Enjoy County Clare’s spectacular Wild Atlantic Way coastline
This will be an Ireland holiday highlight!
North and West Clare
County Clare boasts some of the most stunning coastal scenery you will find anywhere. The Atlantic Ocean has carved out giant natural sculpture formations and spectacular cliffs alternating with sweeping sandy beaches, many marking the origins of fine seaside resorts like Kilkee, Lahinch and Spanish Point. There are 18 discovery points along Clare’s Wild Atlantic Way. You can see them here.
Explore the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark
Voted by the Irish Times readers as the best place to holiday in Ireland in 2022!
The Burren in County Clare is a remarkable limestone area that is unique in Europe. Its geology, flora, caves, archaeology, history and farming traditions set it apart as a place of great mystery and beauty. Visit and you will discover ancient tombs, brooding castles, tranquil lakes, towering cliffs, golden beaches, ice age valleys, rock mountains, fascinating flowers, wonderful green road walks, and everywhere relics of Clare’s ancient civilisation.
Visit the amazing Cliffs of Moher
Ireland’s most visited natural attraction
Liscannor, North Clare
The world-famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare have featured in almost every pictorial guide to Ireland. However, no re-creation can substitute for direct experience of their grandeur and sheer visual force. The Cliffs are Ireland’s top scenic visitor attraction. They are spectacular. They stretch for 8km as the crow flies and reach 214m at their highest point. O’Brien’s Tower (built in 1835), located on the highest cliff, is an exceptional viewing point.
Jump into Lough Derg and the East Clare Lakelands
Breaks by the lakes… and rivers
East Clare preserves the best of everything in a fresh environment. Dotted with almost 40 lakes, Lough Derg and the Lough Derg Blueway provide water activities of all kinds, including kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing, cruising, boat trips, and game and coarse angling. Walking and cycling, horse riding and golf are some of the other activity options. Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) and Saint Conan’s Church are among its historical treasures. You can see some of the East Clare highlights here.
Choose from 8 Blue Flag beaches
Swim, surf, kayak, dive or chill out!
Clare has eight Blue Flag beaches. Each has a unique charm and offers varied activities and experiences at different times of the year. The two coastal Blue Flag beaches in North Clare are at Lahinch seaside resort and Fanore. Both are golden-sand beaches, and excellent for surfing and water activities. The coastal Blue Flag beaches in West Clare are at Kilkee, Spanish Point, White Strand Doonbeg, and White Strand Miltown Malbay. Kilkee and Spanish Point are golden-sand seaside resorts.
Clare also has two inland blue-flag beaches in East Clare on the shores of Shannon’s Lough Derg – one of Ireland’s largest freshwater lakes – at Mountshannon and at Ballycuggeran, near Killaloe. You can see all the Blue Flag Beaches here.
Take a boat tour to the Islands
These are special places and each reachable within 20 minutes
On your visit to Clare, take a boat trip to an island. Scattery Island, where St Senan founded a monastic settlement in the 6th century, is just a 20-minute boat trip from Kilrush’s Blue Flag marina. Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) is on Shannon’s Lough Derg; its history as a monastic settlement dates to the 7th century. The famous Aran Islands, with their stunningly beautiful cliffs, rugged landscapes and ancient forts can be reached on ferries from Doolin. You can check out the boats to the islands here.
Go history hunting
Discover Ireland’s ancient past in Clare
Clare is steeped in history. Dramatic and millennia-old monuments dot the landscape and signal an historic past that is palpable. Throughout Clare there are hundreds of castles, megalithic tombs, round towers, cathedrals and abbeys – all prized gifts of an epic past. These are easy to discover and visit. Many of Clare’s visitor attractions eagerly present and interpret our colourful and turbulent history. Here are a selection of ancient sites worth visiting. You can also see a wider selection of historical sites here.
Explore County Clare’s top visitor attractions
Great days out
Clare has a diverse range of managed top visitor attractions, including castles, folk parks, visitor caves, museums, gardens, heritage centres, pet farms, boat trips, dolphin watching, chocolate makers, and much more. They make for wonderful days out. You can see all your options here, noting you can filter to narrow your choices to what’s of interest.
Families and children love Clare
They tell us all the time!
Families with younger children are welcomed and are well-catered for. Most hotels and serviced accommodations cater to families. Rented, self-catering cottages and houses are also a great family favourite. Children particularly like the beaches, forests, castles, visitor caves, parks, playgrounds, pet farms, wildlife watching, boat trips, and fun water and land activities. You can see some of what children love here.
