Like many County Clare villages and towns, traditional music plays a huge part in the culture and heritage of Milltown Malbay. Located on the western coast close to Spanish Point, Milltown Malbay reputedly got its name when Mal, a witch, followed the legendary Irish hero Cuchulain and attempted to copy his long jump from the nearby Loophead. Her body washed up at Malbay, a neighbouring coastal spot and so the name Milltown Malbay was born.
The annual Willie Clancy festival pays tribute to one of the town's most famous sons. The festival and summer school celebrates Irish traditional music and dance in all its glory and ensures Milltown Malbay is heaving with song and dance for both local and visitor to enjoy early in the month of July. Other well-known Irish musicians to come from the area include Junior Crean, Scully and Booby Casey, Sonny Murray and Jimmy Ward.
The town is centrally located and so offers visitors easy access to a range of local activities including Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, the other coastal towns of Spanish Point, Lahinch and Kilkee; Loophead and the Burren National Park. These areas offer a range of family-friendly activities including fishing, surfing, watersports and walking trails. If you don't feel like driving, hire a bike and cycle on the coastal roads nearby and take in the coastal breezes, quiet beaches and unique local pubs!