Find cozy towns and Stone Age monuments scattered throughout this green-hilled county bound by craggy Atlantic Coast, a serpentine river and a lake.
With its staggering natural beauty and varied landscapes, it’s easy to see why County Clare has been inhabited and revered since the Neolithic era. Discover megalithic tombs and medieval churches sheltered by verdant valleys and limestone uplands. The towering cliffs and offshore rock formations are among Ireland’s most-visited attractions and are interwoven with the region’s history and cultural heritage. Experience the rich tradition of Irish music in Clare’s historic pubs or attend one of the county’s numerous music festivals.
Doolin is a widely spread village on the Atlantic Coast that looks out onto the craggy Aran Islands. Board a sightseeing boat tour from the town’s harbor to take in exceptional views of the islands and the nearby Cliffs of Moher. Get a different perspective from the towering cliff tops and look out over Galway Bay from the 19th-century structure of O’Brien’s Tower.
Inland, you’ll find the immense karst landscape of the Burren. Explore the natural limestone pavement to see rare flora growing within the cracks and fissures. You might see some of the region’s unique butterflies amid the orchids and alpine wildflowers. See some of the Burren’s ancient monuments, such as the Neolithic Poulnabrone Dolmen, the ancient churches at Oughtmama and Corcomroe Abbey.
Learn about the county’s medieval history in the riverside town of Shannon. Visit the 15th-century Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and experience a medieval-style banquet. Travel east along Clare’s riverside border to reach the harbor village of Mountshannon on the shores of Lough Derg. This large lake is a popular spot for boating and also contains the intriguing Inis Cealtra, or Holy Island. To the west, the Loop Head peninsula holds several charming villages along its Atlantic and estuarine coasts.
Fly into Clare’s major airport outside of Shannon and get around the county via rented car or bus. A popular tourist route is the Wild Atlantic Way, which follows the county’s stunning coast. County Clare’s enduring traditions and historic landmarks ensure an unforgettable experience.