Need to get out of the fast lane for a few days? Doolin located in country Clare, close to the world renowned Burren, is a fantastic place to visit. Better still there’s lots to do. This article describes just a few of the many attractions in the area.
The Burren: The name Burren comes from the Irish word “Bhuireann” which means a stoney place. Stoney it certainly is: 300 sq. kilometres of limestone covered countryside. However, it is not as desolate as it sounds. Rare Mediterranean and Alpine plants flourish side by side. A guided tour is a must. Unless you are a botanist, you will be astounded by its rocky beauty but without a guide you’ll miss the incredible flora. If you’re feeling energetic there are many mapped walks across the Burren.
Aillwee Cave: if you have children you should visit Aillwee cave. Jack McCann a local man originally discovered the cave and investigated it by candlelight. However, Jack kept his find secret for decades and only showed the cave to others in the 1970’s. The cave was opened to the public in 1976 and extends for at least 1 km underground. This hugely impressive cave contains waterfalls, stalagmites, stalactites, brown bear bones and lots more. Surrounded by a forest walk with a restaurant on site, it’s a half days entertainment in itself.
Cliffs of Moher: The cliffs of Moher tower over 200 metres above the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a new visitor centre with an excellent Cliffs of Moher interpretive display –“Atlantic Edge”. The virtual reality cliff face show – “The Ledge” – should not be missed. After that a walk along the cliff edge gives outstanding views of the cliffs and Atlantic. Don’t worry it’s walled and safe for kids.
Cliffs of Moher boat trip: drive to Doolin pier and you can book a boat trip to the base of the Cliffs of Moher. Once there you cannot but be amazed at the sheer size and rugged beauty of the cliffs. The tourists on top of the cliffs are but distant specs and you can get a close up view of the bird population of Atlantic Puffins, Gulls, Guillemots, Shags, Ravens and Choughs. You can also book trips to the nearby Aran Islands from Doolin pier. These trips range from a ½ a day to an overnight stay.
Doolin pubs: The pubs of Doolin have been a breeding ground for world renowned traditional Irish musicians. There are three traditional pubs McGanns, O’Connors and McDermotts in Doolin. All have lots of traditional music and home cooked food. Kids are allowed until 9:00pm.
The Burren Perfumery: a most interesting visit with all the flowers and herbs that form the basis of the perfumes and soaps locally sourced on the Burren. There’s a small tea room and herb garden.
The Burren Interpretive Centre, Kilfenora: there’s an excellent “walk through time” Burren exhibit, a video, craft centre and tea room.
A visit to Lahinch beach on a summers day is reminiscent of Hawaii with surf schools the length of the beach.
Liscannor Stone and Rick Shop: full of precious stones, semi precious stone, local stone and lots and lots of prehistoric fossils. As you drive back from one of the other many attractions in the area you can just call in to have look! But beware you’ll probably emerge with a 10,000 year old fossil souvenir!
The best thing about all of these attractions is that none is more than a half an hour drive from Doolin. Doolin can be very busy in the summer but it’s great place to visit and lots to do. You could consider a few days away outside the bustling summer season and if you are lucky enough to get good weather a great time is guaranteed.
James Cahill writes for Hotel Express [http://www.hotelexpress.ie]. Hotel Express works with individuals and small and medium sized businesses who want to reduce the money that they spend on Hotel Rooms and the time they waste booking them. With over 4,500 contracted hotels worldwide, Hotel Express is the world’s largest hotel discount program. Hotel Express clients also have access to 10,000 hotels worldwode at 10% off internet prices and many other client benefits e.g. 10% off National Car Rental Internet prices. Hotel Express also writes a blog where you can see the best travel related and other offers. Sign up for more information and our newsletter and you’ll receive a FREE copy of our Guide To Finding the Cheapest Flights