What to do
Doolin has an abundance of attractions for the adventure seekers or the laid back holiday makers. It is the ideal location for exploring the breathtaking scenery of Co. Clare. There are many and varied day trips you can take or kick back and enjoy the comfort of Ballyvara House.
Enjoy a game of tennis, basketball, or soccer on the Ballyvara House Grounds or explore the play village with the kids, a purpose built village including a courthouse, post office, grocery store, school and fire station! Take a walk around the heritage trail and soak in the scenery and history as you go. And on those unpredictable Irish rainy days, Ballyvara House provides an indoor pool table room, and extensive library of games, books and dvds. Or why not try out your culinary skills in our commercial kitchen or retire to the warmth of an open fire and in-house bar for a well deserved Irish Whiskey!
NB: We recommend that you bring your own sports equipment for use and enjoyment of the sports facilities
Or why not take a stroll down to Doolin Village to experience the renowned magnetic atmosphere of the Traditional Irish Pub. Doolin boasts three of the finest in Gus O'Connors Pub, McGanns Pub and McDermotts Pub. With live Irish music nightly and great food, you can emerse yourself in the heart of Doolin and let all your worries fade away!
For the adventure seekers Doolin and the surrounding areas offer enticing excursions such as hiking, biking, sea kayaking and angling. The Burren is an ideal region to explore on horseback or off-road mountain bike tours. There are many options including lake and beach trails. Lahinch's famous Championship Golf Links is just 20 minutes drive from Doolin or try your hand at Doolin Pitch & Putt 18 hole links course located on the road to Doolin Pier. If you fancy a little taste of everything Ireland Adventure Tours can create a tour just for you, including surfing, rock climbing, body boarding, and hiking.
For the experienced walker, the newly constructed 12km coastal path of the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk takes walkers from the village of Doolin along by the iconic Cliffs of Moher all the way to Hags Head outside Liscannor Village.
Doolin is in the hub of the North Clare Cycle network. There are four new cycle routes varying in distance from 18km to 47km with numerous shorter alternatives. Each cycle offers wonderful views of the local countryside with numerous stop - off points along the routes. Doolin Cave is one of Europe’s most compelling cave attractions. It is a truly authentic experience. ‘The Great Stalactite’ It is your only opportunity to see such a large free hanging stalactite anywhere in the world.
Doolin plays host to fantastic annual festivals throughout the year, great for group gatherings, hen nights, stags or the perfect excuse to round up your friends and family and come and stay with us!
The Russell Memorial Weekend – February
A traditional festival held in Doolin on the last weekend in February each year.
The festival began in 1995 as a remembrance ceremony to Micho Russell, the world-famous traditional musician, who died in 1994. In 2006, and at the request of the Russell family, the festival was renamed the Russell Memorial Weekend in memory of the three Russell brothers and two sisters.
St. Patricks Day – March
Doolin is the place to be on St Patrick’s Day. The Annual St.Patricks Day parade makes its way through Doolin on the saints national day March 17th. The parade usually starts from Doolin Pier around 2:00pm. It makes its way down Fisherstreet and through Doolin to Roadford and finish up at the Russell Community Centre
Doolin Writers Weekend – February/March
Doolin Writers Weekend consists of workshops, lectures and readings by some of Ireland’s leading writers, as well as some great local traditional music. It is a great opportunity for aspiring writers as well as literary fans and published authors to get together and celebrate everything that is good about Irish literature. Many artists and writers spent time in Doolin, including J.M. Synge, George Bernard Shaw, Dylan Thomas, Augustus John and Oliver St. John Gogarty.
Doolin Folk Festival - June
Doolin Folk Festival takes place over 3 days in the marquee on the lawn of Hotel Doolin. The festival features some of the biggest names in the Irish music scene along with food stalls and a farmers market & traditional crafts fair.
Doolin Motorcycle Festival - August
The Doolin Motorcycle Fest is a charity event, run in aid of the Marie Mc Donagh Clancy Foundation. The festival will feature Custom Harley bike show, Bike graphics, Tattoo artists, Stalls, BBQ, Pub sessions and live bands. Balloon release on the Sunday in memory of cancer warriors, survivors and departed followed by a Burren ride out.
Craft Beer Festival – August
The Doolin Craft Beer Festival will be back with great beers from craft brewers all around Ireland, some of Clare’s best musicians along with food from local artisan producers. Live Irish music throughout the three days.