The Ballybunion Cliff Walk is a great way to spend an hour.
This is an easy scenic walk that starts in the town of Ballybunion and takes you around some of the local cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
You’ll also be given a good eyeful of the various beaches in Ballybunion along with views out to Loop Head in Clare.
Below, you’ll find a map, warnings and some info on parking and what to expect from the trail.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Ballybunion Cliff Walk
Although the Ballybunion coastal walk is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
This scenic loop walk begins and ends at The Cliff House Hotel on Cliff Rd right above Ladies’ Beach in the centre of Ballybunion. The walk takes you up and around the cliffs overlooking Ladies’ Beach and Nun’s Beach before looping back through the north part of the village.
Parking in Ballybunion can be difficult on a sunny day but there are several spots to park up. There’s parking near the playground (here on Google Maps) and there’s some in front of the beach (here on Google Maps).
3. Length + difficulty
This is an easy well marked path that stays fairly flat for the entire trail. The loop is 3km long and takes less than an hour to complete, though with the views and wildlife it is likely the walk will take you longer.
4. Safety warning
There has been considerable erosion to the cliffs around Ballybunion in recent years. Keep an eye out for warning signs and never go near the edge.
An overview of the Ballybunion Cliff Walk
The Ballybunion Cliff Walk starts at the Cliff House Hotel on Cliff Rd but if you are already closer to Ladies’ Beach just head up towards the north corner of the beach and follow signs for the cliff walk.
From there the trail takes you out along the cliff overlooking Ladies’ Beach. Once you are past the beach, the trail follows the outline of the cliff, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Wildlife and stunning views
Keep your eyes peeled for seals, dolphins and other marine right off the coast. Continuing along, you will come across a blowhole in the cliff that is known as the Nine Daughters Hole.
Local legend claims that King O’Connor threw his 9 daughters down this hole followed by the bodies of 9 Viking leaders.
The stories differ as to why but some locals claim you can still hear their cries at sunset.
Looping back around
Feel free to stay and find out, or continue along the cliff walk towards Nun’s Beach.
This beach used to be where the local nuns would swim but today everyone is welcome to enjoy it if you are willing to climb down the steep cliff face (extreme caution needed here).
From here, the walk loops back towards the village via Doon Rd.
Things to do near the Ballybunion Cliff Walk
One of the beauties of this walk is that it’s that there’s plenty to do close by when you finish.
Below, you’ll find everything from food recommendations in the town to more local attractions.
1. Post-walk food in the town
If you have built up an appetite after your walk, head over to the Coast Cafe and grab a cup of coffee, a homemade pastry or sandwich. If you are looking for a pint along with your meal, head to McMunns Bar on Sandhill Rd where you can enjoy a pint and some local seafood with a beautiful view of Ballybunion Castle.
2. The Ballybunion Beaches
Ballybunion’s two main beaches are Ladies’ Beach and Men’s Beach which are bisected by the ruins of Ballybunion Castle. These Blue Flag beaches are a fantastic place to swim, walk or even learn how to surf. Take a surfing lesson on Men’s Beach or enjoy the Atlantic Ocean on Ladies’ Beach in the shadow of Ballybunion Castle.
3. Take a spin around the Dingle Peninsula
Ballybunion is just a drive away from the spectacular Dingle Peninsula with its charming villages, beehive forts and spectacular vistas. Regardless of whether you take the Slea Head Driving Route or head straight form Dingle Town, your visit will be a memorable one.
FAQs about the Ballybunion coastal walk
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is the trail hard?’ to ‘Where do you park?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
How long is the Ballybunion Cliff Walk?
You’ll want to allow around 1 hour in total to complete this trail. However, allow longer if it’s your first visit as the views are stunning.
Is the Ballybunion Cliff Walk hard?
This is a relatively easy-going walk that shouldn’t prove too difficult for most. Just please do avoid going to close to the cliff edge.