10 Things to Do in Ballyvaughan That You Shouldn't Miss

December 1, 2017 Christa Meece

Ballyvaughan or Ballyvaghan (Irish: Baile Uí Bheacháin, meaning "Ó Beachán's townland") is a small harbour village in County Clare, Ireland. It is located on the N67 road on the south shores of Galway Bay, in the northwest corner of The Burren. This position on the coast road and the close proximity to many of the area's sights has turned the village into a local center of tourism activity. At the time of the 2011 Census Ballyvaughan had a population of 258. The area was officially classified as part of the West Clare Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking community, until 1956.
Restaurants in Ballyvaughan

1. Burren Birds of Prey Centre

Aillwee Cave, Ballyvaughan, Ireland +353 65 707 7036
Excellent
82%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 565 reviews

Burren Birds of Prey Centre

DYNAMIC FLYING DISPLAYS where the visitor can interact and get up close and personal to the birds as they fly overhead and through the audience. A HOME to Eagles, Falcons, Hawks, and Owls from all over the world.EDUCATION into the amazing world of Raptors, their biology, conservation and the ancient art of Falconry.HAWK WALKS which are a once in a life time opportunity to interact with some of nature's top predators. Guided and instructed by experienced Falconers, this hour long 'Walk with a Hawk' through hazel woodland and across Burren limestone pavement is tailor made for anybody seeking a totally unique experience.

Reviewed By jgraemec - Dumfries, United Kingdom

We went for the caves, which were great, but this was the but we will remember. Great displays and kids got to have birds land and take off from their gloved arm. The birds buzz you ( feathers brushed my head!) as they come into land. Adults and kids alike loved it.

2. Mountain View Horse Riding Centre

Poulnagun, Lisdoonvarna, Ireland +353 85 845 2300
Excellent
95%
Good
2%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 291 reviews

Mountain View Horse Riding Centre

Located just outside Doolin village on the outskirts of the Burren. Enjoy fantastic views of the magestic Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Connemara Mountains and Galway Bay on horseback. Gallop along the beach on Ireland's west coast. Caters for everyone from beginner to advanced rider offering treks from 1 to 6 hours long.

Reviewed By kseebe00 - Port Jefferson, New York

I cannot say enough how incredible this experience was. My friend and I went on the 2 hour Trek and loved every minute of it. All the staff were so friendly and helpful and the horses were very well trained. The views were simply stunning and far exceeded our expectations. I've been on other horseback riding excursions but this one tops them all by far. Make time for this experience- you won't regret it!

3. Hazel Mountain Chocolates

Oughtmama, Bell Harbour H91VCF1, Ireland +353 65 707 8847
Excellent
66%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
5%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 258 reviews

Hazel Mountain Chocolates

Reviewed By mee338 - Atlanta, Georgia

Great stop on way from Galway to Cliffs of Moher. We did not have lunch there as the cafe looked nice but was busy. Went right to small store and factory to see everything. there were two great people there (Giles and Rebecca) to help and explain the history of this factory and provide samples. Plus they spent extra time with us talking about Hazel Mountain and how they love their jobs. Was a super nice and pleasant surprise to stop for 30 minutes and get some chocolate too. Would stop here again.

4. Fanore Beach

Fanore, Ireland
Excellent
64%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 110 reviews

Fanore Beach

Reviewed By GuyRopeTrip - Cheltenham

Beautiful sandy beach on the Wild Atlantic Way with interesting rocks coming straight off the Burren. The Atlantic is freezing cold even in summer but the sand gently slopes and the waves are good for Surfing or swimming. The sand area increases significantly at low tide, exposing neighbouring sandy beach coves. The beach faces west so the afternoon and evening sun is stunning.

5. Caherconnell Stone Fort

Carron, Caherconnell, Ireland +353 65 708 9999
Excellent
54%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
7%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 250 reviews

Caherconnell Stone Fort

Caherconnell Stone Fort, situated 1km south of Poulnabrone dolmen in the heart of the Burren Ireland , offers you the opportunity to visit an exceptionally well - preserved example of the stone forts or stone ringforts which are to be found in the Burren Ireland.The fort is in its original state. Its position, overlooking virtually all-surrounding areas suggests a defensive settlement. Archaeological excavations take place each summer in association with 'CAFS' - Caherconnell Archaeological Field School- an International Field School accredited by NUI, Galway. As well as a trip to the Fort, visitors can also take in the Burren's Premier Sheepdog Demonstrations at Caherconnell,enjoying the combined skills of the farmer and the border collie as they work in the natural habitat of the Burren.

Reviewed By Jeanne b - Lockport, New York

Lovely lunch and shopping experience and the dogs were amazing. The handler demonstrated his training techniques and then ran the dogs through a nice demonstration, they moved the sheep all over the yard. We all really enjoyed it

Flaggy Shore, New Quay, Ireland +353 65 707 8185
Excellent
52%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
12%
Terrible
18%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 32 reviews

The Russell Gallery

The Russell Gallery is a Fine Art Gallery spectacularly located in the village of New Quay, overlooking Galway Bay on the beautiful coastline of the Burren in County Clare. Since 2001 the Russell Gallery offers a wide selection of paintings and prints from established Irish Artists with regular Exhibitions running throughout the year. You can also find a unique and inspiring selection of gifts, books, cards & organic gourmet food. The Gallery is also open as a Café and Wine-Bar with delicious coffee, an amazing teas selection, and gorgeous organic wines that come directly from our family estate in Tuscany, Italy. The Russell Gallery is a family business that supports local artists and offers a retail store with an environmentally friendly café/wine bar experience, promoting beauty and creativity in a sustainable way.

