Doolin Cave Tours
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Dating back hundreds of thousands of years, the Doolin Cave sits within Ireland’s Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark. The main attraction is the 24-foot-long (7.3-meter-long) Great Stalactite, one of the world’s largest free-hanging stalactites. Besides cave tours, there’s a farmland nature trail, a café, and a gift shop.
Tickets for Doolin Cave include a guided tour with lots of helpful geological info. Tours run on the hour throughout the day and half-hourly during the peak period. Families will also love the farmland trail, with its adorable pygmy goats and fairy valley. Many travelers visit the Doolin Cave on their way to the Cliffs of Moher, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) away. Some Burren tours include a stop here.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Doolin Cave is a good choice for families, while the Great Stalactite will interest cave connoisseurs.
- Hard hats are provided on the cave tour for safety.
- The pottery pieces at the gift shop, made with glacial clay from deep inside the cave, make great souvenirs.
- There are 120 steps down to the Doolin Cave—impossible in a wheelchair. Strollers are not allowed in the cave. The nature trail is also accessed by steps, but the gift shop and café are fully accessible.
How to Get There
The Doolin Cave is located about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) north of the pretty village of Doolin, on the R479 road. There’s no public transport, so your best options are driving or an organized tour. Adventurous travelers could also cycle or hike from Doolin.
When to Get There
Doolin Cave is open throughout the year, from morning until late afternoon between February and October and with shorter hours between November and January. Guided tours run on the hour year-round, with additional tours on the half hour between April and September. Families should pick a day with decent weather so kids can enjoy the nature trail.
The Geology Behind the Doolin Cave
Although the Doolin Cave was only discovered in 1952, its story stretches back through geological time. The limestone that holds it, part of the Burren Plateau, was formed over 300 million years ago on a tropical seabed close to the equator. But the cave likely took shape much more recently, when acidic water dissolved away the walls. Some experts think the Great Stalactite took as long as 700,000 years to grow.
Address: Craggycoradon East, Doolin, Ireland
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