Itinerary 1: Explore the Wonders of the Burren
Anglicized from the Irish word ‘Boíreann’, meaning ‘a rocky place’, the Burren is an area like no other in Ireland. The exposed limestone appears, at first glance, to be a barren landscape but closer observation reveals natural wonders, ancient history, and a farm-to-table experience that is a feast for all your senses! Use the suggestions below to create your perfect day out in the Burren.
Plan your own ‘loop tour’ of the Burren. Leave Doolin this morning and head north, circling back to the village in time for an evening cruise along the base of the Cliffs of Moher.
Begin by choosing a couple of the Burren’s Natural Wonders
Doolin Cave is home to the largest stalactite in the Northern hemisphere. Travelling with kids? They will love the Farmland Nature Trail Walk!
Ailwee Cave is one of Ireland’s premier ‘show caves’ and home to the Birds of Prey Centre. For an unforgettable experience, schedule a Hawk Walk (pre-booking required) and fly your own predatory bird!
The Burren Nature Sanctuary at the far northern end of the Burren is a natural wonderland designed for exploration. Children will delight in the friendly domesticated animals and the fairy forest, and everyone in the family will appreciate the nature walk past a turlough (disappearing lake), through the remains of a famine village, past the gypsy caravan, and along the edge of the forest. Indoor and outdoor playgrounds will delight kids of all ages, while everyone will enjoy the tasty offerings in the on-site café.
Tip: It’s always dry in a cave! Begin a rainy day with a cave tour and you may exit to sun!
Add in a Bit of Ancient History:
The Burren has been inhabited for thousands of years and those who came before left fascinating monuments behind.
Caherconnell Stone Fort is a well-preserved 1000-year-old ring fort. This site is also home to an archaeology field school, so new information about Ireland’s past is unearthed often! If you haven’t seen a sheepdog at work be sure to stay for the Sheepdog demonstration– it’s amazing to see these dogs at work!
Just north of Caherconnell is Poulnabrone Dolmen, the oldest megalithic monument in Ireland and most accessible portal tomb in the Burren. This site is free to visit but do note that the field is privately owned and you may share the space with some grazing cattle.
Don’t Miss the Burren Perfumery
One of the top-selling colognes in Ireland, Man of Aran, is created in 20 liter batches at this natural and organic perfumery. Beyond the perfumery, which houses the retail store and a short audiovisual presentation, you can explore the gardens, blending room, and soap making room. Perfumes, lotions, and soaps are available to sample.
Plan an Adventure
Immerse yourself in the Burren!
The Burren National Park is filled with walking trails of various length and difficulty. Use this link to discover the perfect walk for your interests and abilities. Would you prefer a guided walk? Local expert guide and author Tony Kirby leads guided walks May thru August.
For more adrenaline-fueled experiences contact Lahinch Adventures. Hop on a board to build your surfing skills or join a kayak tour on river or ocean (wetsuits included!) Would you rather stay on land? They also offer rock climbing, cycling, and archery.
Visit the Cliffs of Moher
Return to Doolin in time for an afternoon or evening Cliffs of Moher cruise with Doolin2Aran Ferries. This one hour cruise takes you to the base of Ireland’s most famous cliffs and around the An Branán Mór sea stack.
Plan your visit to the Cliffs of Moher this evening. You can arrive by car or walk along the Cliffs Coastal Walk from Doolin (8km) or one of the nearer trailheads. Note that this walk can be challenging and the cliff edges are not guarded by safety rails.
When visiting you can go directly to the cliffs, bypassing the visitor’s centre and take in the view. But if you’re interested in the history of the cliffs, a few stories, and the fabulous interactive interpretive centre, be sure to add 45-60 minutes to your itinerary.
Tip! Why visit the Cliffs of Moher in the late afternoon or evening?
As one of the most popular attractions in Ireland the Cliffs attract thousands of visitors each day. Visiting after 4pm helps you avoid the busiest visiting hours.
Taste the Burren
The Burren has become renowned for its local food story. As you journey through the region you’ll find local food producers and award-winning restaurants.
The Burren Food Trail offers themed trails for all tastes and special events from April through November.
DOWNLOAD FULL ITINERARY