Founded by St Senan, the patron saint of West Clare, in the 6th century, Doonbeg is located on the west coast between Milltown Malbay and Kilkee. The village grew up around the Doonbeg Castle. The castle was built in the 16th century for the Earl of Thomond, Daniel O'Brien. It transferred hands a number of times, including to the MacMahons, the O'Briens, James Cornyn and Nicholas Strich Fitznicholas before it was confiscated by the Crown and resold in 1703. Today the castle is mostly in ruins with only the northern-western corner now standing.
The village is also home to the Doonmore Castle, which stands next to the harbour in the village. Although it was classed as a ruin in 1837, the castle was built by Philip Mac Sheeda Nor McCon in the 16th century and was inhabited until the early 1800's. Beside the castle, the 70metre long Doonbeg Pier stretches into the ocean and is used for fishing boats and pleasure crafts.
The parish of Doonbeg is also home to a large number of ringforts and promontory forts. Dating from the Celtic times, forts were situated on high grounds or hills as a look-out post in times of attack.
Once you have enjoyed the historical treats of the area, relax for a while on one of the many local beaches including the White Strand, Doughbheg Beach and Cloghar Strand.
The village is also home to the world-renowned Doonbeg Golf Club, which was designed by Greg Norman, the two-time British Open Champion. The Golf Club incorporates Doonbeg Lodge and is one of the top golf resorts in the country.
A natural links course, Doonbeg Lodge is an excellent test of your game as well as being a stunningly beautiful course. After your round, you can enjoy five-star facilities at the Doonbeg Lodge.
A number of walking trails in the area have been marked as "Sli na Slainte" paths, including the 8-kilometre Doonbeg Loop, 20-kilometre Tullaher Loop and the 8.6-kilometre Sli na Slainte Loop.
Like other coastal villages in County Clare, Doonbeg offers a superb spot for surfing, diving, angling and sailing. In terms of culture and music, Doonbeg offers visitors a wealth of experiences - from traditional Irish Music sessions to the annual international Jazz Festival (May), the Willie Keane memorial weekend (October) and the Doonbeg Family Festival (August).
There are many places to stay and eat and the reputation for excellent food in the region is well deserved.