If you're here between March and November, you can take a tour of the lighthouse itself – from the balcony, there are breathtaking views of the Wild Atlantic Way from County Kerry’s Blasket Islands in the south to Connemara in County Galway to the north. There’s also an exhibition on the history of Irish lighthouses in one of the other lightkeeper’s cottages.
Loop Head is a dream for walkers and cyclists; quiet country roads led me to fascinating local sights such as the Little Ark of Kilbaha: a wooden box containing an altar that was rolled onto the beach at low tide to allow the Catholics to practice their faith in the 19th century.
I got to explore the Bridges of Ross, once a trio of spectacular sea arches. Now just one still stands but the walk along the coastline to cross it is worth it. I braved the Kilkee Cliff Walk but decided to leave a dip at the Pollack Holes, a favorite bathing spot with locals, until warmer weather.
At the nearby town of Carrigaholt, a dolphin-watching boat tour brought me as close as I've ever been to a dolphin. The Shannon Estuary – where Ireland’s longest river runs into the Atlantic Ocean – is home to one of Europe’s largest pods of bottlenose dolphins.