The charming coastal village of Doolin is renowned for its Irish traditional music sessions, as a gateway to the Aran Islands and as a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Located on the western edge of the Burren National Park and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, Doolin is a Wild Atlantic Way Discovery point and is close to many of Clare’s best known visitor attractions.
North Clare has produced some of Ireland’s best known traditional musicians and Doolin, as the birthplace of world-renowned whistle player Micho Russell, is no different. Each year, the village holds a festival in his honour. Don’t worry if you miss out as you can experience vibrant music sessions and spontaneous singing in every bar and pub in the village throughout the year.
“If it’s music you want, you should go to Clare.” So sings Christy Moore in his anthemic ‘Lisdoonvarna’ song about the legendary festival that was held on the outskirts of Doolin during the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the Doolin Folk Festival is established as one of Ireland’s most successful annual music events.
Doolin is well known for its quality restaurants and cafés. It also boasts an impressive range of accommodation options including hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, and glamping and camping.
Doolin offers many outdoor activities ranging from sea kayaking, angling, caving and scuba diving to pitch and putt, rock-climbing and hill walking. The surrounding Burren is known for its array of looped walking, cycling and horse-riding trails. The Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk connects Doolin with Liscannor, via the Cliffs of Moher taking in some of Ireland’s most outstanding coastal landscapes. The 20km cliff-edge trail spoils walkers with unrivalled views of Galway Bay, the Aran Islands, Doolin and the roaring waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Pay a visit to the iconic Doonagore Castle, perched on a hill overlooking the village and offering some of the most coveted views on the West of Ireland coastline. With its origins dating back to the 14th century, the castle continues to serve a function as a navigational point for boats approaching Doolin Pier. From the pier you can catch a cruise to the base of the magical Cliffs of Moher or take a trip to the Aran Islands, home to the prehistoric stone fort of Dún Aonghasa.
As a designated Geopark Geosite, the pier is popular with geologists as the surrounding limestone is part of the youngest limestone in the Burren and is packed with fossils. On a freshly broken rock surface you will see sparkles as the light reflects off the calcite crystals that make up the stalks of these sea creatures.
Doolin Cave or Pól an Ionáin features the Great Stalactite, the largest free-hanging stalactite in Europe and the third largest in the world. Step back in time over 350 million years on a fully guided tour over 200 feet under the karst Burren landscape. Afterwards, take an adventure above ground and meet the friendly farm animals on the farmland nature trail and learn about the unique Burren flora.
Doolin is close to many of the Burren’s most popular tourist attractions including Fanore Blue Flag beach, the spa town of Lisdoonvarna, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, the seaside resort of Lahinch, and the many national monuments of the Burren.
You can visit the local tourism website at www.Doolin.ie