A walker’s paradise
The hikes presented here are for various levels of fitness and all of the walks can be adapted to suit your itinerary. Whether you simply wish to enjoy the outdoors for an afternoon or spend the whole day exploring the Burren there is a hike here to suit you. Doolin is a wonderful base for exploring the hidden gems that our area has to offer.
Day 1 : Arriving in Doolin
When you arrive in Doolin, check in at your accommodation. You will get a warm Irish welcome and your host will provide you with all the information you need including maps of the area, itineraries, suggestions for places to eat and where to listen to music.
Once you have settled in and relaxed after your journey, you can start exploring Doolin itself. We believe it is important to get to know your base for the next few days. So take a stroll through the village, get a feel for the place, have a little look at some of the wonderful shops, have a bite to eat in one of the cafés and then walk towards Doolin Pier.
On your way, you will get your first glance at the Cliffs Of Moher, then walk alongside the beautiful Pitch & Putt and finally reach Doolin Pier. South of the pier are amazing views of the Cliffs of Moher, with Crab Island and the Aran Islands to the West, and finally walk towards the North on the edge of the beautiful Burren coastline and its famous limestone pavement.
On your way back to the village, you might be tempted to stop at the Pitch & Putt, which is equally enjoyable as a beginner or as an experienced golfer. Then it’ll be time to get ready for some great food in one of Doolin’s pubs and restaurants and also to catch some incredible live traditional music which is played every night.
Day 2 : Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk
Where: Starting at the Doolin Community Centre, it takes you up along the coast to the Cliffs of Moher’s highest point and then continues onto Hag’s Head and Liscannor.
Terrain: Exposed Clifftop path, narrow & steep ascents, flagstone steps, farm tracks, local road.
Duration: 20km, 4-5 hours
Minimum gear: Hiking boots, warm & waterproof clothing, fluids, sun protection, snack, mobile phone.
There are many variations of this walk possible. For example, it is also possible to start in Liscannor and walk back to Doolin. Your host will help you organize what’s most convenient for you (bus times, taxi numbers, drop-offs).
Another option is to take the popular guided walk with Pat Sweeney, a local farmer full of knowledge about the area. Pat starts his walk every morning during the season at 10am from O’Connor’s Pub on Fisher Street and brings the group up to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre. You can then simply take a bus a walk back to Doolin or else you can keep walking along the Cliffs towards Liscannor.
Day 3 : Ballyvaughan Wood Loop Walk
Where: This looped walk starts in the village of Ballyvaughan, a lovely town by the sea about 25 minutes away from Doolin
Terrain: Minor roadways, green lanes, woodland, cross country.
Duration: 8km, 2-2.5 hours
Minimum gear: Good walking shoes / hiking boots, fluids, warm and waterproof clothing, mobile phone.
The first part of this loop follows part of the long-distance ‘Burren Way’, it explores the valley behind the village of Ballyvaughan and brings you up along the side of Aillwee Mountain (with Aillwee Caves nearby) and its typical Burren landscape of unfolding layers of limestone form terraces and then comes back down to the seaside.
Day 4 : Mulloughmore – Burren National Park
Where : The Burren National Park is situated on the south-eastern side of the Burren. The walks and hikes start at ‘Mulloughmore Crossroad’
Level : Difficult
Terrain : Uneven ground, loose rocks, steep ground and cliffs
Duration : 6 to 7.5 km, 2.5-3.5 hours
Minimum gear : Strong hiking shoes, raingear and warm clothing, sun protection, fluids, snack, mobile phone, map & compass recommended
Directions to the park : To access the park from Doolin, take the R478 to Lisdoonvarna, then the R476 to Kilfenora. Stay on the R476 towards Corofin. At Kilnaboy, straight after the ruined church, take a left onto L1112. About 5km along this road you will reach a crossroads. There is a lay-by just before this crossroads on the right on which you can park your car. Then walk the “Crag Road” to enter the Burren National Park and start the hikes from there.
There are three possible hikes over Mulloughmore :
Green route (Mulloughmore Return)
6.5km / 2 hours 45mins
This walk consists of a return journey to the summit of Mulloughmore along the eastern side, and back down the same way to the Crag Road.
Blue route (Mulloughmore Loop)
7.5km / 3 hours
This walk loops around the summit of Mulloughmore mountain, passing through large open area of Limestone pavement and skirting the edge of Lough Gealáin. It follows the green route at the start and at the end.
Red route (Mulloughmore Traverse)
6km / 3 hours
This hike follows the green route to the summit of Mulloughmore mountain, then continues on through large expanses of open limestone pavement, some grassland and skirting the edge of Lough Gealáin. This walk is services at the end by the free National Park shuttle bus during the summer months which will bring you back to the start of the trailhead.
Day 5 : Caher Valley Loop or Black Head Loop
Caher Valley Loop
Where : The trail starts and ends at Fanore beach car park.
Level : Moderate
Terrain : Minor roads and green roadways
Duration : 14km, 3.5 hours
Minimum gear : Hiking boots, raingear, fluids, snack, mobile phone
This loop starts and finishes in Fanore, a small village situated about 15 minutes away from Doolin. Fanore’s Gaelic meaning ‘fainne oir’ means ring of gold, with reference to its beautiful sandy beach, the starting point of this walk. The Caher Valley runs down to Fanore between Slieve Elva and Gleninagh. The Caher is one of the few rivers in the Burren and cuts its way down through the rock and glacial deposit to emerge on the strand at Fanore and enter the sea.
Black Head Loop
Where : The loop starts at Fanore beach car park.
Level : Hard
Terrain : Green laneways, tracks, mountain paths
Duration : 26km, 5-6 hours
Minimum gear : Trekking shoes, raingear, fluids, snack, sun protection, mobile phone.
The Blackhead loop offers stunning views over the Burren coastline, Galway Bay and Connemara. It follows the coast around Black Head before going inland and up the mountain before rejoining with the Caher Valley Loop and coming down again towards Fanore beach. It is also possible to shorten the loop by walking down by the Caher Valley.
Day 6 : Inis Oírr (Aran Islands)
Where : Inis Oírr Pier
Level : Easy – moderate
Terrain : Minor roads, green tracks
Duration : 8km, 2-2.5 hours or 13km, 4-5 hours
Minimum gear : Good walking shoes, raingear, fluids, snack, mobile phone.
Take a day trip to Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, which is a short 30 minutes boat ride from Doolin Pier with one of the ferry companies. Enjoy its beauty and tranquillity, the stunning views over the Cliffs of Moher, the shipwreck of the Plassey, its beautiful beaches, many stonewalls and rich history.
There are two looped walks that start at the pier. The short one is marked with green arrows and the longer one (which includes the short loop) is marked with purple arrows.
Whether you are thinking of a 2 day walking trip or longer- your perfect base is Doolin in County Clare.
Be sure to explore the rest of our website to find out more information, or to plan your next visit to beautiful Doolin in County Clare.