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Overview

County Clare, which lies between the Shannon estuary and Galway Bay, contains Ireland's most unusual landscape and one of its most famous beauty spots. The Cliffs of Moher plunge dramatically into the Atlantic more than 700 feet (215 m) below. Paths lead to the top for fantastic views. Stretching inland is the vast limestone plateau of the Burren, its treeless, rocky surface broken by deep crevices which harbor an amazing variety of rare plants, from orchids to alpine species. Aillwee Cave is part of the underground cave system that lies below. The Poulnabrone Dolmen, an ancient portal tomb, rises out of the rocks. Scattered throughout ...

County Clare, which lies between the Shannon estuary and Galway Bay, contains Ireland's most unusual landscape and one of its most famous beauty spots. The Cliffs of Moher plunge dramatically into the Atlantic more than 700 feet (215 m) below. Paths lead to the top for fantastic views. Stretching inland is the vast limestone plateau of the Burren, its treeless, rocky surface broken by deep crevices which harbor an amazing variety of rare plants, from orchids to alpine species. Aillwee Cave is part of the underground cave system that lies below. The Poulnabrone Dolmen, an ancient portal tomb, rises out of the rocks. Scattered throughout County Clare are the remains of around 400 castles and 2,300 stone ring forts, known as cashels or cahers. Kilfenora and Corofin have Burren attractions. Ballyvaughan is a picturesque fishing village. County Clare is famous for traditional music, particularly at Ennis, which also has a historic friary, and the coastal villages of Doolin, Lahinch and Milltown Malbay. There are more fine beaches at the popular resorts of Kilrush and Kilkee, and sulphur baths at the Victorian spa town of Lisdoonvarna.

Donna Dailey
About the Expert

Donna Dailey is the author of Thomas Cook’s Ireland driving guide, coauthor of DK’s Back Roads Ireland and several other titles, as well as the author of Thomas Cook’s HotSpots Costa Blanca and a contributor to AA Publishing’s Key Guide Spain.

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Donna Dailey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring; summer for Burren flowers and beaches; autumn