If you find yourself in The Burren, waste the day away getting lost in the wistful beauty of idyllic landscapes. These are the best spots in the Burren that are off the beaten track.
The Burren is a historically and geographically notorious landscape in County Clare in the west of Ireland. Its prominent features and beautiful scenery make it a golden refuge for locals and tourists alike.
While most people may think of the beautiful Cliffs of Moher, Father Ted’s House, or the Mullaghmore Mountain when they picture the Burren, there is much more to discover for those looking to lose themselves in this natural paradise.
Here are five best spots in The Burren that are off the beaten track.
5. The Flaggy Shore, Finavarra – an awe-inspiring retreat for poets and writers
As Seamus Heaney indicates in his poem ‘Postscript’:
“And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore.”
When strolling along this celestial coastal roadway, make sure to have cameras at the ready.
With the Atlantic Ocean and Galway Bay one side and the rugged Burren landscape the other, you can clearly see just why Seamus Heaney was inspired.
As indeed were W.B Yeats and his good friend Lady Gregory. The pair owned a summer house along the shore called ‘Mount Vernon’
Make sure to look out for the exotic Gentians (blooming in April) and even the odd seal. After a bracing walk, check out the well-known local restaurant ‘Linnane’s Lobster Bar’.
Here, you can catch some tasty local sourced food whilst looking out at the beautiful Galway Bay, and maybe even fit in some traditional music.
Address: Flaggy Shore, Newquay, Co. Clare, Ireland
4. Doolin Pier, Doolin – one of the best spots in the Burren
Home of Traditional music, Doolin Village boasts a colourfully quaint town. Here, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, pubs, shops and attractions to see and do.
The village also boasts some exquisite views. If you’re coming from Liscannor, travel down to Doolin Pier, and take the ferry to the nearby Aran islands.
Picture yourself gazing upon the mighty Cliffs of Moher on a sunny day, or viewing 16th-century Doonagore castle perching proudly atop the hill.
Address: Ballaghaline, Co. Clare, Ireland
3. Murroghtoohy Viewpoint, Fanore – a heart-stopping 15km stretch
Nestled along the Coast road between Ballyvaughan and Fanore Village is a Wild Atlantic Way viewpoint known as Murroughtoohy.
The Coast Road between Ballyvaughan and Fanore is roughly 15 km (9 miles) of wondrous scenery that, no matter the weather, will have you stopping numerous times to take the cameras out.
Notice the colour of the sea change with the temperamental Western Weather, the limestone pavements, and random boulder placements from Glacial Erosion over 10,000 years ago.
Keep an eye out for Wild Irish goats too.
Address: Murrooghtoohy North, Co. Clare, Ireland
2. Abbey Hill Road, Bell Harbour – a haven on a summer’s evening
A well-known route for locals, this gem is the perfect look-out for viewing the rugged coastline between Clare and Galway.
Pack your hiking boots and take on the road, with Abbey Hill to your left (so called because of the historical landmark ‘Corcomroe Abbey’ tucked in the other side of the mountain), and the bay to your right.
Keep going until you reach the local parish church, where breathtaking views of the countryside will greet you. On a beautiful summer’s evening, with the sun setting and only the noise of cattle, it’s the perfect retreat to get away from it all.
Address: Abbey Road, Co. Clare
1. Gortaclare Mountain, Bell Harbour – its flowers are found nowhere else in the world
One of the highest mountain ranges in the Burren, the Gortaclare mountain offers a spectacular view for miles.
Keep an eye out for a herd of an ancient breed of goats, hares and foxes. Most of all though, explore the mountain to find the entrancing plethora of rare flowers that only grow here in the Burren.
The peaceful landscape here changes all year round, from multicoloured floral carpets in late Spring/Summer, to lush grass for the cattle to graze in late Autumn/Winter.
This completely unique way of life makes it one of the best spots in the Burren.
Address: Coolnatullagh, Co. Clare, Ireland