Old forts, new love, a wall facing the west of the world and a lunar landscape. Sounds like science fiction, but it’s Clare
Things To Do
Clare is home to a few hot spots along the Irish tourism trail that are not to be missed. As a testament to the diversity of the Irish landscape, the Burren is a truly unique setting. A sea of rock interrupted by sparse pockets of plant-life of Mediterranean, Alpine and Artic origin, dotted with megalithic tombs, portal dolmens and ring forts, the Burren must be seen to be believed. Located in the heart of the Burren In County Clare. Forty minutes from both Galway and Shannon. Perched high on its Burren terraced mountain side with what has to be one of the most spectacular views of Galway Bay. It is a must for all who find themselves in the area.
The Burren is a place full of wonder, beauty and discovery. Let the staff at AILLWEE CAVE welcome you to the dramatic underworld of this area. Expert guides will accompany and inform you during your leisurely tour. The tour consists of a 30 minute stroll through the beautiful caverns – over bridged chasms, under weird formations and alongside the thunderous waterfall which sometimes gently sprays the unsuspecting visitor! Unique Cave Features Marvel at the frozen waterfall and explore the now extinct brown bears bones (ursos arctos).
For more information on the caves see https://www.aillweecave.ie/aillweecave.html
Europe’s western wall facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Cliffs of Moher is a dizzying and exhilarating sight. The sheer 200 meter drop to the rocks below is not for the faint of heart, but is for anyone who has an interest in nature at her most dramatic.
For a gentler connection with the water, taking a boat cruise down the Shannon River, or fishing on Lough Derg, are fantastic ways to soak up the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
The Aran Islands are unmissable for anyone interested in the history of Ireland. These islands are outdoor museums dedicated to Ireland’s heritage. The hilltop forts of Dún Aengus and Dún Chonchúir are among the oldest archaeological remains in the country and today the islands defend an older, more traditional way of life from encroaching modernity.
The residents of Lisdoonvarna know all about being encroached upon. Every September, the 822 residents brave the invasion of 40,000 romantic hopefuls, bachelor farmers and curious onlookers during its Matchmaking Festival. Like the neighbouring Cliffs of Moher, it is also a dizzying and exhilarating experience.
Places to Stay
Hidden Ireland Historic Country Guest Houses
Bed and Breakfast
On the edge of the Burren you’ll ﬁnd Mount Vernon, a lovely Georgian villa with ﬁne views over Galway Bay. Formerly owned by Lady Gregory (of Abbey Theatre fame), the house has antique furniture and paintings, and chimney pieces built by Augustus John, while the comfortable bedrooms have lovely garden or sea views. Crab, lobster, scallops and monkﬁsh appear regularly on the menu, both for regular guests and for the small private house parties which are a speciality of the house. Guided walks though the Burren’s magical moonscape are available: these are a wonderful way to learn about the unique ﬂora of the region.