Top Attractions in County Clare Quick Links
Visit the top attractions in County Clare. So much to see and do !
In the heart of the Burren in County Clare Ireland lies Aillwee Cave. Created by glacial melt waters of an early ice age, Aillwee Cave is one of the oldest and most beautiful caves in Ireland. Let the expert staff guide you through the dramatic underworld that is Aillwee cave with its visually stunning stalactites and stalagmites, frozen waterfall, caverns and chasms.
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Bunratty Castle in County Clare Ireland, built in 1425, is one of the most authentic medieval castles in the country. Showcasing 15th and 16th century furnishings and offering entertaining Medieval Banquets to visitors all year round the Castle grounds are also home to Bunratty Folk Park. The Folk Park recreates life in 19th century Ireland and features a recreated village street and over 30 buildings where you can enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of a bygone age.
*Medieval Banquets need to be booked in advance.
The Burren is one of the top attractions County Clare Ireland is a vast limestone landscape extending over 300 square kilometres and as a karstic area it is identified by its limestone terrain, sinks, underground streams and ravines. It is an irregularity and a rarity in the Irish landscape and ranks among our top Ireland attractions. The Burren is also the largest karstic limestone area in Western Europe and as such it is of major significance to geologists and botanists. Along with the striking landscape there are also an abundance of historical monuments in the Burren making it one of the must see Ireland attractions for those interested in ancient Irish history and archaeology.
Burren Birds of Prey Centre
A relatively new addition to the attractions of the Burren in County Clare Ireland is the entertaining and educational Burren Birds of Prey Centre. The centre which was set up in 2008 aims to aid in the conservation of Birds of Prey in Ireland. Home to Falcons, Hawks, Eagles and Owls the Centre has been offering a unique experience since its opening. Visitors can get up close and personal to the birds and watch the lively and energetic flying displays.
Cliffs of Moher
A natural wonder, one of Ireland’s most spectacular scenes and a testament to the power of nature, the Cliffs of Moher located on the west coast of County Clare Ireland are among our top Ireland attractions. At their highest point the Cliffs stand over 700 feet and they stretch for 5 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. From vantage points on the Cliffs of Moher one can see for miles, Galway Bay and the Aran Islands are among the landscapes visitors can spot. A visti to the Cliffs of Moher is highly recommended and the cliffs are a must see for any visitors to the Shannon region
Craggaunowen – The Living Past
Located in the grounds of Craggaunowen Castle in County Clare Ireland, Craggaunowen – The Living Past is a fascinating recreation of times long past. The prize winning centre brings ancient history to life showcasing Bronze Age and Celtic Culture when the Celts first arrived in Ireland.
Doolin Cave in County Clare Ireland is home to the Great Stalactite of Doolin, discovered in 1959 it is one of the most significant cave finds in Ireland. Measuring approximately 23 feet (7.3 meters) the great Stalactite of Doolin is the longest free hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere. The Stalactie, formed over thousands of years from a simple solitary drop of water is truly amazing.
Dysert O’Dea Castle, a 15th century castle, is home to The Clare Archaeology Centre and includes a small museum and modern history room. Surrounding the Castle are 25 monuments including a High Cross from the 12th century and a guide map of the monuments can be acquired in the Archaeology Centre. Guided trail tours of this castle in County Clare Ireland are available by prior arrangement.
One of the main attractions in Ennis, Ennis Friary established in 1240 was once home to approximately 300 Franciscan Friars and 600 students. This 13th century friary although a ruin now is renowned for its decorated tombs and carvings which can still be seen by visitors.
Knappogue Castle built in 1467 is an excellent example of a medieval tower house. Surrounded by 1.76 acres of beautiful walled gardens and with 2 well restored 19th century drawing rooms furnished with various antiques, this castle in County Clare Ireland is elegant and timeless. Knappogue Castle has a long and varied history, where you can learn about the families that lived there and conflicts that forced some of them to move.
Loop Head Drive
Loop Head Drive is an appealing scenic road trip which is part of the Wild Atlantic Way. This driving route starting in Kilkee takes you in circle around the exquisite and rugged coastline of Loop Head taking in Querrin, Doonaha, Carrigaholt, Cross and Kilbaha. You will encounter many breathtaking views and on a fine day you can even see the hills of Connemara in the distance.
Poulnabrone meaning “the hole of the sorrows” is a Portal Tomb is a top attraction in County Clare Ireland that is estimated to date back to the Neolithic period approximately between 3000 – 2000 BC. Excavations carried out in 1985 discovered the remains of 16 – 22 adults, 1 newborn and 6 juveniles, the majority of adults were under 30 years old when they died with only one living beyond 40 years of age.
Built in the early 15th century Quin Abbey today is a National Monument. While the remains of the Abbey is largely roofless the rest of the structure is by comparison well preserved. Constructed in the Gothic Style of the time, the Abbey’s cloister and several other architectural aspects mean the Quin Abbey in County Clare Ireland is of important historical value.
Towns in County Clare Ireland Quick Links
Located on the Atlantic coast Doolin in County Clare Ireland is a fishing village with a strong Irish music tradition. Live music can usually be found playing nightly in the local pubs. Doolin is also a popular surfing destination having featured in the surfing movie “Waveriders”. The village is only 10 minutes from the famous Cliffs of Moher which are among the top Ireland attractions and boat trips along the Cliffs can be organised from the harbour at Doolin. The Harbour at Doolin is also a departing point for boat trips to the Aran Islands making the village a popular tourist destination.
Ennis Town, located approx 25 minutes from Shannon Airport in County Clare Ireland, dates back to the 11th century. Ennis is the capital of County Clare and a charming historic market town. The town takes its name from the Irish name for Island “Inis” and is well known for its music festivals, and colourful shopfronts.
Killaloe, situated on the River Shannon, was the birthplace of Brian Boru one of Ireland’s famous High Kings. An exhibition on the history of this High King can be seen at the Brian Boru Heritage centre located on a picturesque arched bridge that joins Killaloe to the town of Ballina.
Kilrush, approx 30 minutes from Ennis and close by the ferry between Kerry and Clare, is a busy market town and one of Ireland’s Heritage Towns. Kilrush in County Clare Ireland has a large market square and a popular marina. Boats from the marina take visitors Dolphin spotting and on trips to the now uninhabited Scattery Island that was once a monastic settlement.
Lahinch is a popular seaside town in County Clare Ireland. With a long blue flag beach used by bathers and surfers alike and patrolled by lifeguards during the summer months the town comes alive during the summer months. The area is also home to the famous championship Lahinch Old golf course
Lisdoonvarna is a popular holiday spot in County Clare Ireland for those looking to visit relaxing spas. The town is also famous for its music and festivals. One of the most notable festivals is a matchmaking festival held in September each year which attracts thousands singletons looking for romance.