The Burren Tours
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Covering an area of more than 115 square miles (300 square kilometers), the Burren is a vast, otherworldly expanse of scarred and fissured limestone rock, naturally sculpted through acidic erosion. Though it may look barren from afar, this rocky plateau is anything but lifeless. In spring and summer, wildflowers and rare plants thrive here.
One of the best ways to get an overview of the Burren is to drive along the R480 road, which links the town of Ballyvaughan in the north to Leamaneh in the south and cuts through the heart of the unusual karst landscape. Of course, to truly appreciate the Burren, and to see some of the tiny plants that sprout between the rocks, you’ll need to get out of the car and walk. Numerous signposted trails weave through the UNESCO-listed Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark.
Because of its proximity to the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren is often included as a stop-off on Cliffs of Moher day trips from Dublin and Galway, along with 16th-century Dunguaire Castle and the charming village of Doolin, a hub for traditional Irish music. Some tours also include visits to the Aillwee Cave, a series of underground caverns that features a waterfall, bear bones, and unusual rock formations.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Burren is a must for anyone with an interest in geology and the natural world.
- Wear sturdy shoes; you’ll need them to negotiate the Burren’s rocky terrain.
- Some of the species that grow in the Burren are very rare. Don’t pick plants and try not to stand on them.
- Stop by the Burren National Park Information Point in Corofin, County Clare, to find out more.
How to Get There
The Burren is located in northwest County Clare, near Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, and is about an hour’s drive from Galway city. Bus Éireann route 350 travels from Galway city to the town of Lisdoonvarna in the Burren. To explore the heart of the Burren, it’s best to drive or go as part of an organized tour.
When to Get There
The Burren is breathtaking year-round, though perhaps the best time to visit is from mid-May to mid-June, when the blossoming wildflowers inject some color into the landscape. Get there early in the morning to soak up its bleak beauty in solitude.
Wildlife-Viewing in the Burren
In addition to exotic orchids, ferns, and wildflowers, the Burren also sustains an unusual assortment of wildlife. Pine martens, lizards, stoats, frogs, and badgers all live here, while an array of feathered fliers, including sparrow hawks and kestrels, can be seen in the skies above.
7 Tours and Activities to Experience The Burren
Cliffs of Moher and Burren Day Trip, Including Dunguaire Castle, Aillwee Cave, and Doolin from Galway
Explore Ireland’s beautiful Burren region and discover top natural landmarks including the Cliffs of Moher with ease on this day tour from Galway. Travel through the Burren’s rugged landscapes with your guide and discover local attractions such as the 16th-century Dunguaire Castle and Aillwee Cave. Explore walking trails on top of the mighty Cliffs of Moher at your leisure and enjoy panoramic views over the coastal scenery. Watch the skies for sightings of native birdlife, then stop in Doolin on route back to Galway.
Nature and Wildlife
The Cliffs of Moher are a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Ireland’s most memorable landmarks, but most tours only take in the views from the shore. On this full-day tour from Galway, admire the cliffs from the sea on a cruise to the Aran Islands; visit Inisheer, Doolin, and The Burren, then hike along the cliff-tops.
Explore the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher on this County Clare day tour from Galway. Travel along the Wild Atlantic Way to the Burren with your guide and take in top local landmarks including Dunguaire Castle and Corcomroe Abbey. Pass pretty towns and villages such as Ballyvaughan, Doolin, and Lisdoonvarna on route to the majestic Cliffs of Moher, widely considered among Ireland’s most impressive sights. Head along County Clare’s stunning coastline on route back to Galway, and enjoy fine views over Fanore Strand and Black Head.
Tucked between the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Galway Bay in Ireland, the Burren is a rugged landscape of limestone uplands and gentle valleys, where native wildflowers thrive. On this tour, explore the Burren with your guide and find the finest views with ease. Navigate stony hiking trails and open pastureland, delve into 5,000 years of human habitation, and gain insight into the Burren’s rich geology.
You are among the first to see our farm as we are only open for tours recently. It is truly a hidden gem. A 500 acre species rich grassland, limestone pavement internationally famous for Arctic and Alpine plants that flourish in the Burren National Park. We are farming in the Burren, a special area of Conservation. We are costodians of the land and endevour to farm with this in mind. Beef farmers are a very important part of the Burren landscape and without our cattle grazing the land the unique flowers and plants would stop growing. Having enjoyed your hike through the land and limestone. We can take a moment to rejuvenate over looking majestic Lough Bunny Lake which is an integral part of the unique karstic wetland system. We will refuel with a wholesome picnic at the historical remains of the original parish Church which was the centre of the parish. You will be truly back to nature up close to the livestock.
Sure, have you never heard of an Irish half hour? It can stretch out for days and 5 days is what you’ve got to experience this memorable, expertly guided road trip, over ever-changing landscape, along The Wild Atlantic Way. From shucking Clarinbridge oysters and downing creamy stout in Galway, to the jaw dropping sights of the Ring of Kerry, with only the Atlantic separating the 40 shades from the 50 U.S. states. Cool down with Fungie, Dingle’s resident dolphin who came for the fish in 1984 and stayed for the craic or feel like you’re at the edge of the world, at the dramatic Cliffs of Moher. And how about a spot of kissing at the Blarney Stone where you’ll come away with the gift of the ‘gab’ (talk); handy for ‘having the craic’ with your small tour group. And in between the heritage and culture, bohemian Galway and dinky Doolin, there’ll be ceol agus craic (music and boldness), seafood and banter and an epic road-trip you’ll never forget.
Journey along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way on this full-day tour from Galway. Marvel at the mighty Cliffs of Moher and enjoy ample time to explore the visitor center, hike the dramatic Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk, and admire views that span Galway Bay, Connemara, and the Aran Islands. Along the way, discover the dramatic landscape of The Burren, the coastal villages of Ballindereen and Kinvara, and Doolin, the epicenter of Ireland’s folk music scene.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience The Burren?
The best ways to experience The Burren are:
- Cliffs of Moher and Burren Day Trip, Including Dunguaire Castle, Aillwee Cave, and Doolin from Galway
- Shore Excursion: Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, and The Burren Tour from Galway
- From Galway: Guided tour of Cliffs of Moher and The Burren.
- Burren Guided Walk
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