Ballyvaughan is a peaceful little village on the north coast of co. Clare, right on the edge of the Burren. With its back to the limestone hills of the Burren and facing Galway Bay it surely has one of the loveliest locations in co. Clare.
It has a small grocery shop, petrol station; several gift shops and a large tourist office/gift shop. Also within the village are several pubs (Monks being one of the most popular with its harbour front location and renowned seafood menu), and a hotel (Hylands). Good choice of accomodation: hotels, several bed & breakfasts, and self-catering, some within the village, and others on the outskirts (most within walking distance of the village). Ballyvaughan has its own web-site with a listing of accommodation choices - plus check the reviews on Tripadvisor.
It's a convenient location from which to set out to explore the historical sites of the area: Poulnabrone megalithic tomb; Caherconnell Fort; Corcomroe Abbey, Kilfenora Cathedral, Kilmacduagh Churches and Round Tower, Dunguaire Castle, and Coole Park to name but a few. Other places of interest within a short car journey : Aillwee Cave and Burren Bird of Prey Centre; Burren Perfumery; Burren Smokehouse; Doolin; Cliffs of Moher. If you want to venture further afield, then the Aran islands are accessible from Doolin; Galway City is just over an hour's drive; and Lough Derg, Loop Head and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park would make for longer days out.
We spent two weeks in a self-catering cottage on the outskirts of Ballyvaughan (August 2005) and found it to be the perfect location for a family holiday. Ideal for those who want to explore the Burren (super walks in the hills for all ages and fitness levels), visit the Aran Islands, and other areas of co. Clare, and enjoy fine dining (Monks Pub) . If you are self-catering, be sure to make time to visit the farmers market which takes place every Saturday from 10am - 2pm at the village hall. Lots of local produce on sale: fruit and vegetables, bread, cakes, pies . . .
Ballyvaughan lies approx 40 miles north(ish) of Shannon airport; allow between 1.25 - 1.5hrs to make the journey, depending on traffic conditions.