If you’re in search of the best things to do in Lahinch, you’ve landed in the right place.
Perched on the edge of the mighty Burren National Park, the coastal town of Lahinch is a popular destination among travelers looking to explore County Clare.
Terrific for surfing (note: there are no-swim signs at the beach currently), the beach is a big draw, but there’s much more to do in Lahinch. Here are some of our top choices.
In the guide below, you’ll discover a clatter of different things to do in Lahinch, from food and lively pubs to beaches, surfing and lots more.
Our favourite things to do in Lahinch
The first section of this guide tackles our favourite things to do in Lahinch, from walks and coffee to food and surfing.
Later in the guide, you’ll find a clatter of places to visit near Lahinch, within a reasonable driving distance.
1. Kick-start your visit with something tasty from Dodi’s, or Joe’s or Hugo’s…
Dodi’s is a fantastic place to grab breakfast or lunch in Lahinch. Just a short walk from the beach, and you’ll find this cosy little cafe serving up a range of sublime dishes, pastries, breakfast rolls, and cakes.
They also serve a stunning cup of coffee! Alternatively, Joe’s Cafe, even closer to the beach, is another top choice for everything from pizza to stew. Meanwhile, for one of the heartiest sandwiches, check out Hugo’s Deli just up the road.
2. Then head for a ramble along Lahinch Beach
Lahinch Beach is one of the best places to go surfing in Ireland. The town is home to a gorgeous beach, with soft sand and crystal clear blue waters — at least on a warm day!
If the waters don’t tempt you, it’s a fantastic beach just to take a long stroll on. The crescent shaped bay is bordered by a man-made boulder wall. Stretching for about 2.5 km, it’s a nice walk, split halfway by the river Inagh as it flows into the sea.
Related read: Check out our guide to the best holiday homes in Lahinch (with something for most budgets)
3. Or brave the water with a surfing lesson
If the water does tempt you, it’s well worth having a go at surfing! Lahinch beach is something of a surfing hot spot in Ireland, popular with beginners and pros alike.
There are a number of surf schools and board rental shops if you do want to give it a go. Mostly they’re located right on the beach, and offer group or individual beginners lessons. The beach is also superb for wind or kiteboarding, as well as stand-up paddleboarding.
4. Warm your bones with a feed at the Tasty Station Restaurant
Tasty Station is located right on the beach, so after a hard day of surfing, it’s an ideal place to grab a bite to eat and a pint. They serve an extensive menu, boasting Irish ingredients and locally sourced seafood.
With vegan and gluten-free options, there’s something for everyone. The home-baked cakes and desserts are out of this world, so even if you’re not up for a full meal, they go great with a cup of coffee. On a warm day, the outdoor seating is a must.
Related read: Check out our guide to 10 of the best hotels in Lahinch (with something for most budgets)
More mighty things to do in Lahinch and nearby
Now that we’ve got our favourite things to do in Lahinch out of the way, it’s time to dive into dome other things to do in the town and nearby.
Below, you’ll find everything from pubs and indoor attractions to the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin and much more.
1. Take a spin out to the Cliffs of Moher (13-minute drive)
A visit to the Cliffs of Moher is one of the most popular things to do in Clare, and they’re just 13-minutes away from Lahinch. It’s a nice drive as well, and you can spend a little time exploring the narrow cliff top roads along the way.
When you arrive, you can take a walk along the stunning cliffs that stretch for more than 8 km. You can access them via the visitor centre, or you can see them from a unique angle on the Doolin Cliff walk.
2. Then visit the Doolin Cave (20-minute drive)
While you’re in that neck of the woods, you’re not too far from Doolin Cave. Home to the largest free-hanging stalactite in Europe, it’s a fascinating exploration into the depths of the earth.
Guided tours run daily, offering a wealth of information, while ensuring you don’t lose the path in the dark! The visitor centre provides even more information about the local area, as well as the history of the cave.
3. Soak up the views at Doonagore Castle (12-minute drive)
Doonagore Castle proudly stands out from the landscape, lovingly restored to its former glory. While it’s privately owned, and you can’t visit inside, the surrounding landscape is sublime (there’s also plenty of things to do in Doolin nearby!).
It’s a wonderful area for a few photos, catching the rugged stone tower against a backdrop of bright, blue sea. From the top of the hill, you can see for miles in all directions, making it a top choice for a picnic.