Make it a romantic break
Clare is perfect for couples
Clare is perfect for couples. You have a choice of excellent accommodation options in beautiful settings from castles and top-rated hotels to holiday homes and B&B’s by lake, river, or sea. The back-drop of the Atlantic Ocean, cliffs, forests, rivers and lakes is idyllic. Clare also boasts many wonderful restaurants and great entertainment options for romantic nights out.
Experience Loop Head Peninsula. Is it the end of the world?
The next point to the West is North America!
Loop Head is spectacular. This slender finger of land points out to sea from the most westerly point of County Clare, on the Wild Atlantic Way. Sitting between the ocean on one side and the Shannon Estuary on the other, it epitomises what the Wild Atlantic Way is about: panoramic cliff views, local seafood, great aquatic activities, and quiet beauty spots where you can pause and reflect on the wonders of this unique area. Make sure and visit the Loop Head Lighthouse!
Enjoy a world of water activities
Ireland’s bluest county!
County Clare is dominated by water – making it Ireland’s bluest county! Experience stimulating water activities, centred on the Atlantic Ocean, The River Shannon and Lough Derg. Enjoy surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, angling, or diving. Chill-out with the family on any of Clare’s nine Blue Flag beaches. Or, enjoy a cruise, dolphin-watching, or a boat trip to our islands. You can see all your activity options here, noting you can filter to narrow your choices to what’s of interest.
Walk our ways and our loops
A wonderful way to absorb the beauty of Clare
Walking is one of the best ways to fully absorb the beauty of Clare. A network of quiet country roads, forest paths, mountain and coastal trails traverse the county. For the serious walker, there are many well-organised routes, including national trails that are well sign-posted. There are also great loop walks suited to walkers of different levels of fitness. Our cliff-top, mountain-top, and hill-top walks are spectacular. You can see a selection of walking trails here. More will be added soon!
Play top links, coastal, and parkland golf
Thank nature (and investment) for these wonderful courses
Thanks to nature and investment, Clare has eleven top-quality golf courses from world-rated championship links to mature parkland courses. Each course welcomes visitors and offers a great challenge and experience. You can see all your golf course options here.
Go craft and gift shopping
Select something unique
Towns and villages throughout Clare have stores featuring the best of Irish products, including stylish, contemporary fashions. Ennis merits special mention, and is often referred to as the boutique capital of Ireland’. Throughout the county, you can also discover crafted products made on-site – from cheese and chocolates to pottery, woven fabrics, and perfumes.You can see gift shopping options here.
Enjoy casual or formal dining
Clare is loved by foodies!
The Atlantic Ocean, our rivers, lakes and green pasturelands provide Clare with a rich harvest of fine food ingredients. These ingredients are creatively used, and great food is available in casual and formal dining establishments from hotels and restaurants, to cafés and pubs. You can see all your dining options here, noting you can filter to narrow your choices to what’s of interest.
Enjoy Traditional Irish Music and Dance
County Clare is considered the home of Irish music and dance
County Clare is considered by most to be the home of Traditional Irish Music. When you are visit Clare, you can experience traditional music and dance in our pubs, performance centres, and at our festivals and special events. Here is a link to some places to experience it during your trip.
Visit Ennis – the County’s Capital
A medieval town of great character
Ennis, County Clare
The medieval town of Ennis, the Capital of Clare, is one of Ireland’s most picturesque towns. Its history, combined with its famous narrow streets, bow-ways, and character buildings, tells you this is somewhere special. Visitors particularly enjoy exploring its history, enjoying great music and entertainment, unique and diverse boutiques and shops, cosy cafes and top-class restaurants. Ennis has an excellent range of accommodation options and is also a great base from which to explore all of Clare’s wonderful attractions. You can see Ennis highlights here.
Expect a very warm welcome
It’s one of the most remarked upon features about Clare
One of the most remarked-upon features by visitors to Clare is the warmth of the welcome they receive. We hear it all the time, but formal visitor surveys confirm it. In our 2022 Visitor Survey, we asked visitors what they loved MOST about Clare. Unprompted, the #1 response was ‘the people’. In Clare, first and foremost, you are spending time among friends.
Accommodation to suit all
From luxury castles to quirky glamping
Accommodation is available to suit all tastes and budgets, ranging from luxury castles and top quality hotels and guesthouses to farmhouses, town and country homes, caravan and camping, glamping, self-catering holiday homes, and hostels. You can see your accommodation options, noting you can filter to narrow your choices to what’s of interest.