Ballyvaughan - Black Head loop

Walking
County Clare
5/5
6 reviews
Grade Strenuous
Length 26 km
Time 7 hours
Format Loop
Ascent 480 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Purple arrow on white background
Start Point
Fanore Beach mapboard
Finish Point
Fanore Beach mapboard
Nearest Town to Start Ballyvaughan
Lat. and Long. 53.11837, -9.28206

This loop is a mix of Burren hill and coast, following green laneways, tracks, and mountain paths and taking in Fanore Beach, the Caher Valley and part of Gleninagh Mountain with some wonderful views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. It is also rich in the Burren wildflowers.

Facilities

Car park

Trekking shoes, raingear and fluids are recommended

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheet 51
5/5
10/21/2019

Fergal from Clare

What a great walk with great views throughout. Just completed together with my wife and took just under 6hrs. Weather was sunny and dry so no issue with mud or puddles. Will definitely do this walk again.
09/02/2019

John from Kilkenny

I walked this route last Saturday. It is very challenging but rewarding. I started at Fanore beach area walked along a beautiful coastal path with spectacular scenery and panoramic view of the Aran Islands.This was easy. The next section along Gleninagh is somewhat overgrown and narrows the passage making it a little tougher to negotiate but manageable nonetheless. This is the toughest section in my opinion as you then face a climb to the top of the mountain. Once up there, it is easy again and was well marked. The next section on to Caher Valley had a tough climb that seemed to rise endlessly with peak after peak. It is a lovely passage but challenging climb all the way. Once you reach the top the hard climb is over and easy walk after that but still a way to go. It was nearly dark when I reached my car so I was relieved to get back. Glad I brought proper gear as it was hot, then cool then it rained a little. Daylight was fading for me as I left it late to start and I could see no houses about for long period so allow yourself time. Highly recommend this. I'd say allow 6-7 hours for comfort.
08/06/2017

Ronan from Clare

Just back from this walk - tough enough, but very rewarding with views and terrain. However, the greenery on the portion of the walk adjoining Gleninagh is in need of cutting back. The passage is fairly narrow for about 4km and is overgrown so I got very wet from the moist foliage. Anyway, grateful for the route all the same.
5/5
07/25/2016

Damian from Galway

Just stunning. I could add as many adjectives as possible but it can't describe such amazing scenery. It's a tough walk, no question, but WOW! Well done to those who marked out this trail, the signage is exceptional.
5/5
06/22/2013

Caroline from Mayo

Excellent walk. Tough but well marked. Will do it again.
5/5
09/15/2012

Mary from Wicklow

Without question, this is one of the best walks in Ireland, particularly during the wild flower season from April to July. For those who do not need a punishing 26k circuit on rocky ground, it can be broken into two walks, using the short cut back through the Caher valley to convert the loop to a figure of 8 which produces two excellent all-day walks of about equal length, the northern one (via Black Head) containing the best of both scenery and botanical interest. The green road over Black Head offers constant visual challenge between the distant views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands and the delights of the wildflowers and the Burren geology at closer range.

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