Take a trip around Clare and you’ll discover spectacular cliffs, ancient landscapes and some of the loveliest villages in Ireland
Tackle the wild waves of the Atlantic with some of the country’s top locations for watersports
Experience sea angling at its best along a coastline that will take your breath away. Test your skills against the wild salmon, or try your luck in the limestone lakes of County Clare.
Dramatic and beautiful, the sheer Cliffs of Moher hold one of the major cliff nesting areas in Ireland. There are more than 20 species of nesting birds within the area, including nine species of breeding sea birds, making it a spectacular spot for wildlife enthusiasts.
Make the most of the sublime landscape by painting it! There are two renowned art schools in the area: the Burren College of Art and The Burren Painting Centre.
Kilrush Marina in County Clare is a wonderful place to base yourself for a sailing holiday.
Tackle the surf at Lahinch in County Clare where the two-mile-long beach offers everything for novice, intermediate and experienced surfers. Five miles further south is Spanish Point, another perfect surfing beach for all you dudes out there.
Thrill your kids with fascinating caves, a living museum and traditional Irish music and dance classes
Spooky and atmospheric, the Aillwee Caves make a great place to bring kids who aren’t afraid of the dark. Formed by the melt waters of a prehistoric ice age, the caves are labyrinthine and dramatic.
This 15th-century castle has been restored to its full glory and is one of the finest surviving examples of an Irish tower house. The Folk Park is a living museum that aims to show what life was like in rural Ireland 100 years ago with authentic reconstructions of farmhouses, cottages and shops.
Held annually since 1973, this set dancing school was set up in memory of legendary piper Willie Clancy. Running from the 2-10 July, it caters for over 1,000 students from all over the world with Irish music and dance classes, as well as a full programme of lectures, recitals, dances and exhibitions.
From historical villages to traditional Irish music, County Clare delivers a blast of authentic Irish culture.
The historical village of Killaloe boasts stacks of attractions and used to be the site of Kincora, the palace of Brian Ború, famed 11th century king of Ireland. Sadly, nothing remains of the fort, but you can learn all about it at the Killaloe Heritage and Brian Ború Centre.
One of Europe’s largest matchmaking events, it attracts upwards of 40,000 romantic hopefuls, bachelor farmers and those just looking for a bit of ‘craic’ over this month-long series of events.
There’s nothing quite like spending a night in a cozy pub filled with the rhythmic beats of traditional Irish music. Doolin in County Clare is a great place to catch a seisiún, (session) while the Corn Barn in Bunratty Folk Park is the perfect setting for a celebration of all the best Irish traditions.
Eating, Drinking & Luxury
Escape from it all with internationally renowned castle hotels and Ireland’s only sulphur baths!
Just across the street from the famous Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, the Bunratty Castle Hotel offers luxury accommodation five miles from Shannon Airport. The 80 bedrooms have a comfortable feel, while Kathleen’s Irish Pub and Restaurant is an ideal place to kick back with trad sessions and hearty food.
Live like the landed gentry in this stunning castle hotel with deluxe five-star accommodation. Dromoland blends old-world luxury with modern conveniences, and its close location to the Burren, as well as Galway and Limerick cities, makes it an ideal base in the Shannon Region.
Located in the famous town of Lisdoonvarna, the Spa Wells Health Centre is the only spa in Ireland to feature sulphur baths. But if they don’t take your fancy you can always enjoy a massage or therapeutic treatment in a beautiful woodland surrounding.
Enjoy some of Ireland’s finest craft shops
An excellent shopping complex with a mix of modern and traditional crafts.
Not only can you buy delicious local smoked salmon here, but you can learn all about how it’s made, too!
A good crafts shop with sweaters, scarves, pottery, glassware and more.
Traditional crafts shop with a good quality selection of crafts, including traditional Aran sweaters, Irish made silver jewellery, pottery, bronze and bog oak sculptures and publications on the local Burren region. Ireland’s finest craft shops.
With inspirational natural wonders and a rich Celtic heritage, Clare will leave you breathless
Vertigo-sufferers should stand well back because the sheer Cliffs of Moher plunge a whopping 214 metres into the choppy Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day, the views are spectacular with both the Aran Islands and the valleys and hills of Connemara visible.
Craggaunowen, The Living Past Experience, tells the story of the arrival of the Celts in Ireland. With a stunning collection of exhibits and replica dwellings, you can really get a taste of what life was like in pre-historic times.
The rugged coastline of County Clare can only be best appreciated from the sea. A variety of companies offer trips that take in some of the country’s most spectacular views. Join a group or have a personal cruise all to yourself.
Sample Irish life at a different pace with a visit to the memorable the Aran Islands [www.visitaranislands.com] via Doolin in County Clare.
The Atlantic-facing seafront of Lahinch town has one of the finest beaches in the west of Ireland. If you’re in the area it’s a spot that’s not to be missed with firm sand, a rock-free surface and decent Atlantic waves.
Scattered with ancient dolmens, tombs and cairns, the Burren lies south of Galway in County Clare. Taken from the Irish ‘bhoireann’ meaning a stony place, this barren landscape has remained unspoiled since the ice age and is a spectacular natural wonder rich in wildlife and history.