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Doolin (Dúlainn) is a small community in County Clare on the west coast of Ireland. The main attraction is the Cliffs of Moher, and it's also an access point for reaching the Aran Islands and The Burren. Doolin pubs have a lively trad music scene.

There isn't really a village here, but several small collections of buildings: the Harbour, Fisher Street leading up from it, Fitz's Cross 1 km inland, and Roadford another km inland. Another 7 km brings you to the short street that is Lisdoonvarna (Lios Dúin Bhearna, "fort of the gapped keep"), also described on this page.

Get in

The main road is N67, which branches off M18 at Ennis and loops north through Ennistymon. The turn off to Doolin is 5 km south of Lisdoonvarna while N67 continues through Ballyvaughan and Kinvarra to Galway.

A slow scenic route is along the cliff tops, northwards branching off N67 at Ennistymon for LahinchLiscannor and Cliffs of Moher to Doolin, and southwards branching off at Ballyvaughan to arrive via Black Head and Fanore.

Bus 350 follows that slow route from Galway six times a day via Kinvarra, BallyvaughanFanore, 1 Lisdoonvarna, Doolin village and pier, Cliffs of Moher, LiscannorLahinchEnnistymon, Corofin and Inagh to Ennis.

2 Doolin Pier has summer ferries to the Aran Islands, for foot passengers only. The islands also have ferries from County Galway so you don't have to return the same way.

Get around

Doolin is a straggly but small place. It's 7 km to Lisdoonvarna or to the Cliffs of Moher.

North Clare can be a great place to cycle and Doolin is the start of 4 cycle routes.

  • Doolin Rent-a-Bike, Fisher St, Doolin V95 D6V4, ☏ +353 86 109 1850, ✉ info@doolinrentabike.ie. Daily 08:00-19:00. They rent touring bikes, they don't have off-road models. (updated May 2020)

The Paddywagon is a minibus that shuttles between Doolin pier and village, Cliffs of Moher, Kilconnell, LiscannorLahinch and Ennistymon. So you can ride one way and hike the other, and avoid bringing a vehicle to the crowded Cliffs car park. It runs every couple of hours, adult €8.


  • Crab Island is the uninhabited lump 500 m off Doolin pier. Nothing there except the remains of a 19th century police post, showing that Victorian authorities were as concerned with seaborne goings-on as on land.
  • 1 Doonagore Castle. Closed. This 16th-century tower house is nowadays a private holiday home and not open to the public, but there are great views from the single-track lane that runs by it. Don't try to park along here. (updated May 2020)
  • 2 Doolin Cave (Poll an Eidhneáin), Craggycoradon East, Doolin, ☏ +353 65 707 5761. Daily 10:00-16:00. Show cave with a remarkable stalactite 7.2 m long, one of the longest in the world. And actually that's all there is, the cave is otherwise undecorated. Tours start on the hour with the last at 15:00. Adult €14, child €7. (updated May 2020)
  • 3 Cliffs of Moher (7 km south of Doolin). Daily 08:00-dusk. The cliffs stretch away north and south, but here they reach 214 m above the sea. There are three main viewing areas, free if you can get here without a car (see "Get around"). The charge covers parking, use of the visitor centre (which has a cafe), and viewing from O'Brien's Tower, built in 1835 as an observation tower for tourists. Views take in the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, Maum Turk Mountains and the Twelve Bens to the north in Connemara, and Loop Head to the south. The cliffs were built 320 million years ago by the silt of a river delta, compacted into beds of shale and sandstone. Watch for puffins, hawks, gulls, guillemots, shags, ravens and choughs. Adult €8. (updated May 2020)
  • See Lahinch for the cliffs further south to Kilconnell and Liscannor.
  • 4 Spa Wells, Rathbaun, Lisdoonvarna. May-Aug daily 10:00-13:00. Lisdoonvarna was a spa in Victorian times thanks to these pungent spring waters. Donation. (updated May 2020)
  • The Burren: Doolin and Lisdoonvarna are good bases for exploring this area of limestone scenery.
  • See Ballyvaughan for Fanore Beach, Caherconnell Stone Fort, Poulnabrone Dolmen and Aillwee Cave.


