Ecology and Batanology, the Burren

Guests to Ireland are recommended to pay a visit and enjoy the history and beauty that County Clare has to offer. Its stunning landscapes, lakes, caves and cliffs make it a popular and picturesque area of the Emerald Isle. It is a region that is famous for its folk music as well as a numerous range of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy.

People staying in Dublin but wanting to drive to the county can hire a car from one of the Dublin Airport car hire companies and travel to the west coast to take in the spectacular scenery.

One of the areas most prevalent attractions is The Burren, a 500 square mile section of karstic limestone. It is situated in the northwest corner of County Clare and is popular with ecologists and botanists thanks to its unique plant life and rock formations.

The ground surface of The Burren is a floor of grey rock which contains long parallel grooves, known as grykes. One of the most stunning natural features of the district sees rainwater seep through the porous rocks to the underground caves and lakes that swell with overflow and appear as full lakes that disappear after the rain.

Visitors can walk the 26 mile ‘Burren Way’ from Ballyvaughn to Liscannor and discover the history of ancient civilization. Along the route people will see a number of stone dolmens, ring forts, crannogs, churches, monasteries and holy wells, with The Burren containing over 60 Stone Age burial monuments and 400 Iron Age ring forts.

Other places of interest around this area include the Alwee Caves, which were discovered in the 1940’s and include caverns, underground waterfalls and formations of stalagmites and stalactites. The remains of brown bears were also discovered in the caves, despite the animals being extinct in Ireland for thousands of years. These caves are open for guided tours.

Those people enjoying The Burren who have a liking for music should visit the small port village of Doolin which is famous for the quality of traditional music that is played during sessions at the three local pubs. A ferry to the Aran Islands can also be boarded from the village.