Top 8 Reasons to Visit the Burren in Ireland

Be sure to visit the Burren in western Ireland even if you have just one hour for this excursion. Why? Here are 8 reasons why you should do it.

Last updated: January 14, 2023

The Burren, Ireland - Roads and Destinations
The 8 reasons why you should visit the Burren, Ireland

Why You Should Travel to the Burren

A vast area of glacial-era limestone with cliffs, caves, and rock formations looks strange among famed lush green fields and sweeping hills of Ireland. It doesn’t even feel like a part of the Emerald Isle any longer. Welcome to the Burren, one of the most unusual and remarkable areas in Ireland!

The unique surface of the Burren is one of the main reasons to visit the West of Ireland. Its rugged coastal area and rocky landscape look like a completely different planet. However, it’s not the only reason to visit the Burren.

This moon-like place contains many other secrets. And it’s willing to unveil them only to those who set their feet on its uneven, rocky ground. For starters, here are a few more reasons why you should visit the Burren.


1. One of the Most Unique Landscapes in Ireland

The craggy terrain of the Burren is often compared to the moon. As its name suggests (“Boireann” from Irish means “great rock”), the place if full of rocks, crags, crevices, and cliffs. Yet despite the rough conditions, the Irish famous forty shades of green don’t even think of escaping this area. On the contrary, gentle plants peek out from between the rocks, greeting newcomers and making every visit to the Burren extra special.

The Burren, Ireland - Roads and Destinations
The Burren, Ireland - Roads and Destinations
The Burren, Ireland - Roads and Destinations
Coastal sections of the Burren

2. One of the Largest Karst Regions in the World

There are arguments about the actual size of the area. A typical visit to the Burren includes a trip to the limestone uplands and lowlands of northwestern County Clare. The southeastern pocket of Country Galway also belongs to its territory. Thus, the official size of the Burren is approximately 250 square kilometers, making it one of the largest karst regions in the world.

3. Easy Access

On top of its impressive size, the Burren is one of the most accessible karst regions in the world. You can drive, ride a bike or motorcycle, walk, or hike through the area. First-time visitors usually adhere to services of public transportation and charter buses to get to the Burren. The area is free to visit.

The Burren, Ireland - Roads and Destinations
Ireland - Roads and Destinations
The Burren, Ireland - Roads and Destinations

4. An Adventure in the Burren Includes a Visit to Burren National Park

The southeastern part of the Burren forms the Burren National Park, the smallest of six national parks in Ireland. The park contains examples of all major habitats of the Burren such as lakes, cliffs, limestone pavement, and ash woodland.

You can visit Burren National Park all year round. Just like in the Burren itself, there is no admission fee.

5. The Burren is Part of the UNESCO Global Geopark

Thanks to its diverse terrain, flora and fauna, the Burren along with the Cliffs of Moher forms the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark. In 2011, it gained international attention and was awarded the status of the UNESCO Global Geopark.

It’s one of the most unique places of the Earth where Arctic, Alpine, and Mediterranean plants grow side by side. On top of that, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark includes over 2700 historic wonders and monuments.

Ireland - Roads and Destinations
Forty shades of green, Ireland - Roads and Destinations
The Cliffs of Moher

6. Visit the Burren and Cliffs of Moher in One Day

When visiting the Burren, spare a few hours to venture to the Cliffs of Moher, one of the most popular attractions in Ireland. Located just a short drive from the Burren, the Cliffs give you a feel of Irish nature, weather, and beauty, all at once. Scenic views along the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk will certainly become a highlight of your visit to the Burren and western Ireland.

If you don’t drive, here are some of the best guided tours you can take while exploring Ireland.

7. A Stone’s Throw away from Doolin Village

Doolin is another must-visit place near the Burren. While natural beauty of this part of Ireland entices you in the first place, Irish traditional tunes make you stay here longer. And what better place to extend your visit to the Burren than Doolin, the most musical village on the western side of Ireland?

8. Road Trip along the Wild Atlantic Way as a Part of Your Visit to the Burren

One of the top reasons to visit the Burren is to drive along the Wild Atlantic Way. Recognized as the best coastal drive in the world, this route takes you to stunning Irish sea cliffs, sand beaches, sweeping hills, and lonely castles. This drive alone can surpass all expectations you may have before the trip to the Burren.

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