Doolin Cave is located in the Burren north of Doolin Village. This cave is home to the “Great Stalactite” and is considered a world class natural tourist attraction. I love visiting natural attractions like this. Nature always amazes me.
We arrived early in the day and had a small tour group. It was my friend and I, a couple from New Mexico and their driver. We had a great tour guide, Jim, who was extremely knowledgeable about the cave and surrounding area. The tour starts out by entering the cave and descending about 80 feet underground. At the bottom of the entrance everyone is given hard hats before continuing further into the cave.
The cave is low in some spots and you have to occasionally bend over. There were a couple times where my hard hat scraped against the cave. There is a reason for those hard hats! The stalactite is around 23 feet long. We learned that it is the longest free hanging stalactite in the northern hemisphere. It’s quite a thing to see. It’s amazing to walk into the cavern and see it hanging from the ceiling as if it’s a chandelier. The stalactite is definitely the centerpiece of the room. At the top of the room everyone poses for pictures with the stalactite in the background. The tour guide was kind enough to take pictures of everyone.
There is a platform at the bottom of the cavern that everyone is able to walk down to and take more pictures. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the flash attachment on my camera and had to rely on my friend for all the pictures. Our guide informed us that they are opening another cavern and was hoping to have it finished by November of 2013. If I’m every in the area again I will have to stop and see the new cavern. This isn’t a strenuous or challenging walk through the cave. I think anyone could do this, except very small children and older people who are not in shape. The only things I could see presenting a challenge would be the amount of stairs you have to climb up and down, bending over and the metal walk ways are wet and slippery.
This is an attraction that you want to wear comfortable, closed toe shoes. I wore my Merrell hiking shoes for most of this trip. Remember it is always cold in caves, so dress accordingly. At one point you are about 200 feet below ground. Chilly! Once the tour is over (about 45 minutes to an hour long) there is a nature trail you can walk or enjoy food at their café.
There is a café, gift shop and bathroom facilities on site. We chose not to walk the nature trail, because we had a busy day ahead of us. Flash photography is allowed: don’t forget your flash attachment like I did!
The cave is opened from March to November from 10am until 5pm. Tour times are at 10am, 11am and every half hour starting at 11:30am.
Adult: 15 euros
Child: 8 euros
Family: 50 euros
If you book your tour online there is a discount. I was able to get a student discount off my prices with an id. It’s not advertised, but I would ask. Doolin Cave is truly a hidden gem and I highly recommend stopping if you are in the area. Check out their website: http://www.doolincave.ie/