Some beautiful beaches, the famous cliffs, the Aran Islands and the beautiful coast road next to the Burren
This route from Miltown Malbay to Ballyvaughan is a wonderful route to take and there are plenty of things to do along the way.
Depending on what you wish to see, you could spend several days enjoying the different things to see along this route.
There is one Championship golf course on this route in Lahinch (let’s not talk about the spelling of Lahinch) but plenty of other activities along the way.
Visit the famous Cliffs of Moher, tour the Aran Islands (day trip or longer), and drive the stunning Burren coast road between the Burren and the Atlantic.
The beaches of Lahinch and Fanore are also along this route.
Approx. 69.3 km distance, 1hr 27 minutes driving time
Download the route map for Google Maps with ALL points of interest included here: Miltown Malbay to Ballyvaughan
This route runs from Miltown Malbay to Ballyvaughan at the North End of the Burren
Spanish Point Parking
This parking area is rather hidden away and around the corner from the Spanish Point beach and Armada hotel. A nice quiet spot with lovely views of the sea and rocks.
Whitestrand Beach, Miltown Malbay
This used to be our local beach when we live in Miltown Malbay. There is a ladder to enter the water on the Northern side of the beach and there are WC facilities.
There are even life guards present during the summer months. The beach is well protected and there is a nice walk along the edge of the fields.
There is good fishing from the rocks on the right hand side of the beach for mackerel and pollock.
There is a monument here on the spot of the Rineen ambush, which took place during the war of independence during September 1920.
Located slightly off the Wild Atlantic Way, about 5 minutes from Lahinch, the 4 star Falls hotel in Ennistymon is positioned looking over the amazing waterfalls in Ennistymon.
Entering Ennistymon there is a very narrow single bridge that you can see in this photo, which only allows one car through at a time. Read the signs to see who has right of way.
With a rich history the hotel now has a spa with views over the river Inagh and a swimming pool, and now has 120 bedrooms
This is another of Clare’s beautiful surfing beaches. There is a car park where you can park the car and explore the town or go for a swim.
There are restaurants and pubs all along the main street. You can take surfing lessons on the beach. The die-hards even carry on surfing during the winter months here.
This is a wonderful links course on the edge of the Atlantic. There are super views out to sea.
This course was home to the 2019 Irish Open which was won by Jon Rahm.
There are two courses; the Old course and the Castle course on the other side of the road.
This is a lovely pub/restaurant in Liscannor. They now also have opened a restaurant in Lahinch. Good food, well worth a visit.
A nice quiet parking spot with great views back down south to Clare.
The information board talks about John Phillip Holland, from the area, who was the developer of the first submarine to be commissioned by the US Navy.
A popular swimming spot when calm.
This is a little gem along the WAW. The area is well know for providing flagstones and other natural rocks for building purposes.
This shop has a wonderful collection of beautiful stones, rocks and jewellery. It is a great place to buy some presents for people back home. The also have a nice cafe where you can get a cup of tea and a scone.
Guerin’s path is an alternative way to see the cliffs of Moher. You can avoid the crowds and it is a shorter walk to get to the cliffs.
Parking is also cheaper than visiting the main site. It is just as easy to fall off though so be careful.
The Cliffs of Moher are another signature point along the WAW. The cliffs are about 700ft high and 320 million years old.
This place is one of the favourite visiting sites for tourists who come to Ireland.
Unfortunately, this means it can get very busy during the summer months and the traffic can cause hold-ups along the road. Also, it may be worth checking the weather before you go as it can sometimes be fairly foggy. But otherwise, it is a worthwhile experience.
The Cliffs are extremely impressive. They have a visitor’s centre and cafe there. If you wish to avoid the main site, you can also go to Guerin’s Path, which may have slightly cheaper parking and access to the cliffs. See the separate parking icon nearby.
Many people have lost their lives taking silly pictures here, hanging too close to the edge, so stay well away from the cliff edge. It is a very long way down.
This castle is on a tiny road leading to Doolin from the main road (no campers are allowed down this road). The castle dates back to the 16th century.
It is not possible to enter the castle.
Nagles Camping and Caravan Park
A great camping site near the Pier at Doolin.
Good facilities and walking distance from the pubs, where you will find the real craic, often with live music and good Guinness.
Doolin pier is the place to catch the ferry to the Aran islands.
Check the weather before you book as it can get quite rough here during storms. The ferry companies also do trips to the Cliffs of Moher from Doolin. There is plenty of parking space available at the pier.
The Aran Islands consist of Inisheer, Inishmaan and Inishmore. You can get a ferry to the islands from Doolin in co. Clare via various ferry companies.
A popular thing to do on Inishmore is to hire a bike and cycle around the island. But make sure you are fit enough! A few areas are a bit hilly.
There is a lot to see on the islands as you cycle around, from the local flora and fauna, ancient stone walls and rock balancing displays.
There are also colonies of seals off the coast.
such as a natural formed rectangular pool called the wormhole where they hosted the Red Bull cliff diving series in 2014.
An amazing place. But the walk to get there is quite difficult if you are not fleet of foot.
Inisheer is home to the wreck of the Plassey which you see as you sail past.
This wreck is famous from the introduction on the Father Ted comedy series that was filmed in and around County Clare.
This cave is home to the largest stalagtite in Europe. You can book a tour online.
The Burren Coast Road
This wonderful stretch of road takes you along the edge of the Burren, next to the coast and has some spectacular scenery along the way. One of the prettiest bits of road in county Clare.
There are places to stop along the way and plenty of places for a picnic next to the sea.
An example of the road from my bike:
Fanore is one of Clare’s most beautiful sandy beaches. It can get very busy on a nice sunny day though.
It has the wonderful backdrop of the Burren rocks.
The car park overflows on to the surrounding field when it gets busy.
This lighthouse at Black Head is in quite a surreal location, placed on its own in the limestone surroundings of the Burren.
This stone fort is situated about 200m above the Black Head lighthouse. Great views down to the sea and Galway Bay. Quite a climb to get there.
A charming seafood restaurant located next to the Pier at Ballyvaughan.
Also with accommodation with sea views.
Built in the 1830’s, an important pier for trade and fishing. In the past the pier would have been used by fishing boats in the herring boom.
One of the WAW discovery points. Once an inspiration for poet Seamus Heaney.
A wonderful little seafood restaurant, located on the water near a small fishing pier.
The food and service is great and a wonderful place to stop for lunch or dinner.
Well worth a visit if you pass this way.
So if you have not yet done so, download the map with POI’s for this route here:
Have a great trip.
Do you have another day to spend in and around Ballyvaughan? Then try this route as well. It is mainly off the WAW but worth doing:
Last Updated on February 6, 2023 by Gav