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Ballyvaughan, North Clare


The picturesque village of Ballyvaughan is a Discovery Point along the Wild Atlantic Way and is an ideal base for visitors exploring the ancient dolmens, stone forts, wedge and gallery graves, Christian crosses, oratories and churches, caves and wooded valleys of the Burren region.

Aillwee Burren Experience provides guided tours of the oldest cave in the Burren at 1.5 million years old. Once you emerge from underground, you can enjoy the wonders of the Birds of Prey Centre, home to one of Ireland’s largest and most varied collections of birds of prey. The nearby Poulnabrone Dolmen is the country’s oldest dated megalithic monument, while visitors to Caherconnell Stone Fort can experience the Burren’s living traditions and delve into the history of prehistoric Irish Bronze Age burial boulders and mounds, ancient Irish field systems and prehistoric dwelling sites. A short 10-minute drive east of Ballyvaughan is the 13th-century Cistercian monastery of Corcomroe Abbey, located close by.

If outdoor adventure and hiking is to your liking, then look no further than the 21km Fanore to Ballyvaughan walking trail or the 8km Ballyvaughan Wood Loop. Beachgoers also are spoiled for choice with the Green Coast beach of Bishops Quarter and the extensive sandy beach and dunes of the nearby Fanore Blue Flag beach. For water sports enthusiasts, Bay SUP offers Stand Up Paddleboarding provides lessons, tours and rentals in the calm waters of Ballyvaughan Bay. A short drive west of Ballyvaughan brings you to Black Head and its magnificent views of Galway Bay, the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher, as well as the iconic Black Head Lighthouse.

Ballyvaughan is home to the Burren College of Art which hosts the largest gallery space in County Clare in renovated a Norman tower house, called Newtown Castle. The internationally recognised not-for-profit independent college specialising in undergraduate and graduate fine art education.

Ballyvaughan has a lengthy and proud association with the arts and crafts sector. Quinn’s Craftshop on Main Street provides unique handcrafted gifts, while Burren Arts & Crafts in the village hail showcases handcrafted products from the local area.

From April to September, Ballyvaughan hosts a weekly Farmers Market offering fresh seafood alongside some of the finest farm produce from around the Burren. Local artisan craft producers showcase their wares at the regular Craft Fair. Burren Distillers in Newtown offers tours of micro distillery in Newtown where you will learn how the company produces 150 casks of single estate whiskey annually.

Ballyvaughan is close to some of the most popular attractions in the Burren National Park and the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, including Doolin, Lisdoonvarna Spa Town, the Michael Cusack Centre, the Flaggy Shore, Aillwee Burren Experience, Poulnabrone Dolmen, Doolin Cave and Corcomroe Abbey.