The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher in north Clare are the highest cliffs in Europe. The public viewing point for these natural shale cliffs can be accessed southbound along the R478 from Doolin.
Facilities at the Cliffs include car park, visitors centre and craft shop. Also at the top of the cliffs viewing points is O’Briens tower. The Cliffs are one of Irelands top tourist attractions.
They stand day after day against the might and force of the Atlantic Ocean. These natural wonders put on a dramatic display of crashing waves against sturdy rock.
O’Briens tower is located on the highest cliff and is an exceptional viewing point. The Cliffs are also a treat for bird watchers.
They boast many breeds such as the Fulmar (seagull), Kittiwakes, (similar in size to the common gull), and Razorbill. These are only a select few and many more make their home at the Cliffs.
The birds put on an amazing show as they appear as little white dots disappearing into the cliff face into their nests.
The Burren, from the Gaelic word Boireann is an area of limestone rock covering imposing majestic mountains, and tranquil valleys with gently meandering streams.
With its innate sense of spiritual peace, extraordinary array of flora and wildlife, and megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt's pyramids,
the Burren creates a tapestry of colour and a seductively magical aura which few people leave without wanting to experience again.
Follow the story of the formation of the Burren's lunar landscape where man hunted bear, and wolves roamed the forests.
See how thousands of years ago, man left his mark on the landscape in the form of Dolmens and burial chambers.
They still stand today, stone sentinels at the gates of our civilisation's history. Take the journey with us, watch history unfold in front of your eyes,
listen to the sounds and feel the atmosphere of thousands of years ago.
Study the complex and unique environment which allows plants and flowers, not normally found together in the same country, to share the same rock crevices.
The glorious Alpine Gentian, Bloody Cranesbill and Mountain Avens are just some of the floral gems which proliferate in the Burren.
Ferry boats travel daily (weather permitting) from Doolin, to the Aran Islands, just off the coast of north Clare.
Although part of Co. Galway, Doolin is the closest mainland point to Inishere, the smallest of the island group. Irish is the first language of the islanders.
Inishere has the facilities to cater for the many visitors it sees each year yet still maintains the traditional island lifestyle.
It boasts a magnificent stretch of beach beside the pier. Lose yourself on one of the many narrow laneways that divide small flower filled stone walled fields.
Inishere's cemetery is unique, overlooking the Atlantic on a high sand dune. The ruins of a 15th C. O’Brien tower house built inside an earlier stone fort can be seen from anywhere on the island.
Traditional Irish Music
Doolin has had a living musical heritage for many decades. Being a gealteacht area up until the later part of the last century, music, singing, dancing and story telling have always formed the fabric of this community. This all occurred at house dances rather than the pub culture we see there today.
In the 1930’s Seamus O’Duillearga recorded extensively in the area for the benefit of the Irish Folklore Commission (1935-1971) now the Department of Irish Folklore UCD. These recordings are available there to the public. Doolin today is internationally renowned for its music. This is thanks to the earlier generations of musicians from the area. Most famous of these perhaps is the Russell brothers Micho, Gussie and Pakie.
In the 1960’s they brought their unique music to a world stage. Micho through television, radio and international tours made Doolin a household name . People travelled from all over the world to meet these ambassadors of Doolin.
Helped by its geographical position, a small fishing village at the foot of the cliffs of Moher and a doorway to the Burren the rest is musical history. Since these early days many musicians and visitors alike have made Doolin what it is today - a thriving community and a great place to have a few tunes!
Four pubs (McGann’s, O’Connors, McDermott’s and Fitz's Bar) in Doolin have music all year round. Musicians both local and not so local play here nightly, joined by visiting musicians, every night has its uniqueness. Many different styles and mixes of instruments are to be found.
There is a number of craft shops in Doolin stocking all sorts of handmade Irish crafts, many of which are manufactured
locally by skilled craftsmen and women, artists and jewellers.
The Burren is an ideal region to explore on horseback. There are many options including lake and beach trails, and also the ancient Burren Highways or "Green Roads".
Day-long, three-day and week-long trails are available.
Doolin is centrally located on the Burren Waymarked Trail. The Burren Way always captivates its visitors in that it involves a hike along the spectacular Cliffs of Moher with views to the Aran Islands. The trail is dotted with archaeological remains and many of the Burrens rare flora can be seen on route. Doolin makes an ideal base for walking enthusiasts. Self guided walks or professionally guided walks can all be arranged locally.
The Doolin Cave System was first explored in 1953 by the University of Bristol Speleological Society. The system is over 10.5 kilometres in length, incorporating many active underground rivers flowing through the limestone. It's main entrance, the Fisherstreet Pothole is centrally located in the village.
These cave systems may be explored unaccompanied only by experienced potholers, however local guides can take first time cavers on this magical underground journey.
Doolin is also home to Poll an Ionain, the cave with a large and most impressive stalegtite.
Ailwee Cave is 2 million years old and is now a developed showcave where visitors can be guided to explore the hibernation chambers of long extinct brown bears and other amazing underground sights. The cave is located 20 minutes drive from Doolin.
The Clare coast line is famous for it's shore angling which can be done at Fanore, Doolin, Liscannor and Lahinch. Deep sea angling can also be arranged locally.
Doolin has an excellent eighteen hole pitch and putt course located along the ocean front.
Lahinch's famous Championship Golf Links is just 20 minutes drive from Doolin.
Island Trips & Cliffs Cruises
Take a boat trip from Doolin to the mystical Aran Islands which are stunningly beautiful and feature cliffs, incredible rugged landscapes, ancient forts and other prehistoric relics. Travel to the islands, from Doolin (the shortest crossing point), by passenger ferry, in less than 30 minutes.
Take a cruise along the base of the Cliffs of Moher and marvel at the majestic beauty of the 200m high cliffs as they stand above you.