One day in Burren – the limestone haven that has everything from cliffs to caves

4 min read…

Yaay! We are back with our 10th travel blog post. A tiny little milestone. Don’t forget to check our other travel posts.

Okay, if you’re our regular reader, I know what you’re asking. And, the answer is – No, we don’t get tired of travelling around Ireland. EVER. Fine, except for driving northbound on M50 after 5 pm. Irish summer always means road trips and beaches.

Situated in County Clare, Burren is most renowned for its glacial-era limestone formations. Since it’s on the Wild Atlantic Way, there are loads of things to do here. Caves, cliffs, ferries, beaches, walking/biking trails, restaurants, and a long stretch of unspoiled rugged scenery. You’re spoilt for choices.

It’s worth spending your weekend in Burren. However, if there’s limited time and you only have one day – you can still get the best of what this region has to offer. We’ve got something for every kind – a cave, 2 beaches, cliffs, walking trails, a ferry ride, and a handmade chocolate factory/café for your sweet tooth. So, here’s what we did, places we visited, places we missed, and some pictures we captured along the way. Let’s get cracking.

  1. Dunguaire Castle (Optional)
  2. Kinvara town – Breakfast
  3. Hazel mountain chocolate factory
  4. Ailwee Cave
  5. Fanore Beach (Optional)
  6. Doolin Cave
  7. Doolin Ferry
  8. Cliffs of Moher
  9. Lahinch beach
  10. Burren National Park

Where did we stay?

We stayed overnight in the beautiful town of Kinvara for an early start on the D-day. There are a lot of BNB’s to choose from. We booked our stay with Fallon’s B&B – a family-owned business. Great rooms, delicious breakfast, and wonderful hosts. If you aren’t interested in staying – we’d highly recommend an early start early from Dublin (or anywhere). Aim to reach Kinvara at 9 am and explore the town and Dunguaire castle before embarking on your journey.

NOTE: You cannot do all that we’ve mentioned in 1 day. So, feel free to skip one of the caves. Also, the ferry from Doolin shows you the Cliffs of Moher. So, if you’re planning to do a hike to the cliffs, skip the ferry ride as the wait times are longer.

Hazel Mountain Chocolate

After your breakfast in Kinvara, head straight to Hazel Mountain (they only open at 10.30 am). They’ve got a great collection of in-house baked cakes and chocolates. There’s also a guided factory tour if you book in advance.

Ailwee Cave

Pricing guide:

We didn’t get tickets to this cave. But, from what we read online, this is worth checking out if you have time. Apart from the obvious cave tour, they also have a farm shop, a ‘birds of prey centre‘ with dynamic flying displays, and even a Hawk walk.

Fanore Beach

Not as crowded as the other beaches, Fanore is famous for avid swimmers and surfers alike. With a huge parking place and public toilets, this could well be considered if you’re looking for a quick short break.

Doolin Cave

Guided tour: 1hr | Price: €17.5 pp.

Doolin Cave is home to the longest free-hanging stalactite in Europe. Would you believe if I said it was formed from a single drop of water over thousands of years? Go on a guided tour and hear the story of how the cave was explored by two young students back in 1952. The tour lasts around 50 mins and there’s also a café.

Doolin Ferry

Guided tour: 1hr | Price: €20 pp.

How about looking at a 700ft tall cliff from a ferry? On this tour, you’d also be looking at Sea Cave from ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ and one of Europe’s largest seabird colonies. We didn’t get to do it this time. But, having gone on the tour before, we’d highly recommend this.

Warning: It gets really busy here and the wait times are usually long.

Cliffs of Moher

Price: €10 pp.

You’re not really in Ireland if you don’t know Cliffs of Moher. This beast requires no introduction. One of Ireland’s most visited tourist attractions, this 700ft tall cliff is the most gorgeous cliff I’ve ever been to. Awestruck is one word, to sum up my experience here. I’ve been here 4 times and I’d definitely do it again.

Warning: The climb to the top of cliffs is moderately strenuous. Wear sturdy boots and carry a bottle of water.

Lahinch Beach

Once you’re tired of all the driving and walking, just get an ice cream, put your feet up and relax at the crescent-shaped sandy Lahinch beach popular for its surfing. There’s a pay & display parking place but once again, this place gets very busy.

Burren National Park

This is for the trek/hike lovers. This 1500 hectare park contains examples of all the major habitats within the Burren: Limestone Pavement, Calcareous Grassland, Hazel scrub, Ash/Hazel Woodland, Turloughs, Lakes, Petrifying Springs, Cliffs and Fen. Since we were already tired, we skipped this. But, don’t be us! Be more adventurous and check this out.

Are you ready for your next trip? Let us know if there are hidden gems in Ireland, we’ll check them out and share our experience with you. The summer’s here, make the most of it. Cheers.

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