The Burren Ireland is one of the most special places on the island. This wild, rocky terrain is a karst landscape that takes its name from the Irish word Boíreann, meaning a rocky place. Many visitors arrive in this area of Ireland for scenic drives and to see a few historic attractions. The fishing village of Ballyvaughan is considered the capital of the Burren and offers a cozy place to stay if you want to explore this corner of County Clare. Don’t miss the ancient tomb, Poulnabrone, which is one of the Burren’s most popular attractions. If you want to experience a strange beauty in Ireland, full of wildflowers and grazing sheep, rent a car and head west for the Burren.
Many travelers say that the Burren Ireland is one of the most dramatic landscapes they have ever set eyes on. Covering more then 60 square miles in north County Clare and south County Galway, the Burren is home to striking limestone and underground caves. People have been fascinated with this landscape since the Stone Age, as evidenced by the artifacts they left behind. Many travelers begin their expedition in the village of Ballyvaughan, drive through the Burren, tour the caves, and then head for the famous Cliffs of Moher or even out to the Aran Islands. The variety of sites visitors can see in a few days in this area of Ireland is truly astounding.
One of the most popular attractions in the Burren is Poulnabrone. This famous dolmen is a portal tomb that dates back to the Neolithic period, between 4200 BC and 2900 BC. Located only five miles south of Ballyvaughan, visitors can pull over on the side of the road and hike across the rocky landscape to get a close-up look at Poulnabrone. There are no tour guides and no fee to see this monument in the middle of the rocky landscape. The most striking feature about the dolmen is the capstone, a twelve-foot slab supported by two other pieces of rock. Wondering how these ancient people created the dolmen without the use of any tools begins to put the whole site in a new perspective.
A nearby attraction is the small town of Lisdoonvarna in County Clare. The village is known for its music and festivals. Each September the town hosts a matchmaking festival that brings 40,000 hopeful singles to the town looking for love. If you’re taking a driving tour of County Clare, this village is worth a look. Beyond these attractions, the Burren Ireland is also famous for its plant life. Plants that survive well in limestone are abundant, as well as different kinds of moss and wildflowers. If you’re a nature lover, the Burren offers a unique chance to see diverse plants, birds, and beautiful springs. Within the Burren, it is possible to visit the Burren National Park, occupying the southeastern corner of the region.
The Burren also has a longstanding tradition of Irish music. If you’re looking for a place to experience this aspect of Irish culture, you will find it in the villages of the Burren. After hearing some music and enjoying a pint or two of Guinness, you may want to check out some other historic sites. One of the most well preserved is the Caherconnell Stone Fort and one of the most scenic is the Corcomroe Abbey. What begins as a tour through a beautiful rocky landscape takes on much more significance once you begin to research the history, culture, and plant life of the Burren.