A family holiday in County Clare gives you the chance to explore all of the wonderful scenery and attractions on offer in the area, and we recommend Lisdoonvarna and Doolin as excellent places to base yourselves for your trip. This is a great family friendly area and has many options to keep visitors of all ages entertained, whatever the weather.
When you’re planning your trip to this magical part of the world, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the range of activities on offer. Here is our sample itinerary, designed to show you how you can experience the very best of Irish culture, traditions and fun when you visit Doonlin and Lisdoonvarna with your family.
Sample Itinerary For Your Long Weekend Break In Lisdoonvarna and Doolin
Of course, some of the activities you choose to do during your break will be dependent on the time of year. If you’re visiting during September, for example, you can immerse yourselves in the fabulous Matchmaker Festival, held every year in Lisdoonvarna, where you’ll find Irish music, dancing and the craic. If you visit during the winter months, you may find that boat trips and some tourist attractions are limited, so be sure to check opening times and dates carefully before you travel.
Our sample itinerary assumes that you will spend a long weekend break in the area, arriving on Friday evening to enjoy three full days of exploring. Talk to our friendly staff for their recommendations and advice on making the most of your stay.
- Day One: When you arrive in Lisdoonvarna, you can explore the spa town on foot and you will soon feel at home. The Imperial Hotel, Lisdoonvarna is located within walking distance of the historic spa wells, and you can enjoy traditional Irish cuisine and live entertainment in the Matchmaker Bar as you relax after your journey.
- Day Two: You can enjoy a leisurely day in this beautiful area when you discover the Burren Food Trail, and this is a great way to enjoy top quality, local food while you explore the area. Head to the Burren National Park to find out more about the many species of wildlife and plant life here, and book a guided walk or explore at your own pace on foot or by bicycle. We love the Burren Smokehouse, the home of traditional Irish smoked salmon, and you can also enjoy delicious homemade ice cream at the Cafe Linnalla. Choose to spend your afternoon exploring Aillwee Cave or head to Lahinch or Fanore beach for an afternoon of fun and relaxation or a surfing lesson! Finish your day of gastronomic delights with a meal at the Stonecutters Kitchen or Linnane’s Lobster Bar and enjoy more locally produced delicacies before you retire to your hotel for the night.
- Day Three: Enjoy a traditional Irish breakfast before you head out to explore the area around Lisdoonvarna and Doolin. The Cliffs of Moher will be high on your list of places to visit, and you can join a guided walk with Pat Sweeney, local expert, who leads walks from outside O’Conner’s Pub in Doolin at 10am every morning in high season. Alternatively, you could view the cliffs from the sea as you take a ferry to the Aran Islands from Doolin Pier. This is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Ireland, and is one of the few places in which Irish is still spoken daily. Enjoy delicious food and warm hospitality in one of the many excellent pubs and restaurants on the islands, before returning to Doolin for Super Sunday at Gus O’Connor’s Pub. Here, you can experience two popular music sessions hosted by local musicians all year round, and in the summer months a third, earlier, session is added, which often features young musicians. Children are welcome to enjoy the music sessions as long as they are well supervised, and this will give your family a great taste of real Irish culture.
- Day Four: Depending on the ages of your children – and the weather – you may wish to spend the morning discovering Moher Hill Farm, complete with go-kart track, or visiting the Great Stalactite at Doolin Cave, an ancient wonder that will fascinate older children. You can enjoy walking in historic Doolin and shopping for traditional treats to take home, or book a riding lesson or boat trip to add another dimension to your adventures. As you leave this wonderful area, you’ll take some very special memories away with you, and we know you’ll want to come back soon!
Discover Delicious Local Food In Lisdoonvarna
Each season brings new delights to County Clare, and following the Burren Food Trail will give you a different experience every time. Enjoy the warm welcome at The Imperial Hotel, Lisdoonvarna, The Hydro Hotel, Lisdoonvarna or The King Thomond Lisdoonvarna.