County Clare
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended County Clare Off the beaten track

Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

1. Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

Discover the scenic splendor of southwest Ireland on a comprehensive 5-day tour of The Burren, the Dingle Peninsula, and the fabled Ring of Kerry. Stop at historic castles and monasteries, and wander the colorful fishing villages to sample fresh seafood. Enjoy dramatic views from the Cliffs of Moher, and stroll along the vast stretch of Inch Beach watching the local surfers. Transportation is by small minicoach, with accommodation in quaint bed and breakfast guesthouses for a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart Dublin and head west through the farmland and peat bogs of Kildare and Offally counties. Stop at Locke’s Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey to experience the true spirit of Ireland. Continue west to the mighty Shannon River, and vist the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise. Admire its collection of churches, stone crosses, and round towers. After an afternoon stop in a traditional pub in one of the attractive villages, travel to Galway City to check into your base for the night. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants to enjoy in the evening. Day 2: From Galway City it’s only a short drive along the coast to The Burren, one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. Marvel at the limestone pavements, barren hills, and rare flora. See Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. You will spend most of the morning exploring this unique area, stopping in Kilfenora for lunch. Known as the “Town of the Crosses,” there will also be time to visit the old cathedral before driving to the Cliffs of Moher. Marvel at this natural beauty, where the cliffs drop almost 700 feet into crashing Atlantic Ocean waves. Take a walk along one of the cliff top trails, and watch the seabirds at work. Alternatively, visit the award-winning environmental exhibition to learn about the region’s ecology. Then, travel south through County Clare, passing the famous golf course and beach at Lahinch to catch the ferry across the Shannon Estuary and into County Kerry. Go to the beautiful lakeside town of Killarney, your base for the next 3 nights. The pubs here are great for food and most have live music in the evenings. Day 3 Today, you will explore the Dingle Peninsula, one of the most scenic parts of Ireland. Your first stop in this heartland of Gaelic culture will be Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand facing the Atlantic Ocean popular with surfers. From here, increasingly narrow roads lead onto the peninsula itself, through the town of Dingle and out to Slea Head. This is an area of ancient forts and dwellings that date back thousands of years. Visit some of the best examples along the way. Enjoy views of the Blasket Islands as they rise dramatically from the sea. Marvel at the mountains of the famous Ring of Kerry to your south. Weather permitting, time will be allotted for a walk on the beach or along the cliff tops. Learn why the area is important in Gaelic literature. Then, head back to Dingle town with its brightly colored buildings and busy harbor. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, before returning to Killarney. If the weather is good you could enjoy an evening walk in Killarney National Park, just on the edge of town. Day 4: Today, you will take one of the world’s classic routes, the 100-mile Ring of Kerry. Depart Killarney and enjoy the views to Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. Join the coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells to Cahersiveen. Possible stops along the way include Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace, and the ring fort of Cahersiveen. Go to the little fishing village of Portmagee for a lunch of local seafood. Alternatively, cross to the island of Valencia and visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the small community of monks who once lived on the nearby rock island of Skellig Michael. In the afternoon, stop in picturesque Waterville, a favourite holiday destination for Charlie Chaplin. Stop again at the top of the Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in Ireland. From here, the road drops down to sea level, where you will visit Derrynane House, the family home of Daniel O’Connell. You can stroll in the gardens and down to the beach, as well as look inside the house itself. Continue around the Ring, stopping at Moll’s Gap and Ladies View. There will also be time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before returning to Killarney. Day 5: The final day of your tour heads east through the mountains of West Cork and the market town of Macroom. Then, drive along the Lee Valley to Blarney Castle. Visit the castle and take one of the woodland walks to the mystical Rock Close. Explore the village of Blarney, stopping for lunch and a bit of shopping. There may even be time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, although in peak season it can be very busy. In the afternoon, head to the Rock of Cashel to see the medieval monastery complex high above the town. Finally, go to Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine castle and park, as well as some lovely riverside walks. Visit the National Craft Centre, or just hang out in one of the pubs for a last Guinness. Hit the road again for the final leg of your journey, arriving back in Dublin at approximately 19:30.

From Galway: Cliffs of Moher Explorer Tour

2. From Galway: Cliffs of Moher Explorer Tour

Depart from the Kinlay Hostel at 9:00 AM and take the scenic journey along the Wild Atlantic Way, through the lunar-like landscape of the Burren and on to the Cliffs of Moher. Pass  the picturesque villages of Clarenbridge, Kilcolgan, Ballindereen, Kinvara, Ballyvaughan and Doolin. Turing right at Ballyvaughan, your local, driver/guide will take you south following the Wild Atlantic Way. Witness the power of the Atlantic Ocean as it battles the coastline of Ireland. Your driver / guide will drop you at the Quay at Doolin, from here you start your walk via the village of Doolin along the cliff path to the Cliffs of Moher. Have 5 hours to yourself and meet your drive/guide at the visitor's center.  Return to Galway via Lisdoonvarna, home to the world famous matchmaking festival held every September.

Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

3. Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

Experience the beauty of Ireland’s wild west coast on a 3-day tour that takes you from the dramatic Maam Valley to the pretty villages of The Burren. Enjoy fantastic coastal views on a clifftop walk at the Cliffs of Moher, see the landing site of the first trans-Atlantic flight, visit the Quiet Man Museum, and much more. You will be traveling by small minicoach from Dublin for a more intimate experience. Day 1 You’ll take the fast road from Dublin west through the farmland and peat bogs of counties Kildare and Offally. The destinations today are on Ireland’s dramatic Atlantic Coast and the goal is to get you there as quickly as possible! The first stop is the village of Kinvara, where you’ll have a chance to admire Dunguaire Castle, perched on a rocky outcrop looking out over Galway Bay. From here it’s just a short drive to The Burren, which is one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. The Burren is a land of limestone pavements, barren hillsides, rare flora, early Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. Spend a few hours exploring this unique area, stopping in one of the pretty local villages for lunch. After The Burren you’ll head to the stunning Cliffs of Moher, which drop nearly 700 feet straight into the crashing Atlantic waves. Walk along the cliff-top trails, watch the many seabirds, or visit the award-winning environmental exhibition. From here the tour follows the coastal road, and you’ll have stunning views across Galway Bay back to Galway City itself, which is your base for the next 2 nights. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants! Day 2 Galway lies at the edge of Connemara, which is the area you’ll explore today. Travel inland through the Maam Valley to the village of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib. It is here that the classic film, The Quiet Man, was made. Visit the Quiet Man Museum or Cong Abbey. Continue through the heart of Connemara and stop to tour the lovely grounds and house of Kylemore Abbey. Continuing on, you’ll experience the majesty of Connemara National Park. Go to Clifden, where the first trans-Atlantic flight landed, and then drive along the Sky Road and take in the views of the 12 Bens of Connemara. Day 3 After a relaxed start to the day you’ll leave Galway behind and take some of the back roads through central Ireland on the way back to Dublin. The first highlight of the day is the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise, featuring a collection of churches, stone crosses and round towers beautifully situated on the banks of the mighty Shannon River. Following lunch in a local village the tour continues through an area of unique peat bog scenery that is typical of this part of Ireland. Your guide will explain both its environmental and economic importance to the country. The final stop on the tour is Locke’s Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey and discover the true spirit of Ireland! From here you’ll continue east to Dublin, arriving at around 7:00PM.

Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and Aran Islands Rail Tour

4. Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and Aran Islands Rail Tour

DAY 1 Check in at Dublin Heuston Station (Customer Service Desk) for a 7:00 AM departure with the InterCity train to Limerick (breakfast available). Join your coach here for a short tour of Limerick City and then to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park (admission included). Onto the village of Doolin for O'Connors Pub. Next, visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher, Black Head, the Burren, and Galway Bay with an overnight stay in the heart of Galway City (3-star hotel with bed and full Irish breakfast) DAY 2 10:30 AM transfer to Connemara Airport for a flight to Innismor where you'll join a tour of the islands, time for lunch at Kilronan before a visit to the magnificent ancient Fort Dún Aengus. Return flight and transfer. Back to Galway city late afternoon. Overnight as before. DAY 3 At 10:00 AM, head into magnificent Connemara where John Ford filmed "The Quiet Man" in 1951, taking in Clifden, Kylemore Abbey (reduced admission rate applies to Abbey itself), Leenane and Killary Harbour or Roundstone, the Coral Beach and the Sky Road. Take in views of the breathtaking, wild Atlantic Coastline. Return to Galway for an InterCity return train to Dublin Heuston arriving at 8:45 PM (snacks and full bar available). Prices are per person sharing - single room supplement applies Departs Daily (Monday-Saturday)

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What people are saying about County Clare

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 24 reviews

Know what you're getting yourself into! This is a kind of add on tour to the main bus group that goes to the Aran Islands as well as the Cliffs. I was the only 'explorer' in my day's group- the guide goes on to the ferry with the others. You will be going unguided on your walk, which is exactly what I was hoping for :) The trail is quite easy to navigate by yourself, and you'll probably run into kindred travelers along the way. It took me about 3 hours, walking very leisurely, and often stopping in awe, so don't be afraid to take your time. My tour guide Pather was lovely and very informative on the bus to and from Galway. Would strongly recommend!

Matthew was not only a gentleman (always opening the doors for everybody, asking if we need the AC etc.) but he is also a very pleasant guide and safe but efficient driver. The hotel standard is good, clean B&Bs and the nicest hosts. I really enjoyed our programme and did not find to pay too much extra on the attractions that we visited. My favourite was definitely the cliffs of Moher. Thanks Matthew!!!

We had a great week on this trip! Jerome was very informative, accommodating and professional but fun! All of the accommodations were comfortable and the B&B owners were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed all of the planned stops along the way as well little extra stops Jerome would throw in. We highly recommend this trip!

Cliffs were amazing as an experience. Gerry, our guide/driver was incredible, I remember saying to my friend I would like to buy an audio CD of him just doing tours!!

Fabulous time! We travelled to many places not included on the itinerary. Jerome the tour guide and the fellow passengers were lovely. Such wonderful memories