Loop Head is a slender finger of land pointing out to sea from the most westerly point of County Clare, on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Cinched between the ocean on one side and the Shannon Estuary on the other, this tiny peninsula would be an island but for a meagre mile of land connecting it to the rest of Clare. But despite its isolation, its people are far from insular, having spent hundreds of years welcoming strangers by water.
In 2010, Loop Head became a European Destination of Excellence in aquatic tourism. It’s also right in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way, 2,500 kilometres of the finest coastal scenery in Ireland.
Loop Head epitomises what the Wild Atlantic Way is about: panoramic cliff views, abundant local seafood, your choice of aquatic activities, and plenty of quiet beauty spots where you can pause and wonder at this unforgettable part of the world.
If you are a water-sports enthusiast you can enjoy a dramatic tour of the spectacular cliffs by sea-kayak, go sailing off the blue-flag Kilkee beach, go diving off the Kilkee Reef or shark fishing off the Peninsula.
If you are a nature lover, it is paradise. The Peninsula is home to over 120 dolphins and a dolphin watching boat trip from Carrigaholt is a special experience. Loop Head is also a haven for wildlife and bird watchers.
If you enjoy spectacular scenery you can drive or cycle a circular route and experience incredible land and seascapes from the Bridges of Ross to the Loop Head Lighthouse. There are also superb walks, many along dramatic cliff-top routes.
The Peninsula has several beautiful beaches. The Kilkee blue-flag beach is a family favourite and is regarded as one of the safest bathing places in Ireland.