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The Burren

Stretching across northern Clare, the rocky, windswept Burren region is a unique striated lunar-like landscape of barren grey limestone that was shaped beneath ancient seas, then forced high and dry by a great geological cataclysm. It covers 250 sq km of exposed limestone, and 560 sq km in total.

Wildflowers in spring give the Burren brilliant, if ephemeral, colour amid its stark beauty. Villages throughout the region include the music hub of Doolin on the west coast, Kilfenora inland and charming Ballyvaughan in the north, on the shores of Galway Bay.

South of Ballyvaughan, a series of severe bends twists up Corkscrew Hill (180m), which was built as part of a Great Famine relief scheme in the 1840s. Nearby photogenic prehistoric sites including Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb, Poulnabrone Dolmen and Caherconnell Fort.

Throughout the region, there are fantastic opportunities for walking and rock climbing.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout The Burren.