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Clare, Ireland, just wow. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Clare a handful of times now and I have to say, outside of Kerry it’s one of my favourite Counties. If you want to get a true sense of what Ireland has to offer you cannot miss the County Clare. Now, let’s get into it!

Clare is located in the captivating west of Ireland, along the Wild Atlantic Way and is a treasure of natural beauty, heritage, and adventure waiting to be explored. Nestled along the wild Atlantic coast, this enchanting county offers a myriad of experiences that will leave any traveller spellbound. From the dramatic Cliffs of Moher to the vibrant music scene in the lively town of Ennis, County Clare has something for everyone. In this blog, we will delve into the best things to do in County Clare, Ireland, to help you plan your unforgettable Irish adventure.

Table of Contents

1. Marvel at the Cliffs of Moher
2. Explore the Burren
3. Discover Historic Bunratty Castle
4. Immerse Yourself in Irish Music in Ennis
5. Venture to the Unique Landscape of Loop Head
6. Experience Traditional Irish Farm Life at Craggaunowen
7. Sample Local Delicacies and Pubs
8. Visit the Monastic Site of Scattery Island
9. Hike the Trails of the Shannon Region

The Burren

1. Marvel at the Cliffs of Moher

Clare has a lot of beautiful gems but this place is truly spectacular! Skip the crowds and book with Ollie’s Tours to see the cliffs from the best perspective. Begin your journey through County Clare with a visit to the world-famous Cliffs of Moher. Rising over 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, these unforgettable cliffs offer breathtaking views of the coastline and the vast expanse of the ocean. Take a leisurely walk along the cliff’s edge or soak in the vistas from the designated viewing platforms. For the adventurous, a guided cliff walk is a must-do experience. The Cliffs of Moher are not just a natural wonder but also a haven for birdwatchers, with puffins, guillemots, and gannets often seen soaring above the waves.

Cliffs of Moher Ireland

2. Explore the Burren

The Burren gets lost a bit with all the hype around the Cliffs of Moher (they are close to each other), but this unique landscape should not be missed! It’s limestone karst landscape, is a geological wonder in County Clare. Explore its lunar-like terrain, characterized by grikes (cracks) and clints (flat slabs). The Burren is a botanical paradise, home to an astonishing variety of wildflowers, including rare orchids. Don’t miss the Burren Perfumery and the Burren Chocolate Factory, where you can savour local delights and handmade chocolates. Additionally, the Burren is rich in archaeological sites, such as Poulnabrone Dolmen, a 5,000-year-old megalithic tomb.

The Burren County Clare Ireland

3. Discover Historic Bunratty Castle

Travel back in time by visiting Bunratty Castle, one of Ireland’s most well-preserved medieval castles. This impressive castle dates back to the 15th century and is set in a charming folk park that recreates rural Irish life from the 19th century. Wander through the castle’s rooms and explore its history before enjoying a medieval banquet, complete with traditional music and entertainment. Bunratty Castle provides a captivating glimpse into Ireland’s medieval past.

Bunratty Castle Ireland

4. Immerse Yourself in Irish Music in Ennis

If you want the best of Ennis I booked with Ollie’s Tours. Although it’s a quaint town to walk around to get the most of it you have to go on this tour. We had no idea how much history this town had! Ennis, the lively town of Clare, is renowned for its traditional Irish music scene. Spend an evening in a local pub like Brogan’s Bar or Cruises Bar, where you can savour a pint of Guinness while listening to toe-tapping live music sessions. Ennis also hosts the Fleadh Nua, an annual festival celebrating traditional Irish music, dance, and culture. If you’re a music enthusiast, this town is a must-visit destination.

Irish Music Scene Ireland

5. Venture to the Unique Landscape of Loop Head

For a less touristy experience, head to Loop Head Peninsula, one of County Clare’s hidden gems. Explore this remote and rugged landscape dotted with charming villages and captivating lighthouses. Take a hike along the stunning Loop Head cliff walk, where you can spot dolphins, seals, and a variety of seabirds. The Loop Head Peninsula offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle.

Here are some key features and information about the Loop Head Peninsula:

1. Geography and Location:
– The Loop Head Peninsula is situated on the western coast of Ireland, in County Clare. It is part of the larger Wild Atlantic Way, a scenic coastal driving route stretching along Ireland’s western and northern coastlines.

2. Coastal Beauty:
– The peninsula is renowned for its dramatic coastal cliffs, rock formations, and sweeping vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. The Loop Head Drive is a popular tourist route that allows visitors to explore the stunning coastal scenery.

