On the road between Ennistymon and Ballyvaughan in north County Clare lies a town known the world over for celebrating one of Ireland's oldest traditions through its famous annual matchmaking festival.
Every September, singles from around the world descend on Lisdoonvarna for a month long celebration of dancing, music and the craic, during the world famous Lisddonvarna Match-Making Festival. The current matchmaker is Willie Daly - a fourth generation matchmaker who prides himself on his success rate. The festival goes on day and night for a month and there is live music in all the bars and hotels. This is one of the most popular festivals in County Clare so make sure that you have your accommodation sorted before you arrive.
Of course Lisdoonvarna is not just known for this! Located in the heart of the Burren region, Lisdoonvarna is a spa town having gained a reputation since the 19th century for its mineral wells. The Victorian Spa Complex and Health Centre is the only active spa centre in Ireland and the waters contain iron, iodine and magnesium.
Also worth a visit is the Burren Smokehouse Visitor Centre where you can learn the traditional methods of smoking fish and local produce. The town has lots of pubs serving food and some excellent hotels. It can be relatively quiet throughout the year so if you are not looking for a partner, you might decide to visit earlier than September.
Lisdoonvarna Castle was situated beside the old terraced wall of a later house. A cornerstone of a nearby house reveals the castle was built in 1619 for the Fitzpatricks.
Lisdoonvarna is a perfect spot for exploring North Clare due to its location in the Burren and proximity to Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher and Ballyvaughan. Don't forget to include the Cork Screw Hill as part of your route and take in fantastic views of the Burren and Galway Bay.