It’s a question very often asked!!
Well, the word “Burren” comes from the Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place - a place of stone. Really apt with limestone rock covering its surface. It has been described as a lunar/moonlike landscape - very different from other parts of the country.
The Burren in County Clare contains one of the densest concentrations of archaeological remains in Ireland including megalithic tombs early Bronze Age farmsteads, settlements and field walls.
It's a landscape where Arctic, Alpine & Mediterranean flowers and plants grow alongside each other making it a botanist's paradise!! It is also home to a wide variety of mammals. Hares, foxes, bank voles, pine martens can be seen. In summer wild goats roam the hills.
We live in the coastal heart of the Burren - surrounded by ancient ruins, rocks, walls, limestone hills, wildflowers and the Atlantic ocean. We love it here. The Burren always has something that stops you in your tracks! So when the time came for us to begin this adventure - it felt right to call ourselves Into The Burren.
The Burren, covers an area of roughly 360 sq. km (140 sq miles). It is bounded to the West & North by The Atlantic Ocean and Galway Bay. A line from Corofin to Kinfenora to Lisdoonvarna to the coast at Doolin forms its other boundaries.
In 2011, the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher were awarded the designation of Unesco Geopark - this is awarded to sites worldwide considered to be of universal geological importance. The Burren has nine Geosites you can visit. Into The Burren is close to all and right beside one of its favourites - Fanore Beach - with its extensive sand dune system.
Despite the Burren’s harsh, rocky appearance, it’s also known as the ‘fertile rock'. It is well named with its rich variety of flora species that inhabit the area. Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine flowers bloom side by side - another unique feature of the Burren. The Burren in bloom in the summer months is a lovely sight with flowers such as spring gentian, mountain avens, maidenhair fern, and Mediterranean orchid in abundance.
The best way to appreciate the Burren Flora and Fauna is to take a ramble, organised if you wish, over the hills, trails & greenways of this Wild Atlantic Karst landscape.
The Burren National Park is located in the centre of County Clare. Established in 1991, it is the smallest of Irelands five National Parks. It is home to a wealth of incredible attractions, from Poulnabrone Dolmen, Caherconnell Stone Fort to Mullaghmore Mountain. Mullaghmore on the eastern side of the park is a swirl of contorted limestone and is one of the most impressive landmarks in the Burren. There are numerous walking/hiking routes with 5 way-marked walking trails starting at the Mullaghmore trailhead.
During the daytime hares, rabbits, foxes, pine martens and more can be seen. Feral goats rove across the Burren - there can be up to 100 goats in a herd. The native woodlands and hazel scrub offer shelter. Nightime brings out the owls, badgers and other nocturnal animals. Seven species of bats live within the National Park. There is also a wide variety of birdlife here from the smallest wren to the peregrine falcons & kestrels. The seashore is home to numerous colonies of seabirds.
The Burren Way is a 114 km (70 miles) walking long distanced trail located in the Burren area of North Clare. It begins in Lahinch and ends in Corofin crossing one of the largest karst limestone landscapes in Europe. The trail, typically completed in five days, follows a mix of mainly green roads, boreen, droving road, path and forestry track. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail.
Into The Burren is located just off the Burren Way and is the place to stay when hiking some or all of this trail. Fanore beach nearby is a great place for that end of day swim. The beach is the starting point for the Caher Valley Looped Walk, Black Head Looped Walk and the Fanore to Ballyvaughan waymarked trail.
For food lovers, you can eat your way around one of the most unique landscapes in Ireland. Visit farmers markets, cafés, restaurants and gastropubs dotted across the locality on The Burren Food Trail. Experience the true passion for food in this part of the world.
The annual Burren Slow Food Festival gives the opportunity to sample local artisan foods, meet producers and growers, mix with fellow foodies, see cookery demonstrations from well-known chefs and get a true taste of Co. Clare culture in the beautiful setting of the Burren.