See the Cliffs of Insanity and other dramatic scenery in Co. Clare

The Burren, Clare
Friends of mine from Australia are visiting Ireland this summer and I want to show off some of our beautiful scenery. We are planning some activities in Dublin before heading to Co. Clare for a few days. As I have never been, what would you recommend we see and do?

Friends of mine from Australia are visiting Ireland this summer and I want to show off some of our beautiful scenery. We are planning some activities in Dublin before heading to Co. Clare for a few days. As I have never been, what would you recommend we see and do?

That sounds like a wonderful plan and I have no doubt that your friends will be in awe of Ireland’s dramatic scenery. You will have so much to do and see in Dublin for the first few days that it will be lovely to get out of the city and soak up some of Ireland’s country charm in Clare. Heading to the west is a great idea and gives you and your friends the opportunity to see the vast difference between the east and rugged west coast of Ireland.

Clare is a haven for tourists with everything from the dramatic Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, to surfing in Lahinch and the caves in Doolin. Steeped in history as ancient as Egypt’s, the Burren’s limestone rock formation is a must-see. Both majestic and peaceful with natural flora and wildlife creating a tapestry of colours that change throughout the day, your guests will be enthralled. The Burren Visitor Centre is located in the picturesque village of Kilfenora and I would definitely recommend that you pay a visit. With a price tag of just €6 per adult, it is well worth the walk through time where a guide will take you back through the ages when the area lay beneath a warm tropical sea.

If your Aussie friends grew up on the beach catching waves then Lahinch is a recommended spot. Jam packed with great restaurants and pubs, Lahinch is always buzzing during the summer time and has an unrivalled stretch of beach with great surf suitable for all ages and abilities. The prom is lined with various surfing schools and with prices from about €35 per lesson.

Just a 15 minute drive from Lahinch are the impressive Cliffs of Moher, another must-see in Clare. They rise 390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and increase to 702 ft. just north of O’Brien’s Tower. The cliffs host approximately 30,000 birds, representing more than 20 species, and are a magnificent sight especially if the sun is shining. The cliffs will be busy during the summer months with tourists arriving by the bus load so it is best to get there early.

If your guests are keen to experience some of Ireland’s traditional music then Doolin will blow them away. This charming village is undoubtedly the traditional music capital of Ireland and the best way to experience it is in the comfort of a snug at the local with a rousing music session. The weather in the west of Ireland can be very changeable and if you find yourself in need of shelter then the stunning underworld experience of the caves in Doolin is ideal. The great stalactite is one of Europe’s most compelling cave attractions and is the longest free-hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere.

Clare is home to some of the best seafood in Ireland and most good pubs will serve delicious calamari and scrumptious crab claws. Vaughan’s in Liscannor is one of the best around in the county. For a real treat, I would highly recommend Roadford House Restaurant in Doolin, it is divine.

Where to stay:

Vaughan Lodge Hotel (****)

Lowest prices from €100 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

A five minute walk from the prom in Lahinch and close to The Burren and Doolin, this four-star guest house has an award winning restaurant, cosy bar and high speed wi-fi.

Cappabhaile House (***)

Lowest prices from €84 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Situated in beautiful Ballyvaugh, Cappabhaile House enjoys spectacular views overlooking the Burren. The guest house is warm and cosy with bedrooms decorated in rich colours with wi-fi access and in-room tea and coffee making facilities.

Armada Hotel (****)

Lowest prices from €79 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Located on the Spanish Point beach, the Armada hotel is close to both Lahinch, Liscannor and the Cliffs of Moher. This large hotel boasts two restaurants, well appointed guests rooms with fantastic views and a rooftop terrace.

The Lodge at Doonbeg (*****)

Lowest prices from €225 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

The Lodge at Doonbeg is a luxury five star hotel located away about 30 minutes from Lahinch across a vast stretch of beach. Amenities include a health spa, golf course, self catering cottages and a stunning restaurant.

*All prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!