'Gentle' walks visit historic sites while enjoying geologic and floral oddities.
Long-time guide Mary Howard leads groups on a variety of itineraries.
John Connolly offers a broad range of walks, from gentle to more strenuous.
Local Burren author Tony Kirby leads walks and archaeology hikes.
At the southern end of town is a spa well, with a sulphur spring, a Victorian pumphouse and a fine woodsy setting. The iron, sulphur, magnesium and iodine in the water are supposed to be good for rheumatic and glandular complaints. Closer to the centre, you can drink the water, even if it's not exactly a vintage wine-tasting experience.
Champion surfer John McCarthy offers lessons and various multiday packages.
Offers lessons plus rents out boards and wetsuits (essential!).
Gives lessons plus has a good live surf-cam on the website.
Lessons are held on various Clare beaches with transport included in the price.
The Doolin area is popular with cavers. The Fisherstreet Potholes are nearby, and Poll na gColm , 5km northeast of Lisdoonvarna, is Ireland's longest cave, with more than 12km of mapped passageways; see www.caving.ie for more details. A little over 1km north of Roadford you'll find Doolin Cave , which boasts an enormous stalactite that looks like a giant squid.
Ballyvaughan & Around
Bikes are a good way to explore the Burren, especially the seashore. These morning tours hit the still-quiet roads followed by a gourmet breakfast.
Offers classes for all ages and abilities. You can rent surfboards, wetsuits and gear, stand-up paddle boards and kayaks (€45 per half-day).
There's a well-stocked shop across from O'Donohue's pub where you can buy fishing tackle, walking maps, boogie boards and cheap sand buckets.
A splendid antidote to Ireland’s dismal beer scene (yeah, we know about Guinness but what about some variety, huh?) can be found right at the intersection of the Ennistymon (N85) and the Kilfenora (R481) roads in Inagh, 16km northeast of Ennis. Biddy Early Brewery is a rarity for the Emerald Isle: a great microbrewery serving its own range of beers.
About 3.5km north of Killaloe is the University of Limerick Activity Centre . Here individuals and groups learn such water-based skills as canoeing, sailing and windsurfing. Land-based activities include archery, orienteering and forest games. Kayaking on Lough Derg is the top activity.
Seasonal bus tours to the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher incorporating an easy 90-minute guided mountain walk.
Has well-maintained mountain bikes costing €20/70 per day/week, including helmet, lock and repair kit. Staff will recommend routes where trucks are less likely to squash you.
The best way to explore Ennis is on foot and the best way to appreciate it is with an expert. This company offers excellent walks that leave from in front of the tourist office.