Set against the rugged Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by the spectacular bare limestone landscape of the Burren, Doolin Pier is both a Geopark Geosite and a Wild Atlantic Way Discovery point.
This discovery and embarkation point is in close proximity to Doolin village, a popular destination renowned for its traditional Irish music. From the pier you can also catch a ferry tour around the Cliffs of Moher or take a trip to the Aran Islands throughout the summer.
Doolin Pier is one of nine sites of geological importance that form the basis of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark. At the pier you can walk on the limestone pavement and explore ancient rock pools. Doolin pier is situated close to the geological boundary between the limestones which make up most of the Burren and the sandstone and shale which dominate the south and west of County Clare.
The limestone at Doolin Pier is part of the youngest limestone in the Burren known as the Slievenaglasha Formation. It is packed with fossils, the most common of which are crinoids. On a freshly broken rock surface you will see sparkles as the light reflects off the calcite crystals that make up the stalks of these sea creatures.
At Doolin point there is a complex of hidden underwater caves known as ‘The Green Holes of Doolin’. These caves were formed by the same process of rainwater dissolution – which acts on the Burren today and which has formed all the numerous caves in the area. These coastal caves were formed at a time when sea level was much lower than it is today and they have been drowned as sea level rose following the melting of the ice sheets at the end of the last ice age, around 15,000 years ago.