ONE drop of water that kept falling over hundreds of thousands of years to form ONE mighty, breath-taking wonder: the largest, most awe-inspiring stalactite in Europe.
ONE dramatic underground experience like no other in Ireland – offering up a limestone wonderland deep below the surface of the mysterious Burren in County Clare.
And ONE multi-faceted destination that combines the thrill of a descent into the depths of the earth with a wealth of above-ground attractions – from the wild beauty of an indigenous walking trail, to fascinating glacial clay pottery to take home and treasure.
This is Doolin Cave, a deep dive into a world in ONE. Once experienced – never forgotten.
125 STEPS DOWN. 350 MILLION YEARS BACK IN TIME
Every amazing discovery is worth working for – and you can be sure that the 125 steps you’ll take down to enter Doolin Cave will reward you beyond all expectations. There’s simply no other cave experience like it in Ireland – giving you the sense of being at the earth’s heart in a fantasy-like world created from water, time and the hand of nature.
Discovered in 1952, the Cave itself sits 200ft (70 m) below the Burren limestone landscape. Its name is the anglicised version of ‘Poll an Eidhneáin – which means ‘Ivy Cliff Cave’ in Irish. Equipped with a hard-hat and in the hands of an experienced and knowledgeable guide, you’ll take the journey through an intricate system of passages and pathways, learning as you go how the Cave was formed. It’s an awe-inspiring experience – and you’ll immediately feel the excitement and wonder of the Cave’s early explorers and adventurists, way back when.
THE STAR TAKES THE STAGE
As you complete your descent, prepare for a moment of eerie calm, pitch black and complete silence – giving way to a sudden flood of light within the majestic cathedral-like dome of the Cave. The force of nature that is Europe’s Largest Stalactite takes centre stage: a vast structure reaching down from the roof of the Cave, catching the light, reflecting colours and detail like a massive, ornate glass chandelier.
Once beautifully described as ‘the palest gleam in the darkest deep’, this showstopper is 7.3 metres long and weighs around 10 tonnes. A special platform at the base of the main chamber gives you an incredible 360-degree view of the stalactite. It’s a sight that will truly take your breath away and one which you’ll remember forever – what an experience.
There’s so much more to see too: crossing what was once the seafloor, you’ll discover fossilised remains of sea creatures as well as cave pillars, bell jars and other marvellous and wonderful formations. There’s even an underground stream – flowing on and out to the Wild Atlantic and a beautiful reminder of the endless power of nature.
TAKE HOME A MEMORY
Doolin Cave gives you the chance to take a special reminder home with you – our beautiful Doolin Cave Pottery created by resident artist Caireann Browne and available to buy in our Gift Shop and online. Caireann creates each of her pieces from glacial clay which has been hand dug 12- ft deep within the caverns of the Cave. The clay itself is completely unique, discovered by geologists to contain pollen from pre-Ice Age flowers which are no longer found on Earth. That’s why we call our pottery ‘a little piece of long ago’. Caireann is inspired by the flow, drip and layering of the Cave’s stalactites – beautifully reflected in the rich textures and glazing of each piece.
FOLLOW THE ECO TRAIL
Continue your adventure above ground with the Doolin Cave Eco Trail – a fascinating 1 km looped path around the Cave and yours to explore free of charge. Doolin Cave is a member of the Burren Ecotourism Network and winner of an Irish Responsible Tourism Awards Gold Medal – so here nature runs free. Our philosophy is to let the land flourish in its natural wildness, unharmed by pesticides. As you walk, you’ll see vast swathes of beautiful meadow flowers, indigenous plants and trees and local grasses – many unique to the area. Goats, donkeys and chickens freely graze the fields.
TASTE THE BURREN
Take a rest and enjoy the best of the Burren local produce at our ‘Wild at the Cave Café’. Reflecting our ethos of sustainable living, the café treats you to an array of delicious, fresh food and baked goods. From seasonal salads made with the best local produce, to artisanal sandwiches showing off the cheeses of the area – it’s about real, good, wholesome deliciousness!
Doolin Cave is a very special world in ONE – discover it for yourself.
Cave tours take approximately one hour. Environmental protection measures require numbers per tour to be limited to 20 people.
All year round. Check website for tour times.
Telephone: 00353 65 7075761
Doolin Cave Pottery Shop
‘Wild at the Cave’ Café
Free Car Parking
Member of Burren Ecotourism Network
Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO GeoSite