Doolin Ireland, Top attractions in Doolin

Follow the Doolin Ireland Map for a guided Walking Tour

Doolin Ireland is a picturesque village in County Clare that was used as the main setting for the 2007 PlayStation 3 game Folklore. It is a great stop to spend an afternoon or a few days. Aside from the number of activities in the village such as the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Cliff Walk there are a number of activities just outside of Doolin

Doolin Ireland, Things to do in the area

  1. Take the Doolin Ferry to the Aran Islands
  2. Explore the Burren, visit the Geoprak, visitor center or the Burren National Park
  3. Walk the cliff tops of the Cliffs of Moher on the Coastal Cliff Walk
  4. Book a cruise tour to see the Cliffs of Moher from sea level
  5. Book a tour to the Sea Caves under the Cliffs of Moher. They are accessible at low tide
  6. Explore the Doolin Caves and Nature Walk
  7. Rent a bike and discover Doolin attractions on a bike
  8. Walk, drive or take Bus #350 to Doonagore Castle, 1 km from Doolin
  9. Enjoy the chocolates at the Doolin Chocolate shop
  10. From Doolin take bus #350 to the villages of Kilrush and Carrigaholt for a Dolphin watching Cruise
  11. Visit the Mountain View Horse riding center to explore the area on horseback
  12. Have a meal at one of the popular pubs in Doolin, enjoy the live music and pub atmosphere. Have an authentic Irish experience at the Doolin Music House
  13. Take bus #350 to nearby Lahinch, spend the day at the beach. Learn a watersport such as surfing
  14. Definitely explore the karst landscape of the Burren region and visit the monuments

Doolin Ireland Map of Attractions, Click HERE to download interactive map

The map below lists the attractions in Doolin. Follow the map for your personal tour of Doolin. Click on the map pins for additional information, images or videos

Doolin Ireland Map

Download the PDF of the Doolin Ireland Attractions Map HERE

Doolin Village Walking Trail

1. Doolin Pier

Doolin Pier is set against the majestic Atlantic Ocean coastline. It is surrounded by the karst landscape of the Burren and walking distance to the popular tourist village of Doolin. From the pier you can get a boat tour to the Cliffs of Moher or visit the Aran Islands

Doolin Ireland Ferries

There are several ferry companies providing tours to Cliffs of Moher, passage to Aran Islands or a combination of both:

Doolin Cliff Walking Trail

From Doolin you can walk to the cliffs of Moher. It is a long walk and you will start at sea level eventually climbing until you reach the top of the cliffs for the coastal cliff walk. The coastal cliff walk is about 13 kilometres on the cliffs from the north near Doolin to the South at Hags Head. The O’Brien’s tower is about the halfway mark. Additional information on the coastal cliff walk and Cliffs of Moher is HERE

3.  Doonagore Castle

Doonagore castle is a round tower house built in the 16th century on the site of an existing castle which dated back to the the 1300s. The older castle was built by the O’Brien clan and through several ownership changes it was passed onto the MacClancy family, lawyers for the O’Briens. The name comes from the Irish Dun na Gabhair which means either the “fort of the goat” or the “fort of the rounded hills”. The castle enclosed by a defensive wall, was used as a navigation point for passing ships and ferry’s to Aran islands, due to its location high on the hills in the Burren. However in 1588 a ship from the Spanish Armada crashed on the rocky coast below. All 170 survivors were hanged at the castle or the hill nearby, which is now called Hangman’s Hill (Cnocan an Crochaire)

After several ownership changes, the castle was eventually purchased by an American Andrew Gorman in the 1970s who is still the current owner. Today it is their private holiday home and one of three round tower houses in the Burren. The castle is one kilometre from Doolin on the walk to the Cliffs of Moher

4.  Doolin Music House

Enjoy local Irish music and storytelling by the fire at the home of Christy Barry and his partner Sheila. Real Irish hospitality with local delicacies, wine and laughter. A “not to be missed” authentic evening

5.  Killilagh Church

A small parish church that was built in 1470 to serve the mountainous region. It was attacked by Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers in 1645 while mass was in progress and the roof was set on fire. After that time it was not used as a church, however it was used as a burial ground. The latest burial was in 1985. Recently fundraising efforts have taken place in order to restore the old church. There are great views of the Cliffs of Moher from this hillside church

To get to the church from Doolin village, take the route R479 towards the Doolin Cave. At McDermott’s Bar, turn left onto a narrow lane. 500 metres up the narrow lane is another lane on the right. This will lead you to the Church, which is visible from the road. Parking is available on site

6 – 7.  Doolin Cave

On the western edge of the Burren you will find the Doolin Cave, “Poll-an-Lonain”, discovered by students charting caves in the area in 1952. They followed a stream that seemed to disappear under a limestone cliff. Clearing a path they followed the stream to a huge cavern. The cave has the largest free standing stalactite in Europe at 7 meters (23 feet). Visit the cave and take the one kilometer nature hike in the glacier valley around the cave to see the flora and fauna of the Burren. It is the only place you will see artic, alpine and mediterranean plants grow alongside each other. Onsite is a pottery shop of pieces made from the glacial clay found in the caves, a gift shop and cafe

8.  Ballinalacken castle

The name Ballinalacken, balle Na Leacan, in Irish means town of the flagstones. The castle was built in the 15th century and the ruins are next to the Ballinalacken House Hotel also built by the O’Briens in 1840. It was used as their home. The O’Brian clan were a powerful family, related to the high King of Ireland, who also built the O’Brien tower at the Cliffs of Moher. The home was sold to Daniel O’Callaghan in 1939; his son Denis is the current owner

9.  Horseback Riding

Mountainview Horse Trekking located about a 9 min drive north of Doolin. They will take you on riding tours of the Burren, mountains, countryside or riding along the beach. The length can vary from one hour to one week

10 – 13.  Lahinch Beach

Lahinch (Lehinch) is a small town 18km south of Doolin and can be reached by Bus #350 or a 20 minute car ride. It has a popular blue flag beach used by locals for swimming, surfing, sea kayaking or kite surfing. The flooding tide creates ideal conditions for surfing and it is fast becoming a popular resort town. There are a number of surf schools in Doolin who will teach you how to surf including Lahinch Surf School, Bens Surf Clinic or Lahinch Surf Experience. They have lessons for the beginner and equipment to rent.  

