Discover the beauty of the Irish countryside and get your fill of flora, fauna and artisan food

Derived from the Gaelic word for rocky land, the Burren is Ireland’s smallest national park. Here, tiny wildflowers pierce through the limestone, mountains soar into the clouds and valleys provide refuge for the wildlife. Whether you’re searching for picturesque hikes or coastal adventures, look no further than the Burren.

Things to Do

Explore the Burren’s landscape on gently undulating paths along the shore or, for avid hikers, on trails up into the mountains. If you’re feeling brave, head to the cliffs of Moher and attempt the ascent up the rockface. While you’re there, climb to the top of O’Brien’s tower and you’ll be rewarded with views across the Aran Islands. Don’t forget to pack your water gear when you visit Ballyvaughn Bay. Here, you can scuba dive, sail or windsurf the days away. And if you have a car, driving the 2,500km stretch of coastal road along the Atlantic Way is a must.   

With all this countryside, there’s plenty of opportunities to switch off from the buzz of everyday and reconnect with nature. You’ll be surrounded by wildlife from the moment you arrive in the Burren, from birds including peregrine falcons, kestrels and merlins to the stoats, mink, and badgers you might spot running through the shrubs. As you walk the coastal paths, keep an eye out for the dolphins too – if you’re lucky, you might even see a whale.

When it comes to food, the Burren ticks all the boxes. Its freshest food comes from farmers markets; try Ballyvaughn or Ennistymon to find produce from the area’s booming community cottage food industry. You could feast on anything from smoked salmon to honey and jams. Be sure to find time for the award-winning Burren Food Trail too.

Top Tip from SLH

Explore the wonders of the Ailwee caves and stock up on Burren Gold cheese – made and sold inside the cavern.