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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 are so many sights and activities to squeeze into a trip to Clare; from the incredible coastline along the Cliffs of Moher, to the geological landscape 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 at Lahinch Beach in County Clare
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 famous limestone pavement and the many rare species of flora and fauna in the area.

The Burren in County Clare
Explore the rugged landscape of the Burren.
4 Fanore

Head back to the coast towards Fanore Beach. With the rocky Burren in the background, walk along the stretch of sand, admire the network of sand dunes and take plenty of pictures that show off the beautiful coastline. 

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

If you find yourself working up an appetite whilst in the area, check out the Burren Food Trail for a selection of curated gastronomical expeditions with themes like Farm to Fork and Taste the Ocean. Stop at every point and chew down of delicious dishes, or simply 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 scenic crescent beach at Doonbeg Golf Club with Atlantic views on almost all of its 18 holes, Clare is a golfer's paradise.

Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare
Play a round at Doonbeg 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 unique rock formations and even an underground waterfall. If you have time to spare, make the 30-minute trip to the Doolin Cave where you’ll see the biggest stalactite in Europe.

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

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

A grave yard on Scattery Island in County Clare
Take the boat to Scattery Island and visit the highest round tower in Ireland.
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 West Clare.
10The Shannon Ferry from Clare to Kerry

If you fancy a day trip to the Kingdom County, the Shannon Ferry is the most scenic shortcut you’ll ever take. Breathe in Atlantic air and peaceful 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

For your next getaway, start planning a few days of fun and excitement in Clare

More to discover
On the waterHow to explore the Shannon Estuary Way

Winding through counties Clare, Limerick and Kerry, the Shannon Estuary Way covers 207km of some of the most historic sites and beautiful natural landscapes along the Wild Atlantic Way. Whether you’re wandering polished manors and gardens or spotting dolphins along the shores of the River Shannon, a day (or two) spent along the Way is full of surprising discoveries.

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