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The 2024 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

The 2024 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

Day 13 (Clare) – Cliff walks, caves and craic agus ceol

It’s crazy to think that we haven’t even reached the end of week two yet.

Day 13 takes us from Limerick to Clare.

I’m going to recommend that you take it handy during your night in Limerick and save any late night for Clare, as we’ve a good bit of driving to get done today.

1 – The cliffs at Loop Head

// Your hotel to Loop Head – 1 hour and 40-minute drive (arrive for 10:00) //

kilbaha cliffs loop head

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

A visit to the cliffs at Loop Head Lighthouse is, in my opinion, one of the most overlooked things to do in Clare.

I’ve been here heaps of times over the years, and it’s rare that you’ll ever meet more than a handful of people. Often, you’ll have the whole place to yourself.

Park in the little car park in front of the Lighthouse and then walk over the right side of the lighthouse, where you’ll see a big aul sea stack.

Warning: the cliffs here are unguarded and the wind here can be extremely powerful. Be careful.

2 – Kilkee for a ramble

// Loop Head to Kilkee – 30-minute drive (arrive for 12:00) //

Kilkee beach

Photo by Valerie O’Sullivan via Failte Ireland

Kilkee is a little coastal town down the coast from Loop Head.

The town is a popular seaside resort during the summer, but can be pretty quiet during the off-season.

Aim for the beach and hop out of the car for a bit.

You can admire the strand from above or hop out and ramble along it.

3 – The Doolin Cliff Walk

// Kilkee to Fisher Street – 1-hour drive (arrive for 13:00) //

The guided Doolin cliff walk is a unique and active way to experience the Cliffs of Moher and is run by local expert Pat Sweeney.

The 3-hour walk kicks off from Fisher Street in Doolin, just outside O’Connors Pub (check the times in advance).

the doolin cliff walk

The Doolin Cliff Walk: Photo by Chris Hill

The walk takes you towards Doonagore Castle (which we’ll be visiting later) and up to the walking trail along the Cliffs of Moher.

As you walk, you’ll be greeted with spectacular views of the cliffs as they rise up into view in the distance.

The walk costs just €10 and finishes up at the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre.

You’ll need to take a shuttle bus from the Cliffs of Moher to Doolin. Info on the times can be found here.

4 – Caves and Coffee

// Fisher Street to the Doolin Cave – 10-minute drive (arrive for 17:00) //

When you’ve finished up the walk, head back to your car and drive in the direction of the Doolin Cave.

When you arrive, grab a cup of coffee and a sandwich in the little café in the visitor centre and rest your legs for a bit.

The Doolin Cave is home to the largest free-hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere.

Known as ‘The Great Stalactite’, it hangs from the ceiling like a cone-shaped chandelier.

The tour itself packs a punch, taking visitors to the natural entrance of the cave, a stream sink at the base of a cliff face, through the main chamber where a guide turns on a light to illuminate the Great Stalactite.

Definitely worth a visit!

5 – Doonagore Castle

// Doolin Cave to Doonagore Castle – 10-minute drive (arrive for 18:30) //

Our next stop takes us to the iconic Doonagore Castle.

Doonagore castle doolin

Photo via Tourism Ireland

This tower house castle is finely plonked on a hill overlooking Doolin Point, the Aran Islands and, on a clear day, the Connemara hills.

Dating back to the 16th century, this castle looks like something plucked straight from Walt Disney’s head.

You’ll see the castle from afar as you spin along the road towards it. When you arrive, hop out and take a look.

6 – Guinness stew and live music

// Doonagore Castle to Gus O’Connor’s – 5-minute drive (arrive for 19:30) //

We’re going to take the short drive back to Fisher Street for a feed in Gus O’Conner’s Pub.

gus o'conners pub doolin

Photo via Gus O’Conners on Facebook

The beef and Guinness stew served here is a hearty bowl of pure and utter deliciousness that’ll warm the coldest of cockles.

Wash it down with a pint and soak up the atmosphere in this cosy little pub.

7 – A bed for the night

I’m going to recommend that you spend the night in the Doolin Inn.

It’s a handy walk (literally 2 minutes) from Fisher St. and it’s good value and clean.

Chill in the pub for however long you like and then head home for a well-earned kip.

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Leeann Nolan

Wednesday 15th of November 2023

Hi Keith Thank you so much for all the work you have done on The Irish Road Trip. I have used much of it to plan my 7 week trip to Ireland in 2024. It has been invaluable :)

Mick Bourke

Sunday 24th of September 2023

G’day Keith-thanks for your trip. My wife and I will be over there in late April and most of May (about a month in total before heading to Scotland for a couple of weeks). I think I’ll be using your trip (which is great (as also is the additional info at the bottom)) as the basis for ours, however, I would like to do abit more of the inland (like a figure eight of the island). Do you have any suggestions?

Keith O'Hara

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Hey Mick,

Is there anywhere in particular you have in mind with the inland section?



MIchael Katekar

Tuesday 11th of July 2023

A big thank you for all of the time and hard work you have put into this blog. Great information. I don't think we can keep up with your pace but will certainly take up many of your suggestions.

Isabella Dennison

Sunday 26th of March 2023

Good day Keith,

Wow, what an amazing work you've done! I'm forever grateful!!! Please can you email this to me. We are planning to explore Ireland for the first time this year 2023, all the way from South Africa.

Thank you

Keith O'Hara

Monday 27th of March 2023

Thanks Isabell!

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply!

I've tried to get this converted to PDF on a number of occasions, but the result is very messy due to the volume of photos in it.

If there's any specific questions that I can help with, please fire them on and I'll do my best to answer them.


Jodie Wilson

Sunday 26th of March 2023

First retirement trip. Ireland for a month! Go big or go home. So excited to start this new chapter in our lives - and to hit the roads of Ireland. This guide is perfect - but I’d love a more readable copy if you could email it to me.

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