Go, stand on the edge of the Burren, on its limestone pavement and listen; hear the waves crash into the unseen caves beneath your feet. Then turn; look at the Cliffs of Moher as they rise majestically from the raging sea, and you will realise why this extraordinary region, with its magnificent landscape, has been awarded the prestigious UNESCO recognised Global and European Geopark Status.
Many times, have I been stopped on a small road by tourists asking, “where is the Burren” or “how do I get to the Burren”? More often than not, they are already there! And the great news is, if you are staying with us here at An Claughan you too have already arrived!
The Burren is a beautiful region covering almost all of north Clare. It is one of the largest and most accessible Karst regions in the world. It is the only place on the planet that Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine plants grow side-by-side. It also has geological and historical wonders and a rich community of people full of passion and pride for this wonderful place.
The Burren National Park is in the south-eastern corner of the Burren and is approximately 1500 hectares in size. The Park land was bought by the Government for nature conservation and public access. It contains examples of all the major habitats within the Burren: limestone Pavement, calcareous grassland, hazel scrub, ash/hazel woodland, turloughs, lakes, petrifying springs, cliffs and Fen. Approximately 75% of all plant species found in Ireland can be found in the Burren including 23 of Ireland’s 27 native orchid species.
Ireland is full of rich culture and historic ruins, castles and churches. Co. Clare and The Burren region are full of them. Here are some of our favourite must see spots…
Poulnabrone Portal Tomb
Situated on the high Burren limestone plateau, Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Ireland’s most iconic archaeological monuments and is the second most visited location in the Burren after the Cliffs of Moher. It is the oldest dated megalithic monument in Ireland. This is one we highly recommend you visit.
Caherconnell Stone Fort
From generation to generation, stone lined pathways and drystone walls have been crafted with care. Explore Caherconnell Stone Fort, a ring fort in Ireland with a difference. The ancient pathways will guide you around this prehistoric site as archaeologists work to unearth the secrets held within their magnificent walls.
Aillwee Cave, Ballyvaughan
Aillwee Cave is one of Ireland’s ancient cave and Birds of Prey Centre located in Ballyvaughan. This really is recommended and fun for all ges. The guides are knowledgeable, and the caves are spectacular.
The Burren Centre, Kilfenora
The exhibition area at The Burren Centre enables the visitor to experience the development of the Burren and its civilisation from formation 320 million years ago to how the Burren is today It has audio video information on the whole region and is a great starting point for your Burren trip. Kilefenora is only a 20-minute drive from Doolin.
The Burren has a diversity and abundance of plant species like no other place. When it comes to ecological wealth and diversity, the Burren has few parallels elsewhere in Ireland. Here are some ideas…
The Burren Nature Sanctuary
Capture the essence of the Burren at The Burren Nature Sanctuary, wandering through this rock strewn lunar landscape. Visit Botany Bubble – national botanical collection of Burren flora. Identify seasonal wild flowers, butterflies and orchids, explore an organic meadow and a disappearing lake. Creative seasonal café menu. Call +353 (0)91 637 444. Email [email protected]. Location: Cloonasee, Kinvara, Co. Galway. Open: 10-6pm daily.
The Burren Perfumery
The Burren Perfumery make natural and organic cosmetics by hand in the middle of the Burren. Browse the shop, see how the products are made, relax in the tea rooms and explore the herb garden. Call +353 (0)65 708 9102. Email [email protected]. Location: Fahee North, Carron, Co. Clare. Open: Daily (tea room open April-September).
Wild food at Wild Kitchen is seasonal, local, nutritious and free. Join local guide Oonagh on a journey of discovery as she shares her knowledge and passion for good food. Discover many edible types of seaweed, wild herbs, roots, flowers, fruits and nuts. Call +353 (0)87 687 7890. Email [email protected]. Open: March-October.
1. The roads in the Burren are small. It can take some getting used to. Please only pull into designated viewing points. Do not park in front of gates or houses. There are plenty of farmers in the area who need access to their lands.
2. Make sure you have a full tank of petrol/gas. Towns and villages are scarce.
3. If you decide to go hiking please inform someone of your route and estimated return time. Bring a fully charged phone, warm clothes and plenty of water.
4. Please do not litter, damage or remove items from the Burren. It is a protected area and its ecology is quite delicate. For more information on how to leave no foot print please visit www.burren.ie.