Walk The Burren Way along Ireland’s wild Atlantic coastline and experience nature in its purest form
Cross the distinctive and moon-like Burren landscape, the largest expanse of limestone paving in the world
Discover ancient Neolithic and early Christian monuments, fascinating caves and underground rivers
Take the ferry to Inishmore and visit the Stone Age Fort of Dun Aonghasa
Experience traditional Irish music sessions in Doolin, the world-renowned traditional music capital of Ireland
The Burren Way: Self-guided walking holiday
This 7-day hiking trip follows the Burren Way walking trail along Ireland’s wild and rugged Atlantic west coast. As well as exhilarating walking, you will enjoy a fantastic mix of spectacular scenery, inspirational music, tradition, heritage and ‘craic’. You will discover the unique lunar landscape of the Burren National Park, the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher and the Gaelic-speaking Aran Islands.
The word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. You will soon understand why, when you witness the vast expanse of exposed limestone stretching for miles around you. Despite its barren appearance, however, it is also known as ‘The Fertile Rock’, due to its rich treasury of rare wild flowers. Over the years, rain falling on this karst limestone landscape has worked its way down through the soluble rock to erode caves and form a network of underground rivers and lakes. You will have the opportunity to witness some of these with a visit to the Ailwee Cave during your final walking day.
|7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS||From €549 per person sharing|
*This is an additional charge that applies to walkers booking single accommodation (a room for one person).
|ACCOMMODATION||The B&Bs on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, comfort and character. They all offer a warm Irish welcome to walkers, as well as a hearty breakfast to set you up for your day ahead.|
|AVAILABILITY||You can start this trip on any day of the week, subject to availability, between mid-March and mid-October.|
The Burren Way follows a mix of mainly Green Roads (old cattle drover’s roads), pathways, old roadways and minor roads.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive in Lahinch and overnight.
Lahinch is a popular surfing and tourist village situated on the west coast of County Clare and an ideal starting point for the Burren Way. Public transport information will be provided with your information pack.
Day 2: Transfer to Liscannor and walk to Doolin via the Cliffs of Moher
Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 450 m | Approximate walking time 5 hrs 30 min
A short transfer takes you to the start of the Burren way in the nearby village of Liscannor. Starting from Liscannor, you initially follow a country road overlooking Liscannor Bay, then through the farmland of Kilconnell to join the cliff path at Hags Head. A narrow path then winds along the awesome Cliffs of Moher as they rise over 200 vertical metres from the raging ocean below. This path is quite undulating but, on a clear day, you will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views over the Aran Islands and the hills of Connemara beyond.
Overnight in the lively seaside town of Doolin and be sure to take in a music session in the town renowned as the traditional music capital of Ireland.
Day 3: Visit to Aran Islands
Loop walk or cycle on Inishmore
Take the morning ferry from Doolin to Inishmore (Inis Mór in Irish), the largest and most popular of the Gaelic-speaking Aran Islands. A gentle coastal walk takes you past a colony of local seals to the Stone Age round Fort of Dun Aonghasa, spectacularly located atop the vertical sea cliffs. It is now a semi-circle as half of it has been swept into the sea.
If you wish to see more of the island then cycling is a good option as the island is relatively flat and the roads are extremely quiet. You can rent bicycles from right next to the ferry port at a cost of €10 for the day.
You will have a chance to purchase a traditional Aran sweater in the port village of Kilronan before taking the ferry back to Doolin.
Day 4: Doolin to Fanore
Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 270 m | Approximate walking time 6 hrs
Today’s walk takes you onto the plateau of the Burren itself and traverses under Slieve Elva, the highest mountain in the area. Some road walking initially, along rural Irish roads called “boreens”. This is followed by rugged terrain along deserted hill paths and tracks, all the time with fantastic views back towards the Atlantic Ocean.
Overnight in the tiny seaside village of Fanore, where a warm welcome is sure to await you.
Day 5: Fanore to Ballyvaughan
Distance: 20 km | Ascent: 300 m | Approximate walking time 5 hrs 30 min
Today’s walking is mostly along quiet country roads that loop around Black Head and a small cliff-top lighthouse, from where you again enjoy magnificent views over Galway Bay across to the Connemara Mountains. The track joins an old path taking you through the Gleninagh Valley and past the 16th century Newtown Castle before arriving in Ballyvaughan.
Overnight in Ballyvaughan, a quiet fishing port on the southern shores of Galway Bay.
Day 6: Ballyvaughan Wood Loop
Distance: 9 km | Ascent: 40 m | Approximate walking time 3 hrs
A circular trail, starting and finishing in Ballyvaughan. The first section goes through a network of small fields dotted with wildflowers and ancient Ringforts and with the distinctive stone walls of the Burren forming ancient field systems. You can take a slight detour to Ailwee Cave, one of the oldest caves in Ireland, with passages of more than 1km.
Day 7: Departure