Lisdoonvarna is a spa town in the Burren of Co Clare located between Ennistymon and Ballyvaughan.
The Irish name Lios Dúin Bhearna means "Enclosure at the Fort by the Gap" the fort in question is supposed to be Lissateeaun or "fort of the fairy hill" which is a mile or so away to the NE.
This area abounds with ancient historical sites and ruins with Ring forts dating from the Iron Age right through to the medieval period pointing to evidence of human activity stretching far back in time.
The town though is reasonably modern dating only as far back as the beginning of the 19th century.
The Victorian penchant for seeking out spas as a health supplement contributed to the rise of the town's prominence as a tourist destination in the late 19th century and the coming of the now defunct West Clare Railway only helped to cement its place on the travel itinerary of the people of Ireland even though the nearest station stop, opened in 1887 at Ennistymon was some 8 miles away. The spas though unlike the railway still survive today.
The springs are a source of sulphur and iron water mixed with other 'beneficial' minerals and they rise unusually from the same rock. The Twin Wells can be found on the banks of the River Aille in a what can be described as a very pleasant setting that is definitely uplifting.
Transport To and From
Bus Eireann the National Bus Company runs a daily service to and from Ennis or, if arriving from Galway you need to take the Doolin service from the bus station in Eyre Square. See below.
Details of services in the town including banks, ATMs, Post Office, Garda and supermarkets are listed in Lisdoonvarna Services.
Two natural wonders within easy reach!
(1) The Burren
Basing yourself in the town gives you an opportunity to seek out the special places in the Burren where every turn reveals a new wonder to be photgraphed and stored in the memory for years to come. Mouseover link to see the Poulnabrone Dolmen.
(2) The Cliffs Of Mother
The Cliffs Of Moher located just 6 miles away means a day out can take in both at once and the circular drive that runs up the coast and down the centre of the limestone landscape could make for a memorable day, just pray that the Sun shines.
There are splendid views of the surrounding countryside to be had from the higher ground just outside the town and sweeping panoramas take in the valley all the way to the deep blue waters of Galway Bay way off in the distance.
Every year for the month of September the famous Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival takes centre stage when over 40,000 flock to the town in the hope of meeting Mr or Mrs Right.
Rich batchelor farmers, compete with city slickers in trying to win the hands of desirable females and current match maker Willie Daly (4th generation) watches carefully over proceedings. Of course the ladies also compete just as hard as the lads as dancing and music fuel the occasion and the competitive spirit for 4 long weeks.
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See selected distances from Lisdoonvarna below.
Distance from Lisdoonvarna Co Clare to:
|Cliffs Of Moher||10.30||6.40||0hr:16m|
|Dun Laoghaire Ferry Port||272.30||169.20||3hr:16m|
|Galway City (Eyre Square)||65.18||40.50||1hr:04m|
|Limerick City (O'Connell Street)||78.38||48.70||1hr:11m|
|Rosslare Ferry Port||273.59||170.00||4hr:05m|
|Shannon Ferries Killimer||62.76||39.00||1hr:06m|
|The Burren National Pk (Carran)||18.51||11.50||0hr:34m|
Population: 767 (2006)
Shannon Airport 63km-39mls
Contacts for Services in Lisdoonvarna
Banks, ATMs, Post Office, Garda, Hotels, Supermarkets, Taxi
AA Route Planner - Automobile Association
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.0 or later
Willie Daly Matchmaker