County Clare. Even the name rolls off your tongue like an Irish Trad song (Trad stands for Traditional Irish Folk music, obviously). To spend some time exploring this gem, you can choose to fly into Dublin and spend a couple of days there, or fly straight into Shannon which leaves you a stone’s throw away of Ennis – the commercial centre of Clare. But don’t stay anywhere too long as you’ll miss out on the beauty of cliffs, lakes, pubs, mountains and fishing villages that surround you.


When in Ireland you need to be free-spirited and not scared of getting wet. It rains in Ireland, get used to it. Although when the sun comes out you genuinely won’t want to be anywhere else in the world.

Rock out on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route…which doesn’t sound that exciting, but just look at the views!

A good place to start is Flaggy Shore. Expect photogenic limestone pavements, fossils, and sculptured rocks. Even if you’re not into your rocks you’re going to be impressed. And there’s much more rock action within the rest of the Burren too.

A little way up the coast is Kinvara, a picturesque fishing village defined by the impressive Dunguaire Castle sitting on a hill  overlooking the bay. If you like seafood this is the place to be. Then there’s the village of Fanore with its awesome walks, stretches of beach, limestone pavements and surfing. There are tons of good walking routes right along this stretch of coast, so wander (and wonder) your way through this geo theme park.

Surf and Turf

People travel from all around the world to surf Ireland. No, seriously! Head to Lahinch for a long sandy stretch of surf-able beach where there are surf shops, cafés and changing facilities. After a surf, meander up the coastal road to enjoy a well-deserved bowl of creamy crab claws and a pint Guinness by the sea-front in Kilbaha.

Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher

Doolin, as well as having a cool name, is a somewhat legendary fishing village when it comes to traditional Irish music. More experienced surfers can surf off the exposed reef break, or there is bouldering off the cliffs too (if you accidentally forgot to pack a bouldering mat and climbing shoes you can rent them).

Talking of cliffs, take the path from Doolin all the way along the coast edge until you hit the famous Cliff of Moher, they are iconic and quite frankly, breath-taking.

Watch the Munsters

No, not the sitcom – go watch a rugby game at Limerick’s Thomond Park stadium, home to rugby teams within the province of Munster. Even if you’re not a fan of rugby it’s an awesome way to spend an afternoon involving singing, flag waving, and you guessed it, more Guinness-drinking. While in Limerick it would be rude not to check out the historic city center which was the setting of Frank McCourt’s memoir Angela’s Ashes.

Jump on a boat to The Aran Islands

Each Island’s name is pretty difficult to say if you’re not Irish, but that’s why you need to go as they epitomize ‘Irish-ness’. The locals speak Irish (and English too, don’t panic!), and historically important celtic churches dot the land. The islands are also home to Redbull’s famous Cliff Diving competition, as well as the film setting for ‘Man of Aran’. Oh and the home of the Aran Sweater which your grandma will be impressed with.


County Clare is of course only one county and there is much more of Ireland to explore (The amazing city of Galway is only a stone’s throw away). But don’t despair you can indulge your Irish wander lust by jumping onto one of many tours that will whisk you away and show you a good time, proving you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy the luck of the Irish.

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