Discover the Burren National Park
The Burren is like nowhere else in Ireland. From the northwest corner of County Clare, it rises as a cluster of grey-domed hills with terraced sides, whose western feet slope to the sea at Galway Bay. There are no bogs and very few pastures, but instead huge pavements of limestone called clints, their vertical fissures known locally as grikes.
The national park is home to Ireland’s richest flora, and plants that wouldn’t normally be found within a thousand miles of each other grow contentedly in neighbouring cracks and hollows in the limestone pavements and on the hill slopes. There is evidence that people settled here as long ago as the Stone Age, although the porous, almost waterless limestone, scraped smooth by glaciers, has never provided easy living conditions for humans.
Villages are scattered around the fringes: Ballyvaughan on the north coast, Doolin and Lisdoonvarna to the west, and Kilfenora with its Burren Visitor Centre in the south. The N67 crosses the interior from Ballyvaughan to Lisdoonvarna. There are no settlements here, but most interesting historical sites are to be found here.