Personally I'd opt for Kinvara. A lovely little spot
Obviously other choices are available. Inis Mor best accessed from Ros an Mhil or tour from Galway which is closer to Kinvara. The Cliffs and Burren are closer to Doolin. Ballyvaughan is a compromise between the two locations. Inis Mor can be reached via Doolin, but the long ferry ride is problematic.
I've stayed in Doolin twice, Ballyvaughan several times, Kinvara never. Doolin has a nice location on the west coast, but the village can get extremely busy at weekends and during high season. Pubs packed with tourists, so much noise, you can't hear the music (my personal experience).
Throwing Ballyvaughan in as a consideration, as it's a pretty village, well-located to explore the Burren, and has a good range of accommodation. Logue's lodge offers good pub food and sports on tv; L'Arco restaurant serves nice Italian dishes. Haven't been to Monks pub for several years, but met someone who had been recently and raved about the "best seafood chowder" in ireland. Use booking.com as an easy tool to research prices, though I tend to book b&bs direct. Around 35-minute drive to Doolin for the ferry.
Kinvara is a nice village, quieter than Doolin and Ballyvaughan, so that may account for lower prices. Pier Head restaurant is supposed to be very good, particularly seafood; several pubs, cafes as well, and a lively farmers' market on Friday morning. Certainly a good option for the Burren; around 45-minute drive to Doolin.
If you're looking for lively atmosphere, lots of busy pubs, then Doolin hits the mark; Kinvara will be quieter, but is an attractive little village:
Kinvara always gets my vote over Doolin or (sorry SG) Ballyvaghan more options when it comes to food drink and entertainment and as you have said lees tourists = less costs. Of course you might prefer pubs busy with visitors rather than the mix and possibly even local bias of Kinvara
As said Inis Mor from Rossaveal Inis Oirr from Doolin, Inis Mean from either.
No offence, tony! We tend to stay in Ballyvaughan because of its proximity to Aillwee and the Birds of Prey (for dd), and because one of our friends works at Logue's during the summer season. We rarely stay these days, being just over an hour's drive away . . . . the occasional night-stop if something is happening in the evening or early morning, and I don't fancy driving to 'n fro.
Book directly with the b&b's to avoid paying the commission to booking agents and this brings the price down
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html
We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.