Reviewed By MacRyan - Dublin

My sister and I travelled to New Quay with 4 young kids. We needed somewhere to rest and eat and Linanes friendly bar was unfortunately packed. I entered the gallery ahead of our entourage and soon realised it wasn't suitable for our group, so we decided to order food and eat outside to avoid disturbing the vibe. We all entered briefly to order food and for my sister to use the toilet. She was advised to "take them with you" in reference to her 2 kids! When ordering food I sought advice on the sizes of the platters so that I could order enough for our group. The woman suggested we start with 1 platter. We then chose our seat outside and the kids were well behaved and in no way disruptive. The platter which arrived wasn't enough for the group, and we broke out the snacks for the kids to keep everyone calm. We stayed outside, in the rain, out of respect that we were on a premises that doesn't cater for or welcome kids. We have the the self awareness to know when we are at a place that is not suitable for us, and wouldn't normally have chosen to eat here except our choices were limited. The most shocking thing happened as we were leaving. We had generated a bit of a mess with banana skins and food which we ordered which had fallen on the ground as the kids sampled it. Our of courtesy we gathered our rubbish into the most suitable container we had to hand....a nappy bag. This was both food waste from the gallery and our own food waste. As we packed up to leave, the woman came to clear the tables. We were in our cars reversing back out onto the road at this point. I noticed the woman shake her head in disgust at the nappy bag and was mortified that she might have misunderstood what was in it. I wound down my window to get her attention to explain that there was no nappy in there. At this point the woman crossed the road and handed it in the window of my car to me!! I was so shocked that I don't even remember what she said. I totally agree that it looked like a nappy may have been in there, and this is exactly why I didn't just drive away and stood to explain myself. I see that the owner has justified her rude behaviour in previous reviews by saying she tends to be direct. I too am direct, but this was a behaviour that I have never seen in anyone older than 14! I understand that the gallery is not a child friendly establishment, I have no problem with that, I don't travel round eateries with my band of children expecting everyone to fall at my feet like we should be catered for. Kids are usually loud and disruptive and don't suit a lot of situations. We recognised this immediately and did our best to get in and out as quickly as possibly with the least amount of distruption...we even sat eating in the rain to avoid burdening people with our presence. While we don't travel with a sense of entitlement to a royal welcome wherever we go, we do expect some basic human respect. If I bore the same attitude of this woman, I would have sifted through the waste and returned to her the wet, soggy chewed up food waste that the kids had ruined from the food we had been served. Not only we were not welcome, which I can live with, but we weren't even tolerated and left feeling that we set this woman blood boiling by even considering stopping for food there. Needless to say we won't be back, but I'm sure that's not going to give anyone at the gallery any sleepless nights. But I will forever remember this incident when our efforts to remain sensitive to the atmosphere of the gallery was met with total disgust. This woman must have been an awesome kid to have such expectations!

7. Burren Exposure

Galway Road, Ballyvaughan, Ireland +353 65 707 7277
Excellent
71%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 101 reviews

Burren Exposure

Reviewed By ct-cruisers - Connecticut

We took a tour from Galway to visit the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher.
It was interesting to see this area as it is totally different from the area surrounding with its limestone versus green fields.
We stopped at a few ancient tombs along the way.

8. Burren Hills Walk

Ballyvaughan, Ireland
Excellent
67%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 127 reviews

Burren Hills Walk

Reviewed By catatonia_10 - London, United Kingdom

Shane is fantastic (and hilarious), and his extensive knowledge of the burren, history, flora and fauna present an idea opportunity to discover a bit of County Clare. I can't recommend signing up for a tour with him enough. We mete him at the parking lot next to the church in Ballyvaughan, and there were only four of us on the walk so we piled into his car (his boot is loaded with hazelwood walking sticks!) and we did the Black Head Mountain walk (about 3.5 hours). A stop at the round fort at the top offered a moment of respite from the wind and some more story telling, question and answers. Really top notch- bring good shoes and rain gear!

9. Aillwee Cave

Ballyvaughan, Ireland +353 65 707 7036
Excellent
39%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
19%
Poor
7%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Aillwee Cave

A striking collection of prehistoric underground caves.

Reviewed By Declan N

Great tour. Well worth a visit. We were day on a wet & cold day. But this had added benefits..1) the cave constantly & naturally stays at 10° so it wasn't cold & 2) because it was raining it feed through to the waterfall in the cave. Well worth a visit. Bear bones not there at present as being Carbon dated. We were with our 9yr old & she was full of questions which tour guide graciously answered. Also visit Farm shop, amazing fudge & cheese. There is free samples but well worth buying.

10. Burren way

Liscannor, Ireland
Excellent
57%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 83 reviews

Burren way

Reviewed By Chris F - Farmington, Connecticut

The Burren is awe inspiring in it's immensity and the geological forces that could create such an area. A car is required to tour the many miles of the Burren. We stopped frequently to walk on the terrain and take pictures. This area is a must see to believe.

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