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Doolin (Irish: Dubh Linn) is a coastal town in County Clare, Ireland, on the Atlantic coast. It borders the spa town of Lisdoonvarna. It is a well known center of traditional Irish music, which plays nightly in its three pubs, making it a popular tourist destination. There are numerous nearby archaeological sites, many dating to the Iron Age and earlier. Doonagore Castle and Ballinalacken Castle are also in the area.
Doolin is one of three places with ferry services to the Aran Islands (Galway and the village Rossaveal on the northwest shore of Galway Bay are the others), which are visible from the town. Doolin is also near the Cliffs of Moher, and is at the south-western corner of the Burren region.
The mouth of the River Shannon is home to Ireland’s only resident community of bottlenose dolphins who thrive in this safe habitat. The estuary provides the dolphins with a rich source of food and a safe habitat for mothers and calves and is one of only six such breeding communities in Europe. The local dolphin watch tours boast a sighting rate of 98% during the months of May to August and operate from the towns of Kilrush and Carrigaholt.
Doolin has its own excellent nine hole pitch ‘n’ putt course and Lahinch has two championship golf courses – the Castle Course and the Old Course are located just a 20 minute drive away, as does Doonbeg which is only a few minutes drive away.
Doolin is centrally located on the Burren Way Walking Route, which is a 26-mile (42 km) signposted walking trail from the town of Liscannor, along by the Cliffs of Moher, on to Doolin and into Ballyvaughan.
With its network of sub-marine caves Doolin offers some of the best diving sites on the west coast.
The Doolin Cave System was first discovered in 1953 and is over 10.5 km in length incorporating many active underground rivers flowing through the limestone. Guided trips can be arranged locally.
The Burren is an ideal region to discover on horseback and there are many options available including beach trails.
Within a ten-minute drive of Doolin there are two beautiful beaches – Fanore Blue Flag Beach with its fantastic sand dunes and shore fishing and Lahinch Beach that is popular worldwide with surfers.
Doolin has a reputation as a centre for traditional Irish music and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Lahinch Seaworld and Leisure Centre
Seaworld offers a truly unique experience, which can be enjoyed by all the family – it provides a wonderful insight into the underwater life of the Atlantic Ocean and the Leisure Centre has a 25-metre pool, kiddie’s pool, jacuzzi and sauna.
The Cliffs of Moher
Just a five minute drive from Doolin Holiday Homes are the world renowned Cliffs of Moher. Defiantly standing as giant natural protection against the might of the great Atlantic Ocean the Cliffs rise to over 215 m (700ft) and stretch for over 8km.
The northwestern corner of County Clare is home to over 100 square miles of bare pale limestone. This magnificent landscape is truly spectacular and what makes it so unique is the plants and flowers interspersed among the crevices of the rock.
The Aran Islands are one of the last outposts of Gaelic civilisation. They are stunningly beautiful and feature ancient relics of prehistoric civilisations. Daily boat trips operate from Doolin - which boasts the shortest ferry crossing - to all three of the Aran Islands.
Aillwee CaveLocated 20-minute drive from Doolin, Aillwee Cave is one of the west of Ireland’s top tourist attractions with its stalactites, stalagmites, relics of bears and waterfall. Open daily from mid March – October.