The best travel tips for your 2024 holiday in Doolin (including a 3-day sample itinerary)

Is Doolin worth visiting in 2024?

First things first, a question often asked, yet a matter of personal choice, however, Doolin is definitely worth a visit in 2024 and any time beyond!

Doolin is not only one of Ireland’s most photographed villages, but it is also one of the best destinations to visit on the Irish West Coast.

Doolin makes the perfect base to explore Ireland’s West and County Clare’s part of the Wild Atlantic Way with its many attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher, The Burren and the Aran Islands. 

How long should I stay in Doolin?

No matter if you decide to stay two hours or two weeks, Doolin and the surrounding areas have plenty to offer. We recommend a minimum of 3 nights to take in the beauty you will find yourself surrounded with (a sample itinerary will follow below). 

Year-round, we see many day-trippers passing Doolin and taking the must-have Fisherstreet picture, but Doolin is worth looking beyond the colourful storefronts and connecting with the locals for a truly Irish experience. 

Why Doolin makes a great place for your 2024 holiday?

Doolin is located on Ireland’s iconic Wild Atlantic Way in County Clare and only a stone-throw away from the world-renowned Cliffs of Moher. While the Cliffs are located South of Doolin, you’ll find yourself a short ferry ride away from the Aran Islands to the West and The Burren National Park to the North. 
Surrounded by natural wonders and historical sights, the small village of Doolin has plenty to offer itself. Doolin’s heart beats traditional Irish music and the scene around it is big and draws many visitors each year.

How to get to Doolin?

Coming from overseas, you are most likely to arrive in Ireland by air. 

The closest airport to Doolin is Shannon Airport, a small, modern & accessible airport, located under 65km or 40 miles from Doolin – less than an hour’s drive. 

However, due to its size, Shannon may not offer a direct route from your home and you may consider flying into Dublin International Airport (Ireland’s biggest airport) which is approx.. 269 km away.

Other Airports include Knock Airport – 155km,  Kerry Airport – 170km, Cork Airport – 194km and Belfast Airport – 437km. The airport of choice will likely depend on your overall travel itinerary and the availability of direct flights from your home airport. 

Once you arrive in Ireland there are plenty of ways to travel around which include private drivers, taxis (cabs), public transport, coaches and rental cars. Further information can be found here.

Does renting a car make sense in Ireland?

Renting a car gives you the freedom to go where and when you want, however many visitors struggle with driving on the left side and our rather narrow roads. Make sure you are comfortable driving on small roads, and always tick the box for an automatic transmission if not used to a manual car, before considering a rental car as your best option. There are many other options (see link above) to choose from. 

Can I use Google Maps to find my way around in Ireland?

You certainly can, BUT do yourself a favour while travelling through Ireland and do not follow the route provided to you by Google Maps. Don’t do us wrong, Google Maps is a great service and while it has improved, it still doesn’t understand Irish roads and you’ll likely end up on a narrow local road or a gravel road that will make your trip a lot more challenging than it has to be. 

Where to stay in Doolin?

Of course, the obvious choice to recommend is staying here with us at The Lodges @ Sea View House here in Doolin. 

Our collection of luxury vacation home rentals offers the perfect blend of style, comfort and convenience, situated just a stone’s throw away from Doolin’s famous pubs, and restaurants and the start of the Doolin Cliff Walk, the ideal base for exploring the stunning Irish countryside.

Each lodge boasts a private entrance, outdoor terrace or deck, and a private hot tub, providing the ultimate relaxation after a day of adventure. Find out more about each lodge here

Nevertheless, holiday lodges are not for everyone and Doolin’s vibrant town has plenty of options to offer, from hotels to Bed & Breakfasts to remote cabins. Be advised to book early, especially for the summer month as Doolin’s accommodation options book out quickly. 

Where to eat in Doolin

Doolin is a culinary hub and is home to some great local restaurants, cafés and eateries. You will be sure to eat well during your stay in Doolin. Top choices include The Ivy Cottage, Anthony’s, Gus O’Connor’s Pub, The Oar, Homestead Cottage, Glas Restaurant and others. Have a look at places to eat in Doolin in our related blog post – Dining in and Out in Doolin.

