Things to do on Clare Island
From high-adrenaline adventure to simple appreciation of nature, and crafts, cookery, yoga, retreats and working with horses, there’s a wealth of activities to participate in during your stay on Clare Island.
Bird watching. The spectacular cliffs to the north of the island are home to large numbers of nesting sea birds – paradise for the keen ornithologist!
Coasteering is a high adrenaline watersport that has become hugely popular in Ireland. It combines rock-scrambling with cliff jumping and adventure swimming. You’ll be guided in exploring the island coastline from the vantage points of craggy rocks and be introduced to the best spots to jump from. You’ll be instructed in how to jump safely and guided back to shore (or maybe even through a cave), where you can do it all over again.
No previous experience is necessary but participants must be comfortable swimming in the sea. More information on www.clareislandadventures.ie.
Community activities and events are hosted in the Clare Island Community Centre and Sailor’s Bar and visitors to the island are every bit as welcome as residents.
The Community Centre is a multi-functional venue that hosts sporting events and social celebrations such as weddings, birthday parties and ceilis. It also operates as a bar and other facilities include toilets and showers for the nearby campsite and the island library. Phone: 087 7703976 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Situated on-site at Go Explore Hostel, Sailor’s Bar is also a social hub on the island, hosting live music every weekend throughout the season. It’s renowned for attracting singers, musicians and dancers from around the country for its live music sessions. The bar is a lively spot that is popular with islanders and visitors alike and it offers a full restaurant menu, specialising in fresh line-caught fish and locally sourced ingredients. More information on www.goexplorehostel.ie.
Crafts are on sale at Ballytoughey Loom, which also runs weekend and week-long craft workshops. For more information visit www.clareislandhandweaver.com.
Equestrian Lessons are on offer at Macalla Farm, where you can take part in hoofcare and horsemanship classes as well as equine-assisted mindfulness. More information on www.macallafarm.ie.
Heritage sites are scattered throughout the island. Read more about them here. The Heritage Centre, located at the harbour is open from 10.30 – 12.45 & 2.00 – 4.45 between May and September.
Orienteering – Clare Island Adventures run a 7 km orienteering course which takes you around the beautiful coastline of Clare Island. Ideal for team-building, it includes four team-based activities that are designed to identify natural leaders, build relationships, improve communication skills and – most importantly – to have fun. More information on www.clareislandadventures.ie.
Raft building is amazing fun and works really well for team-building and Hen and Stag parties, or any group of twelve or more. Now on offer to pre-booked groups, it is a fun session that can last from one to three hours – depending on how many teams your group will be split into (4 – 6 people per team).
You will be provided with all the raft-building materials, as well as gear to wear. More information on www.clareislandadventures.ie.
Rock-Climbing & Abseiling – Based on dry land, but with the sea as your backdrop, rock-climbing on the cliffs at Clare Island is an awe-inspiring experience. Your instructors will guide you to overcome self-doubt and scale the cliffs. The thrill of accomplishment will be amplified by an exhilarating abseil downwards – a double reward for your climbing effort! Available all year round, for climbers of all levels, even complete beginners. All necessary equipment is provided. More information on www.clareislandadventures.ie.
Snorkelling is fast becoming all the rage on the west coast of Ireland. Clew Bay is proving a particularly popular spot, and with Clare Island situated right at the opening of the bay, we’re in a great position to introduce you to this wonderful pastime. Snorkelling offers you the opportunity to observe the abundant beauty that lies beneath the majestic surface of our coastal waters without getting into the expense involved in scuba diving.
Superb instructors will put novices at ease, so no need to worry about lack of experience. More information on www.clareislandadventures.ie.
Vegetarian Cookery Courses also feature on the schedule at Macalla Farm. ‘Local’, ‘seasonal’ and ‘organic’ are key themes and food courses offered include vegetarian cooking, preserving, organic gardening and sourdough bread-making. More details on www.macallafarm.ie.
Walking & Biking are popular activities on Clare Island and the reason will be obvious on arrival. The scenery is spectacular and the topography is varied, with options for all levels of fitness. To hire bikes, contact Bridget O’Leary on 098 25640.
Click here for a printable walking map.
Yoga & Mindfulness Classes & Retreats are held regularly at Macalla Farm, where they have been running residential retreats since 2001. They grow most of their own food and serve vegetarian meals on all their retreats (with vegan and gluten-free options available on request). To book a yoga class, call Ciara on 087 2504845. Learn more about upcoming retreats on www.macallafarm.ie.
Bus tour / Taxi, ring Bridget O Leary: 098 25640