Places to Visit

To find out more about any of these places to visit, simply click on the one you're interested in and more information will be revealed.

Cliffs of Moher

At 250m high, some say the Cliffs of Moher are the most dramatic in Europe. The wildlife in the area, including dolphins and even the occasional whale, seem to appreciate it too. You could take in the stunning views towards the Aran Islands and Conemara on a cliff-side walk, visit Atlantic Edge – the visitor centre, or take a one-hour boat trip under the cliffs from Doolin and Liscannor piers with Cliffs of Moher Cruises. On your way back to the hotel, it’s definitely worth taking the scenic coastal road to Ballyvaughan via Black Head.

The Aran Islands

These three islands off the coast of the Burren are well known for their cultural and literary history, as well as their traditional way of life (islanders still speak Gaelge as their first tongue). Doolin Ferries and Cliffs of Moher Cruises both operate a passenger ferry service to The Aran Islands from Doolin (10 miles from the hotel) between April and October. Boats return at 5pm, so keep a full day free for this activity.

The Aillwee Cave

Only a stone’s (if you can throw a stone 3km) throw from the hotel, Aillwee Cave is the perfect rainy day outing. As well as bear pits, stalactites and underground waterfalls, you can also visit the Birds of Prey Centre. And by way of souvenirs: treat yourself to some delicious homemade organic cheeses, honey and fudge from the farm shop.

The Burren Perfumery and Floral Centre

Near Carron, in one of the most beautiful parts of the Burren, is Ireland’s oldest perfumery – the Burren Perfumery and Floral Centre. Why not treat all of your senses here? Taste some culinary delights in the tea rooms, see the photography exhibition and then treat your purse, as admission is free.

Tea at Father Ted's House

Father Ted was filmed in the Burren – at Sheryl and Pat McCormack’s house near Kilnaboy, to be precise. Crilly fans can have afternoon tea at the house, and visit some of the other beautiful villages in the area like Kilfenora and Ennistymon.
Please contact us for details

Caher Bridge Garden

The stunning Caher Valley, seven miles from Gregans Castle Hotel, is home to the award-winning garden of Carl Wright, where you can see rare and wonderful plants including day lilies, hostas, snowdrops and arisemas. Tours are conducted by Carl himself and if you’re lucky you may even get to meet the resident fox, Edward! Admission is by appointment only and, with two weeks’ notice, we can arrange visits for our guests.
Entrance is five Euros per person

Caherconnell Stone Fort & Sheepdog Demonstration

A new visitor centre at Caherconnell Stone Fort (opened Easter 2003), found 1km from Poulnabrone Dolmen on the main Corofin-Ballyvaughan road, offers you the opportunity to visit an exceptionally well-preserved example of the stone ring forts that are found in the Burren area. Ring forts such as Caherconnell are thought to have been inhabited from 400-1200A.D. During the summer, the Davoren family also holds sheep dog demonstrations here at mid-day.

The Burren Smokehouse

Smoked salmon is a true delicacy. If you want to find out how our local salmon is smoked, and buy some to take home, visit the Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna.

Market towns and Medieval Galway

There are plenty of beautiful ancient market towns in the area, like Ennis and Ennistymon. And, each May, Ennis hosts the internationally famous Fleadh Nua music festival. A 50 min drive to the north is medieval Galway City where you can wander the narrow streets and soak up the atmosphere of Ireland's most vibrant and artistic city. The celebrated international Galway Arts Festival, Galway Film Fleadh and Galway Races are held here each July. Travel further afield and you’ll find the Georgian city of Limerick, Bunratty Castle and Folk Par.

A half day’s Burren Farm Heritage Tour with one of eight local farmers is a rewarding experience where you’ll get to meet the people who farm this unusual landscape. Discover the hidden secrets of the Burren, find out about local history, archaeology, heritage and geology, and the farming practices that have been carried down through the millennia. Farm Heritage Tours and Gregans Castle Hotel are members of The Burren EcoTourism Network.

The Liscannor Stone Story and Rock Shop

Learn all about Liscannor stone and ancient quarrying around the Cliffs of Moher, and see fossils, gems and minerals from Liscannor and beyond.

Coole Park, Thoor Ballylee & The Kiltarean Museum 

These are all found near the town of Gort and within a few short miles of each other. Coole Park was a well-known meeting place for Irish literary figures in the early twentieth century, including W.B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. You can still see the famous autograph tree with the carved initials of all these writers in the walled garden. And the woods and lake inspired the beautiful poem The Wild Swans at Coole by Yeats, who owned Thoor Ballylee castle, which is open to the public. If you’d like to find out more about the rich literary history of Coole, visit The Kiltartan Museum.

A half day’s Burren Farm Heritage Tour with one of eight local farmers is a rewarding experience where you’ll get to meet the people who farm this unusual landscape. Discover the hidden secrets of the Burren, find out about local history, archaeology, heritage and geology, and the farming practices that have been carried down through the millennia. Farm Heritage Tours and Gregans Castle Hotel are members of The Burren EcoTourism Network.

Castles, towers and ancient ruins

There are plenty of fascinating historical buildings in the area, including:
Kilfenora Cathedral and Celtic High Crosses – dating from 600AD
Corcomroe Abbey – beautifully stone carved, built 1194
Poulnabrone Dolmen – 5,000 year-old burial tomb
Martello Tower – built to repel the expected Napoleonic invasion
Cathair Chomain – ancient ring fort dating back to 900AD
Ballykinvarga – Iron Age stone fort with chevaux de frise
Leamaneh Castle – home of the fearsome Maire Rua
Kilmacduagh Round Tower – one of the few intact round towers left in Ireland

The Burren in Bloom Festival

Every May, the village of Ballyvaughan hosts the Burren in Bloom Festival, which celebrates early summer in the Burren with illustrated talks, walks and musical events.

Seaside villages and local pubs

There’s definitely no shortage of these in the area! With their attractive harbours and traditional pubs, the pretty nineteenth century seaside villages of Ballyvaughan and Kinvara are well worth visiting. Kinvara hosts the annual Crinniú na mBád boating festival where you can see the traditional Galway Hooker sailing boats, and O'Lochlain's Pub in Ballyvaughan has hardly changed in 100 years. Nearby, Doolin is famous for Irish music and at Kilfenora, Vaughan's Pub hosts traditional Irish set dancing every Thursday and Sunday night.

The Burren Centre

The recently-refurbished Burren Centre in Kilfenora was Ireland's first interpretive centre and has an excellent audio-visual and guided display on the Burren.
Tel. 065 7088030

Tel. +353 65 707 7005 Email. stay@gregans.ie