Staying at our lodges, you’ll have five restaurants within a 5-minute walk and more within a 10-15-minute stroll. You also have the option to book a breakfast buffet delivered to your lodge and a private chef ‘kitchen take over’ when staying with us.

Things to do in Doolin

As we mentioned previously, Doolin and the surrounding areas have much to offer to its visitors. From natural wonders to traditional Irish Music sessions. 

Top things on your list should include:

Doolin Town, the Doolin Cliff Walk, Doolin Music House, Doonagore Castle, Doolin’s Cave, the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, The Burren, the Burren Perfumery and other local attractions. 

Be advised, it isn’t always sunny in Ireland so make sure to pack a rain jacket! Wondering what your best options are on a rainy day? Check out our top 10 activities for a rainy day in Doolin.

2024 Spring Highlight – The Russell Festival Doolin

Experience an unforgettable celebration as Doolin marks the 30th anniversary of the Russell Festival on the last weekend of February in 2024. 

Honouring the legendary Russell brothers—Micho, Packie, and Gussie—the festival brings together talented musicians from around the globe for workshops and performances in Doolin’s pubs and the Russell Cultural Centre. 

The pinnacle of the event is the not-to-be-missed Russell Concert on Saturday, showcasing the brightest musical talents. Dive into the vibrant atmosphere as businesses across Doolin host a variety of music sessions, concerts, recitals, workshops, lectures, launches, and more. Don’t miss this extraordinary kickoff to the season, celebrating the rich musical heritage of Doolin.

The festival will take place from the 22nd to the 26th of February 2024 – book early as rooms will be gone quickly.

What to do when visiting Doolin – The ultimate 3-Day itinerary 

Doolin may seem small on the map, but it’s big on charm and attractions, making it an ideal base for exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Day 1 – Visit the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin’s Cave and the village

Begin your adventure by exploring the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher. You can take the scenic hiking trail the starts in Doolin and runs the full length of the Cliffs Walk or opt for a short 15-minute drive to the visitor centre. 

On return, visit the Doolin Cave where you can see how a single continuous drop of water formed the largest stalactite in Europe. 

In the evening, take a stroll around Doolin’s colourful Fisherstreet, and savour dinner at one of its fantastic restaurants and enjoy some live music in Ireland’s New Orleans.

Day 2 – Take the ferry to the Aran Islands

Located in County Galway, the Islands are easily accessible from Doolin.

Inis Oírr, the closest and smallest island, is a quick 15-minute ferry ride from Doolin Pier, offering stunning landscapes, historic ruins, the famous Plassy shipwreck.

Slightly further out, Inis Meáin Island provides an authentic escape from modern life with its small population of around 200, making it the least visited of the trio.

The largest and most popular island, Inis Mór, boasts scenic attractions and historical monuments, including the breathtaking Iron Age fort Dun Aonghasa, perched atop a 100-meter-high cliff.

Consider booking a combined ferry and Cliff cruise trip with Doolin’s Ferry Company for a unique perspective on the Cliffs of Moher. 

After your island adventures, unwind in your private hot tub and enjoy a cosy dinner prepared in your fully equipped lodge kitchen.

Day 3 – Visit The Burren

On your final day, enjoy our delicious Burren Food Trail Breakfast in the privacy of your lodge before preparing to depart.

Doolin’s strategic location makes it an excellent starting point for exploring The Burren, renowned for its limestone formations and unique ecosystem you can explore the fascinating landscape by car or embark on its extensive network of walking and hiking trails.

Besides a lot of history, it’s natural beauty and endless walking trails, the Burren is home to many local producers of fantastic foods, goods and a local sheepdog demonstration. 

Why stay with us?

When staying at The Lodges @ Sea View House Doolin you can expect a warm welcome and outstanding hospitality by the owners, of the privately-run luxurious holiday rentals, Darra and Niall – A couple with over 20 years of experience in hospitality. 

Sea View House has evolved from an award-winning Bed and Breakfast to a collection of Luxury Lodges that welcome you today. Combining unbeatable local knowledge, remarkable hospitality and luxury – Escape to pure indulgence and treat yourself to the ultimate getaway on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Book your stay today to make sure your preferred dates are available. We are looking forward to seeing you soon.

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