4. Toast a day spent exploring in one of the many fine pubs in Lahinch
After a day of exploring your surroundings, head back to Lahinch and check out some of the amazing pubs the town has to offer. There’s certainly no shortage, and if the mood took you, it’d be easy to do a bar crawl on Main Street alone.
O’Looney’s is great for a pint and dinner with sea views, while Kenny’s offers a more traditional vibe, with regular music sessions. P Frawley’s is a quaint old drinking pub, with a superb beer garden, while Danny Mac’s is great for a hearty, traditional meal and a few pints.
5. Or grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants in Lahinch
When hunger strikes, there are a number of awesome restaurants in Lahinch, catering to any taste. Beach Burger does stunning burgers, as well as a fried chicken, while the Lahinch Chipper will satisfy all your chip shop needs.
For more formal dining, head to VL Restaurant for a tasty treat, or the Corner Stone. Both offer stunning seafood dishes, as well as several other options. Ravioli Verde is a fantastic little Italian joint, serving sensational pizzas and pasta dishes.
Adventurous things to do in Lahinch and nearby
The final section of the guide tackles some of the more adventerous things to do in Lahinch town and close by.
Below, you’ll find everything from kayaking and hikes to more caves, islands and much, much more.
1. Give kayaking a crack
If you’ve ever fancied having a go at kayaking, Lahinch is the ideal place to give it a go. Clare Kayak Hire offer tours on the River Inagh, which flows right through the town.
Tours take you up river towards the beautiful market town of Ennistymon and the Falls Hotel. It’s great fun for beginners, with safe conditions and mostly calm waters. Tours take around 1.5 to 2 hours on average. For something a little different, they also offer stand-up paddleboard tours.
2. Hikes and walks (under 1-hour away)
If you fancy stretching the legs, you’ve a plethora of hikes and walks nearby, especially if you venture out into the Burren.
In our Burren walks guide, you’ll find a mix of long and short walks to try. Another great ramble in the area is the Kilkee cliff walk. It’s a short, 40-minute spin away and there are plenty of things to do in Kilkee when you finish.
3. Explore the Aillwee Cave
The Aillwee Caves is situated in the heart of the Burren and it’s well worth a visit. Believed to be over a million years old, inside you’ll discover an underground waterfall, stalactites and stalagmites, and bear bones.
Guided tours run regularly, where you can learn all about the weird and wonderful formations. If the caves seem familiar, the ‘cave’ episode of Father Ted were filmed here! Back in daylight, there’s also a lovely little cafe and a fascinating bird of prey centre — ensuring a decent day out.
4. Take a ferry to the Aran Islands from Doolin and explore by foot (or bike)
Just off the coast in Galway Bay, you’ll see the 3 Aran Islands – Inis Mor, Inis Oirr and Inis Meain. These rugged little islands are an incredible place to explore and become one with nature.
Best of all, they’re easy to get to if you’re staying in Lahinch. Just head to Doolin Pier, where you can catch a passenger ferry to any of the 3 islands.
Once you arrive, hire a bicycle, or explore on foot to see what you discover. It’s a magical place, and a visit to one of the local island pubs is a must after a day of exploring!
5. Head for a ramble around the gorgeous village of Ennistimon
Just up the road from Lahinch, around 4 km, you’ll find the gorgeous market town of Ennistimon. This bustling little mecca perhaps doesn’t get as much traffic as other towns in the area, making it something of a hidden gem in County Clare.
It’s well worth a visit, and there’s a lovely circular walk that takes you around the town. There are plenty of independent shops, cafes, restaurants, and pubs to check out, as well as bridges, historic buildings, and the famous cascading river, known locally as The Falls.
FAQs about the best places to visit in Lahinch
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything for what are the most unique things to do in Lahinch to where to see nearby.
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.
What are the best things to do in Lahinch?
I’d argue that the best things to do in Lahinch are surfing (it’s a nice, unique experience if you haven’t tried it before) and then some of the nearby attractions mentioned above, like Doolin Cave.
Are there many things to do near Lahinch?
One of the beauties of visiting Lahinch is that the village is a lively base to explore Clare from. There’s hundreds of places to visit near Lahinch (see above).
What are the most adventurous things to do in Lahinch and nearby?
You can try kayaking with Clare Kayak Hire, surfing with one of the surf schools or one of the many, nearby walks and hikes.