  • Visit the Aran Islands. April-Oct there are several daily sailings from Doolin pier, for day trips or point-to-point ferry rides, foot passengers only. Boats take about 30 min to Inis Oirr, 75 min to the largest island Inis Mór. Inis Meáin is in between but takes 90 min as the boat calls on its way back from Inis Mór. Adult fares are €20-25.
The main operator is Doolin Ferry Company, ☏ +353 65 707 5555, ✉ info@doolinferry.com. Two other operators' websites redirect you to Doolin Ferry Company. (updated May 2020)
  • Sail to Cliffs of Moher: April-Oct they also have hour-long boat trips beneath the cliffs, adult €15.
  • Walk along the cliff tops between Doolin, Cliffs of Moher, and Kilconnell near Liscannor. Guided walks led by a local farmer also go as far as the Cliffs visitors centre.
  • Caving: the real thing, not show-caves. The limestone bedrock is riddled with caves, and Poll na gColm is Ireland's longest, with over 12 km of mapped passages. You need suitable training and equipment; the caves can flood rapidly in wet weather. They continue west beneath the sea, and the Green Holes of Doolin just north of the harbour is one that non-cavers can peer into through a gash in the rock.
  • Doolin Folk Festival is 11 – 13 June 2021.
  • Doolin Motorcycle Fest is probably 20 - 22 Aug 2021 in Lisdoonvarna, tbc.
  • Matchmaker Festival throughout September in Lisdoonvarna continues a tradition from 1831 of trying to fix up the local farm boys once they'd finished the harvest. It was boosted from the 1880s when the spa fashion brought Victorian visitors to take the waters. It's nowadays mainly a singles music festival, with the next held 4-27 Sept 2020.


  • Traditional Music Shop, Fisher St, Doolin V95 CP21, ☏ +353 65 707 4407. Bodhrans and other Irish instruments, and CDs with Irish music. (updated May 2020)
  • Village Crafts Shop is open daily Apr-Oct, Sa Su Nov-Mar.
  • Burren Smokehouse, Kincora Rd, Lisdoonvarna V95 HD70, ☏ +353 65 707 4432. Daily Jan Feb 10:00-16:00, Mar Sep-Dec 10:00-17:00, Apr-Aug 09:00-18:00. Smoked salmon, mackerel etc. (updated May 2020)


Food is served at all the pubs, and there is a small grocery store on Fisher Street. Beware that several places only take cash, and there's no ATM in Doolin.

  • 1 Stonecutters Kitchen, Luogh North, Doolin, ☏ +353 65 707 5962, ✉ karen@stonecutterskitchen.com. Mar Apr Sept Oct M-F 12:30-17:30, Sa Su 12:30-19:30, May 12:30-19:00, Jun-Aug 12:00-21:00. Family-oriented restaurant on the road between Doolin and Cliffs of Moher, great place to revive you after a windswept walk. (updated May 2020)


  • Gus O'Connor's Pub, Fisher Street, Doolin V95 FY67, ☏ +353 65 707 4168, ✉ gusoconnorspub@gmail.com. Daily 09:30-23:00. Good pub with food, great service, sure to warm you up after a breezy day on the cliffs or at sea. It's gotten onto the tourist circuit but still a decent honest place. Trad music every night. (updated May 2020)
  • McGann's, Main St, Roadford, Doolin, ☏ +353 65 707 4133. Su-W 10:00-23:30, Th-Sa 10:00-00:30. Pub with trad music, it's the food that draws admiring reviews. (updated May 2020)
  • McDermott's, Roadford, Doolin V95 P285, ☏ +353 65 707 4328. Su-W 10:00-23:00, Th-Sa 10:00-00:30. Grand little place with live music most nights and good home cooked food. (updated May 2020)
  • Fitzpatrick's Bar is within Hotel Doolin, see Sleep.