3. Loop Head Lighthouse:
– One of the most iconic landmarks on the peninsula is the Loop Head Lighthouse, which stands proudly at the tip of the peninsula. This operational lighthouse has guided ships safely along the coast for centuries and is now open to visitors during certain times of the year.

4. Biodiversity:
– The Loop Head Peninsula is known for its rich biodiversity, and it has been assigned as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) due to its unique flora and fauna. Birdwatchers often flock to the area to spot various seabirds and migratory species.

5. Historic Sites:
– The peninsula boasts several historic sites, including remnants of old signal stations and coastal defense structures that date back to the Napoleonic era. These sites provide a glimpse into the area’s military history.

6. Villages and Communities:
– There are several charming villages on the Loop Head Peninsula, including Kilkee and Kilbaha. These villages offer a warm welcome to tourists and provide opportunities for enjoying traditional Irish hospitality and cuisine.

7. Activities and Recreation:
– Visitors to the Loop Head Peninsula can wonder outdoors and participate in hiking, cycling, fishing, and water sports. The rugged coastline also provides excellent opportunities for whale watching and dolphin spotting.

8. Sustainable Tourism:
– Efforts are in place to promote sustainable tourism on the Loop Head Peninsula, ensuring that its natural landscape and heritage are preserved for future generations to enjoy.

9. Visitor Information:
– The peninsula is easily accessible by road and is a popular stop for those exploring the Wild Atlantic Way. Visitor information centers and guided tours are available to help tourists make the most of their visit.

The Loop Head Peninsula offers a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and outdoor activities, making it a must-visit destination for travelers exploring the west coast of Ireland. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the rugged charm of the Atlantic coastline while experiencing the warmth of Irish hospitality.

Irish Sheep Farm

6. Experience Traditional Irish Farm Life at Craggaunowen

Craggaunowen, an open-air museum near Quin, takes you on a journey through Ireland’s ancient past. Explore reconstructed crannogs (lake dwellings), a ring fort, and a Brendan Boat, believed to resemble the boats used by St. Brendan the Navigator on his voyages. The park also features a reconstructed medieval castle and an Iron Age village, offering a fascinating glimpse into Ireland’s history and heritage.

Irish Pub Guinness

7. Sample Local Delicacies and Pubs

County Clare boasts an array of culinary delights, and no visit is complete without tasting some local dishes. Try a traditional Irish breakfast featuring sausages, black pudding, and white pudding. Seafood foodies can enjoy fresh catches like Atlantic salmon and Clare Island mussels. For dessert, savour a slice of apple pie or a scoop of Irish ice cream.

Of course, don’t forget to visit a traditional Irish pub. From lively music sessions to hearty pub grub, these establishments are at the heart of Irish culture. Try some local brews or a creamy pint of Guinness while chatting with friendly locals.

County Clare Ireland

9. Hike the Trails of the Shannon Region

The Shannon Region in Limerick is a picturesque area known for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture. Situated along the majestic River Shannon, it encompasses the city of Limerick and its surrounding counties. Limerick city, with its historic landmarks like King John’s Castle, is a hub of arts, education, and commerce. The region also boasts lush countryside, including the Shannon Estuary and rolling hills, attracting outdoor enthusiasts. Rich in history and folklore, the Shannon Region offers a blend of modern urban living and traditional Irish charm, making it a captivating destination for visitors and a thriving community for residents. County Clare (borders Limerick) offers many hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts. The Ballyvaughan Wood Loop, the Doolin Cliff Walk (and just Doolin in general!) and the Kilkee Cliff Walk are just a few examples of scenic trails where you can take in the region’s beautiful surroundings. Whether you prefer a stroll or a challenging hike, Clare has a trail to suit your preferences.

Doolin County Clare Ireland

County Clare, with its mesmerizing landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, is a treasure along the Wild Atlantic Way with experiences waiting to be discovered. From the dramatic Cliffs of Moher to the lively music scene in Ennis, this corner of Ireland offers an adventure for every traveller. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply seeking an authentic Irish experience, County Clare will leave you with cherished memories of this enchanting region. Well we hope we got you excited to embark on a journey to explore the thousand shades of adventure and beauty in County Clare, Ireland. *Top tip, book your accommodation in advance as it’s not exactly in abundance in some of the smaller regions in Ireland and to make the best out of your trip let a local show you around, Ollie’s Tours are the best option for an unforgettable experience in my opinion! Safe travels 🙂