Where To Stay in Clare For Amazing Sea Views

Pretty village of Ballyvaughan on the west coast of Ireland in County Clare © Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland

Ballyvaughan, is a pretty little village in North Clare that packs a big punch! This fishing village located in Clare’s Wild Atlantic Way is situated on the rugged west coast of Clare, an ideal base for self-catering holiday. Drive part of the Wild Atlantic Way and discover amazing sea views around every corner and after a day exploring return to the beautiful fishing village of Ballyvaugan.

This pretty seaside village is conveniently located close to the Burren, a unique lunar-like landscape of rock and cliffs with seven walking trails, woodland and many animals such as otters, mink and lizards. There are a selection of attractive cosy bars, restaurants and cafes located close to our self catering holiday homes in Ballyvaughan. Many offer wonderful views of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Burren region, so you and your home holiday guests can relax, have taste some freshly soured seafood or a drink of the black stuff at your pace and leisure.

After checking into your unique thatched holiday cottage in Ballyvaughan situated right on the shore of the Wild Atlantic Way here are 10 things you can do:

1. Take a guided tour of the Burren

The Burren, a karst landscape of bedrock incorporating a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone, with cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites. There are a number of experienced and knowledgeable guides offer walking tours in the area. You and your holiday home guests can choose from a gentle hike to a strenuous hill walk. Each guide offers informative and entertaining commentaries on the geology, flora, archaeology, wild life and farming of the region.

2. Order mouth-watering, freshly source seafood at Linnane’s Lobster Bar

Linnane’s Bar was built over 300 years ago as a traditional thatched cottage with a small pub and post office. In the 1990’s Linnane’s Bar was extended and now serves locally sourced seafood along with a wide selection of Irish Craft Beers situated on the waters edge.

Poulnabrone Dolmen County Clare
Poulnabrone Dolmen County Clare

3. Visit the famous Poulnabrone Dolmen

Situated on the high Burren limestone plateau, Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Ireland’s most iconic archaeological monuments and is the second most visited location in the Burren after the Cliffs of Moher. It is the oldest dated megalithic monument in Ireland.

Corcomroe Abbey
Corcomroe Abbey


4. Explore Corcomroe Abbey, best once known as “St. Mary of the Fertile Rock”, a reference to the Burren’s fertile soil

Corcomroe Abbey is an early 13th-century Cistercian monastery located in the north of the Burren region, a few miles east of the village of Ballyvaughan in the Barony of Burren. It was once known as “St. Mary of the Fertile Rock”, a reference to the Burren’s fertile soil. It was founded for Cistercian monks around 1195 as a daughter house of the Abbey at Inisloughnaght, Co. Tipperary. The church was constructed in the early 13th century and consists of a nave with an aisle on the south side. It appears that it was intended to construct a similar aisle on the north side of the nave, but this may never have been completed, perhaps due to lack of funds. 

5. Tour & Tasting

Meet the chocolate experts at Hazel Mountain Chocolates and taste of some of the best single origin chocolates. Hazel Mountain Chocolates, a bespoke bean to bar, stoneground chocolate factory, located at the foothills of the Burren, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Flaggy Shore located at Finvarra near New Quay County Clare
Flaggy Shore located at Finvarra near New Quay County Clare

6. Walk along the Flaggy Shore

The Flaggy Shore is about half a mile of coastline that stretches from New Quay to Finavarra Point. A paved road runs along the shore making it ideal for walkers of all ability and age.

The Flaggy Shore is an ideal place to find clues about where the ancient ice sheets came and in what direction the glaciers moved. Look at the rocks along the shore and try identify the odd one out. Most of the cobbles and boulders along the shore are grey limestone rocks, but some are glacial erratic’s of other rock types, such as granite or sandstone.

7. Visit The Burren Perfumery, a small family company

Visit The Burren Perfumery which makes a unique range of handmade perfumes and certified organic cosmetics inspired by the beautiful Burren landscape. A small, west of Ireland-based company making cosmetics and perfumes inspired by the landscape of the Burren. Everything is made on site, by hand, in small batches and their aim is to be better than the best of the large brands in the quality of our products while employing wonderful local staff.

Clare Burren Marathon Challenge
This is a road, green road and trail challenge across the beautiful and scenic Burren which take place every May. Choice of full, half or mini marathon, all taking you on and off road to the finish line on The Pier at Ballyvaughan.

8. Try wild smoked salmon with a glass of ‘the Black Stuff’

After a vigorous walk or run through the enchanting Burren, try the delicate combination of wild smoked salmon with a glass of ‘the Black Stuff’ as the sun sets over Ballyvaughan Harbour at Monks’ Pub. Unwind in this well-known Seafood Restaurant & Bar formerly known as O’Lochlains and watch the waves roll in at Ballyvaughan Harbour. Established in 1980 by Michael and Bernadette Monk formally a local bar and food store plus it was a drop-off point for people taking the boat to Galway, Aran Islands and further afield.

9. Aillwee Caves & Birds of Prey Centre

Did you know Mr & Mrs Claus 🎅🤶 will be taking up their annual residence in the Aillwee Caves from November 29th 😍 Visitors will be guided along the cave passageways singing Christmas Carols and Santa’s Christmas will take you to the Birds of Prey Centre, where you can meet a Snowy Owl or a Happy Harris Hawk!!! A wonderful and memorable holiday experience for the whole family.

10. Usher in the New Year in a unique landscape

And if you’re lucky enough to book the last few available holiday homes for New Year, you can ring in 2020 from a choice of local pubs. Loclainn’s Whiskey Bar, Wild Atlantic Lodge, Hylands Burren Bar are all within walking distance of at Ballyvaughan Holiday Cottages or you and your self catering friends can celebrate from the comfort of your seaside holiday home!

Another option is Burren Way Cottages located at Bellharbour 5 miles from Ballyvaughan. These comfortable holiday cottages in Clare are in a quiet little development in the heart of the Burren region with great views over the countryside. Close to the cottages is the 11th century Cistercian Abbey of Corcamroe mentioned above in point 4!

Ballyvaughan is a super base for a self catering holiday any time of the year. Our holiday homes in Clare are ideally located close to the Wild Atlantic Way and the many local land and sea attractions. Savour rolling countryside to craggy Atlantic coastline to the unique rocky wilderness of the Burren, a magical base for a holiday in the West of Ireland.

 Ballyvaughan is a village found on the midpoint of the Wild  Atlantic Way,  situated between the hills of the Burren and the southern coastline of Galway Bay in County Clare.
Ballyvaughan is a village found on the midpoint of the Wild Atlantic Way, situated between the hills of the Burren and the southern coastline of Galway Bay in County Clare.

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