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Overlooking the isles of Aran-
Doonagore Castle, Doolin
Doolin is a special village in a special part of Ireland. Nestling between the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and the Aran islands it is renowned as the traditional music capital of Ireland. It is many things to many people. For some, it's a centre of music and merriment, for others it is a place of great beauty and tranquility where one can refresh and spirit away the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Most however find it an ideal base from which to explore a magnificent part of Clare, and from here Doolin has no peers; it's a paradise for geologists, botanists, ornithologists, speleologists, and even the perhaps less qualified "walkerologists"!
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Accommodation in Doolin is of the highest quality. You can choose from Self-catering cottages, Holiday Hostels, or Bed and Breakfast guest houses. The following are highly recommended:
accommodation web link.. contact.. telephone..
Doonmacfelim Guest house Majella & Frank +353 87 1250303
Sea View House B&B Darra & Niall +353 87 2679617
Doolin Hostel Anthony +353 87 2820587

Cliffs of Moher

The nearby Cliffs of Moher are one of the most outstanding coastal features of Ireland. They rise from Doolin and ascend to over 700 feet (213 metres) just three miles south of the village. Being almost vertical, their sheer drop into the heaving Atlantic ocean is a haven for sea birds and the view from the top is never tiresome.

Both the visitor's centre and O'Briens tower monument are open all year round. The truly spectacular drive along the coast road between the cliffs of Moher and Doolin (just off the N478) is one you'll surely never forget.

The Burren or Great Rock

An unpolluted and unspoiled area of over 100 square miles starting from the west at Doolin that really captivates visitors with it's jagged terrain of limestone pavements and fascinating countryside of contradiction and paradoxes just made for browsing and discovery.

It's geology, flora, fauna, caves, archaeology and history set it apart as a place of mystery and beauty; an explorers dream. The Burren display centre at Kilfenora, and the Whitethorn Exposure at Ballyvaughan helps to unravel many of the Burren's many mysteries.

Poulnabrone Portal Dolmen is an ancient stone tomb dating between 2000 - 2500 B.C. It's just one of the many historic monuments dotted throughout this area.
Whatever your interests, you will find something special among these bare yet fruitful rocks.


The Aillwee Cave is a 2 million year old cave system that goes deep into the Burren's underworld. Once the home of prehistoric bears, it is now a show cave which is spectacularly illuminated and offers guided tours to the public all year round.

Close to the ritual standing stone of Knockastoolery in the centre of Doolin village, is Fisher street pothole. This pothole is the entrance to the extensive Doolin cave system, incorporating many active underground rivers flowing through the limestone. Doolin is also home to Pollalnionian, the cave with the largest and most impressive stalactite in Europe. These cave systems may be explored only by experienced and suitably equipped potholers.

The Aran Islands

Doolin is the closest mainland port serving the Aran Islands. These three stunningly beautiful islands are an off shore extension of the Burren and are one of the last out-posts of Gaelic civilisation where Irish is still the native language of their inhabitants.
A passenger ferry service operated by the Doolin Ferries will take you across to the islands in 30 minutes. There are several crossings daily during the summer season. (weather permitting)

Local interest

Within living memory Doolin was a Gaeltacht area where many of the older inhabitants only spoke Irish; records over the years show a vast collection of North Clare Folklore written in the native Gaelic.

Doolin is dotted with the remains of historical churches and castles including the ruined Doonmacfelim Castle. Although reduced to one story it still remains prominent landmark today.

Click for Map


Scuba diving is now very popular in Doolin. There are many excellent dive sites along the coastline, many of them shore dives, including the submarine caves or Blue Holes of Doolin. For the not-so-brave snorkelling may be enjoyed in the clear Atlantic waters around Crab Island or along the base of the cliffs.

Today, Doolin is rapidly expanding and offers a wide variety of tourist's facilities. You will find excellent restaurants where seafood is a speciality, lively pubs, craft shops, post office (Western Union office and Bureau de change at Paddy's Doolin Hostel), pitch & put golf course and much more.

The Lahinch (links) championship golf course is just a 15 minutes drive south of the village.

Traditional Music & "Russell Memorial weekend"

Doolin has long been regarded the home of traditional Irish music in the west of Ireland. All this region of county Clare has strong celtic folklore influences and was regarded as a Gaeltacht (native celtic) area late into the 1970's. Doolin was firmly put onto the global map of irish traditional music thanks to the three Russell brothers; Packie, Gussy and Miko. They learned their musical talent from their mother Annie and then as young men from older traditional musicians in the area and so inherited the distinctive style and sound peculiar to Clare.
Young, aspiring musicians came from Europe, America and Australia and were made welcome before the days of organised sessions. The denim-clad visitors joined in, thrilled to find music that was, and still is a living reality today.
The celebration of the musical heritage and the cultivation of the living tradition of Doolin continues to grow. Foremost in the traditional music calendar in Doolin is the "Russell Memorial weekend". This occurs during the last weekend of February each year and is a festival of musical events organised by the Doolin Festival Committee.

Before his untimely death, Miko became an ambassador for Doolin travelling the world playing his gentle music in his own inimitable style.


Getting to Doolin is very easy. Shannon airport is only 45 minutes by car. Bus Eireann operate local buses daily all year round and Express Buses operate daily during high season arriving from all parts of Ireland.

Doolin directions map From Shannon airport to Doolin..
  1. Leaving airport head North on the N18 to Ennis via Newmarket-on-Fergus.
  2. Ennis to Ennistymon via N85
  3. Ennistymon towards Lisdoonvarna on the N67, left on the R478 at the main cross roads before Lisdoonvarna, indicating Cliffs of Moher / Doolin.
  4. Travel 3 miles, turn right at a small petrol station heading towards the sea.
  5. Left at end of road where all signs are displayed.

Accommodation recommended within 500 metres of signs on road to sea.

Kilimer Car ferry is an hour's drive away and essentially connects the coastlines of Kerry and Care. It's drive on,drive off car ferry and can be located 3km south of Kilrush on your map.

alternative route from Ennistymon via Cliffs of Moher (scenic route)..
  1. Turn left in Ennistymon to Lahinch (2 miles) right on th R478 to Cliffs of Moher.
  2. Continue North 4 miles to small petrol station.
  3. Turn left towards the sea - follow as above.

Safe travelling!

If its rambling and scrambling through the Burren Countryside, mingling nightly with traditional musicians and storytellers at the local hostelries, or drinking in Atlantic breezes, a very warm welcome awaits you in Doolin.