Doolin, County Clare © Chaosheng Zhang

About Clare

Clare is a combination of the wild Atlantic coastline, the mystical Burren, rolling fields, and farmlands, with traditional music and culture at its heart. The Atlantic pounds the coast all year round, eroding the rocks into spectacular landscapes at Loop Head and the famous Cliffs of Moher. 

Surfers flock to ride the waves at the many beaches, the most famous being at Lahinch Beach. Many of the surf schools are situated in Lahinch. The surf schools in Clare are busy all year round, making it an ideal base for a self-catering surfing holiday at any time of the year. Once you have brushed up on your skills, head off and practice at less crowded beaches such as Doolin, Doonbeg, and Spanish Point. You can also book a surf lesson or two with Aloha Surf School in Fanore where they have instructors speaking French, Spanish, or Portuguese. 

The Burren is a unique limestone plateau with ancient stone forts, dolmens, and underground caves where alpine flora and fauna thrive. Visit the Burren Nature Sanctuary in Kinvara, set on a 50-acre organic farm. Discover the mile-long nature trail, which meanders through the Burren habitats of karst limestone, ancient hazel and ash woodland, and the organic wildflower meadow, home to many of Ireland’s butterflies. 

Cycle the quiet tracks and trails in the Burren and enjoy amazing scenery, before hopping into a kayak to see stunning landscapes from a totally different perspective. North Clare Sea Kayaking Tours has teamed up with its sister company Burren Way Mountain Bike Tours to bring the Wild Atlantic Way to life with their Sky to Sea Experience. 

Book the chocolate tour and tasting at Hazel Mountain Chocolates in Oughtmama near Bellharbour where you will be enticed by heavenly scents as you watch chocolatiers hard at work or visit the Burren Perfumery which creates signature scents in the form of perfumes, creams, soaps, and candles. 

The River Shannon flows through part of the rolling countryside of East Clare, at your pace discover a variety of lovely riverside villages. Killaloe has a network of charming narrow streets, flanked by old shops and houses that climb up the steep hillside and down over the 13th Century Cathedral, an ideal base for a wonderful self-catering holiday in Clare.  

Ballycuggaran is a renowned beauty spot that provides one of Lough Derg’s two blue flag beaches, indicating that it reaches a high level of environmental quality and is the site of the UL Sport Adventure Centre. The village of Tuamgraney is one of the most notable ecclesiastical and historical places in Ireland. St. Cronan’s Church built in the first millennium is still used for worship and Scariff which overlooks Lough Derg, is an important market town that offers excellent facilities for visitors interested in either active pursuits or leisurely sightseeing. 

Traditional music and culture flourish in Clare and in villages such as Killaloe, Miltown Malbay, Ennistymon, Doolin, and Kilfenora, where you will find pubs with year-round sessions of Irish music.  

For a different experience listen to traditional music in one of the most authentic Irish experiences at Doolin Music House. Listen to traditional Irish music and local stories in the intimate surroundings of Christy and Sheila’s Barrys welcoming home.  

Go island hopping and discover the famous Aran Islands, a group of 3 islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay. From west to east, the islands are Inishmore the largest; Inishmaan the second-largest and Inisheer the smallest island. You can reach the Aran Islands by passenger ferry from Rossaveel which is about an hour west of Galway City or from Doolin in County Clare. Weather permitting the ferries leave from Rossaveel year-round whereas the ferries from Doolin usually go from around March to October.  

Watch and learn about dolphins with Dolphin Watch located in Carrigaholt or visit Scattery Island home to a monastery consisting of a round tower and several churches, founded by St. Senan in the early 6th century. Scattery Island Tours offers a daily scheduled ferry service to the island from the Marina at Kilrush from May to September. 

For a memorable holiday base, yourself from one of our self-catering accommodations in Clare – you won’t be disappointed. With opportunists to view the raw, rugged beauty of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, journey by boat to many of the wonderful islands, or meander down the River Shannon – you’ll find the Ireland you always imagined.  

Take a splash and enjoy many of the water sports, and enjoy the craic at a traditional music session, every few miles there are opportunities to stretch your legs and open your senses. Whether you are looking for a self-catering family holiday, an active outdoor self-catering holiday, or a short self-catering break in Ireland we have the ideal holiday accommodation in County Clare. 

Map of Clare


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