that Father Ted episode) takes you through winding passages and chasms, past fascinating rock formations and even an underground waterfall. Half an hour away in Doolin Cave, you’ll see the biggest stalactite in Europe.

The Great Stalactite
Explore the depths of Doolin Cave.
8Scattery Island

Heading south, a 30-minute boat ride from Kilrush brings you to historic Scattery Island in the Shannon Estuary. Hear all about the Viking raids and battles that took place on the island during your walking tour of the monastic settlement, which boasts the highest round tower in Ireland. 

Remains of a monastic settlement on Slattery Island in County Clare.
Take the boat to Scattery Island.
9Loop Head and Lighthouse

Loop Head Peninsula is easy to spot on the map; it’s the bit of Clare that juts right out into the Atlantic. At the very tip you’ll find Loop Head Lighthouse – climb it for views that stretch from Kerry to the Cliffs of Moher. The only thing between you and the sea is the huge white letters carved out of the grassy headland spelling EIRE – a relic from WWII to let pilots know they were entering neutral airspace.

An aerial view of Loop Head Lighthouse from land at sunset
Visit Loop Head in stunning West Clare.
10The Shannon Ferry from Clare to Kerry

We hate to see you go, but if you fancy a day trip to the Kingdom, the Shannon Ferry is the most scenic shortcut you’ll ever take. Breathe in Atlantic air and epic sea views, keeping a close eye out for dolphins, as you and your car sail from Killimer near Kilrush, across the Shannon Estuary to Tarbert, in just 20 minutes.

Aerial view of ferry on the Shannon Estuary.
Sail across the Shannon Estuary.
Start planning your trip to Clare now

Now's the time to start planning a few days away in Clare. Where will you go first? Our Clare destination page shows you all the spots you can’t miss in this charming county, check it out now.

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