As with any outdoor sporting event caution is urged. Lahinch Beach can be dangerous at high tide so it is best to avoid it 2 hours on either side of high tide

Irish Hospitality, Doolin Pubs

Doolin is part of West Clare that is a designated Irish Speaking community, Gaeltacht, where Irish is the predominant language in the area. The preservation of the Irish culture is seen in the pubs around Doolin with traditional Irish music, including banjos, accordions, flutes, bagpipes, tin whistles and spoons. So make sure to visit the pubs and immerse yourself in the Irish culture and hospitality; get there early as the pubs get full

Getting from Dublin to Galway

  • You can get to Galway by Irish rail from Dublin’s Heuston station or by bus using Aside from car rental, these are easy ways for getting to Galway from Dublin.
    • You can also use Bus Éireann instead of Use the journey planner for public transportation. In the planner, select Dublin station to Galway station for the different options
  • The journey planner is for all of Irelands public transportation (not as its privately operated). The planner will give you rail and bus options or a combination for travel in Ireland

How to get to from Galway/Ennis/Limerick to Doolin Ireland

Bus Eireann #350 from Cork, Galway, Ennis and Limerick stops in Doolin. Make sure you catch the bus going in the right direction to Doolin (towards Ennis)

Doolin Ireland, Other Attractions

Visit the Burren. The Burren is about 350km of the karst glaciated landscape in County Clare. The area includes the village of Doolin, Ballyvaughn, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Burren National Park

Explore the Aran Islands that are at the mouth of Galway Bay comprising of three rocky islands. Popular tourist destinations they are known for their ancient Christian sites, preserved Irish culture, cliff top walks and textiles such as Aran sweaters and scarves

Walk the Cliffs of Moher Ireland Cliff tops. One of the most visited sites in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are on the southern edge of the Burren and run for 14 kilometers along the coastline peaking at a height of 214m above sea level

Other Attractions in Ireland

Use the Getting around Ireland guide to visit Over 100 Attractions in Ireland (including Game of Thrones attractions) or The Glens of Antrim

Additional Ireland Attraction Guides:

  • Getting around Ireland – Using Public Transportation in Ireland
  • Cliffs of Moher – A very popular tour, a complete guide to the 16 attractions along the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk
  • Doolin – A quaint popular village in County Clare. Stop overnight and walk to the Cliffs of Moher from Doolin or enjoy the many other attractions in and around Doolin
  • The Ring of Kerry – A spectacular 111 mile scenic route on the Iveragh Peninsula. Start at either Kenmare or Killarney for a circular route of three hours without stops. Jaw dropping views of the Atlantic ocean, charming villages and wild sweeping mountains makes this a popular must see attraction in Ireland. Use the map and attractions for the complete self guided tour of the Ring of Kerry
  • The Dingle Peninsula – It is a 30 mile long clockwise loop that takes about 4 hours to complete. The area is the bedrock of Irish culture with signs in many villages and towns indicating that Irish is the predominant language in the area. The picturesque landscape includes rolling hills, craggy shorelines and sandy beaches. The PDF map and attractions guide explores the attractions of the Dingle Peninsula
  • The Ring of Beara – An 85 mile circular route, similar to Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula, however it is far less travelled. In that sense, it is a better drive as there are far less cars on the road. I found the Ring of Beara far more dramatic than either the Ring of Kerry or the Dingle Peninsula. It is not as popular because the tourist buses are not able to navigate the narrow roads with hairpin bends or the Healey Pass.
  • Dublin: Explore central Dublin on foot with these three self guided walking tours and map:
    • Dublin Walk 1 – Top 18 Attractions, guide to Dublin City Center, North of the River Liffey Dublin
    • Dublin Walk 2 – Top 16 attractions, guide to attractions South of the River Liffey, including the Temple Bar Region
      • The Book of Kells and Trinity College in Dublin. Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland with the historic Long Room,and the old library with over 200,000 of the very old books. It is the most impressive library in the world
      • In Dublin visit the Little Museum of Dublin, Grafton Street, St Stephens Green and Kilmainham Goal (the prison where many rebels from the Easter Rising were held before their execution)
    • Dublin Walk 3 – Top 16 attractions, guide to Historic Old Dublin
  • Galway – Use the Galway Ireland guide for a flexible and personal tour of over 40 attractions Galway City
  • Aran Islands – For a truly authentic Irish experience visit the Aran Islands. They are located at the mouth of Galway Bay. You can catch a ferry from either Doolin or Rosseeval port (Shuttle from Galway to Rosseeval ferry port)
  • The Glens of Antrim – Driving route for the nine Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland. The guide includes options for public transportation, walking trails in The Glens and Game of Thrones Attractions
  • Over 100 Northern Ireland Attractions – Visit over 100 attractions along the east and north coast of Ireland along the Antrim and Causeway Coastal Route. Travel by car or public transport from the Mourne Mountains to Londonderry. Includes game of thrones sites, castles and walks along the route
  • The Burren – Explore the karst moonscape bedrock of The Burren located in the southwest region and close to the Cliffs of Moher. Attractions in the Burren include ancient tombs, underground caves, walks on an unusual landscape and The Burren National Park