  • O'Connor's Riverside Camping & Caravan Site, Doolin, ☏ +353 85 281 9888, ✉ info@campingdoolin.com. Site with 50 pitches near village centre, open all year. Tent €10 ppn, caravan €25. (updated May 2020)
  • Nagle's Camping & Caravan Park, Ballaghaline, Doolin (100 m from ferry jetty), ☏ +353 65 707 4458. Well-run site open mid-March to mid-October. Tent €10 ppn, caravan €28. (updated May 2020)
  • Aille River Hostel, Ocean Rd, Doolin, ☏ +353 65 707 4260, ✉ stay@ailleriverhosteldoolin.ie. Beautiful hostel with 3 small dorms, private rooms and camping in back garden. Dogs, musicians and other reprobates allowed but no hen or stag parties. From €10 ppn. (updated May 2020)


  • 1 Sea View House, Fisher St, Doolin, ☏ +353 87 267 9617. Gorgeous little B&B with great views towards the Atlantic. Also has two self-catering lodges. No availability in summer 2020. (updated May 2020)
  • 2 Fisherman's Rest, Fisher Lane, Doolin, ☏ +353 65 707 4673, ✉ fishermanrest@eircom.net. Small but clean rooms with en suite bathrooms. Friendly, colourful host. (updated May 2020)
  • 3 Daly's House B&B, Doonmacfelim, Doolin, ☏ +353 87 969 0583, ✉ dalyshouse@gmail.com. Clean welcoming B&B. (updated May 2020)
  • 4 Riverside Cottage, Fisher St, Doolin V95 K5C7, ☏ +353 65 707 4049, ✉ riversidecottage.meehan@gmail.com. Well-kept B&B in renovated 1850 cottage. (updated May 2020)
  • 5 Cannville House B&B, Kilfenora Rd, Lisdoonvarna, ☏ +353 65 707 5785. Family run B&B, all rooms en-suite, with good home cooking. B&B double €80. (updated May 2020)
  • Burren Hostel, Kincora Rd, Lisdoonvarna V95 WP40, ☏ +353 65 707 4036, ✉ burren@sleepzone.ie. A 130-bed hostel open Mar-Oct. Rooms sleep 2-5, there isn't a dorm. Rooms from €50. (updated May 2020)
  • 6 Slieve Elva B&B, Kilmoon, Lisdoonvarna V95 TX62, ☏ +353 65 707 4318, ✉ info@slieveelva.com. Family run B&B open Mar-Oct, great cooking. (updated May 2020)


  • Hotel Doolin, Rivervale, Teergonean, Doolin, ☏ +353 65 707 4111. Wonderful small hotel with 17 rooms, two bars, restaurant, café & pizzeria. The Events Barn often caters for big weddings, which tend to be noisy into the small hours. B&B double €180. (updated May 2020)
  • 7 Ballinalacken Castle, Coast Rd, Craggycorradan East, Doolin, ☏ +353 65 707 4025, ✉ info@ballinalackencastle.com. The castle itself is yet another Irish medieval masonry shambles, but the rooms of the hotel are modern, spacious and well-designed. B&B double €185. (updated May 2020)
  • Sheedy's, Main St, Lisdoonvarna V95 NH22 (next to Imperial Hotel), ☏ +353 65 707 4026. Splendid upscale hotel in 18th c mansion with excellent dining. Open Apr-Sept. No children under 11 or dogs. No availability shown in 2020. B&B double from €180. (updated May 2020)
  • See Kilfenora for Smithstown or Ballynagowan Castle, available for self-catering lets, sleeps 8.


As of July 2020, Doolin has a good mobile and 4G signal from all Irish carriers, but 5G has not yet reached this area.

Go next

  • The Burren is a wild sparse landscape a few km inland.
  • Northeast along the coast brings you via Fanore and Ballyvaughan into Galway Bay, with lively Galway city sparkling across the slate-and-indigo waters.
  • West are the Aran Islands - most visitors are day-trippers but the islands deserve a longer stay.
  • Southwest follow the coast through Lahinch and picturesque Ennistymon towards Kilkee and dramatic Loop Head.
  • Ennis inland is a pleasant market town ringed by ruined abbeys and other historic sights.

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