The Burren, Boireann, meaning ‘great rock’ is based in northwest County Clare and is one of the world’s truly unique places.
It is a vast land covered in limestone pavement and has been referred to as fertile rock due to the mixture of nutrient rich herbs and floral species present there. The Burren is roughly 1500 hectares in size and is free for all visitors all year round. It is a place of tranquility and quiet and free guided walks are offered which are hugely popular among the first time visitors.
There are seven walking trails at the Burren in total. Five trails start from Gortlecka Crossroads (Mullaghmore Crossroads) and two trails start from Slieve Carran (Keelhilla Nature Reserve). Whether you are looking for a brisk thirty minute trail or a long three hour hike over limestone mountains there are plenty to choose from. The map and trail is available to view here http://www.burrennationalpark.ie/images/TrailsMap.jpg and can be helpful in planning your visit.
A recommended trail for first timers is the Green Arrow Route, otherwise known as the nature trail.
Each of the trails are signposted with colour-coded arrows to differentiate. This mobile phone app guides visitors through the moderate grade (there are two grades) 40 minute walk, pointing out places of interest and details of flora and fauna on the interactive map. The walk itself involves a 20m climb and covers a total distance of 2km. Download for free on itunes. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-burren/id705973027?mt=8
If you are looking to be a bit more adventurous, why not try the Red Route (Mullaghmore Traverse), 6km in distance and three hours in total.
This trail traverses Mullaghmore mountain and is predominantly in remote upland areas and is one of the most difficult trails. The route is suitable for competent mountain walkers with a good level of fitness and includes steep slopes which can be very variable.
Whatever your preference, you can be guaranteed to experience the amazing ecosystem and extremely unusual habitat of the Burren. Been on one of the trails? Let us know how you got on! https://www.facebook.com/doolinferry or tweet us at https://twitter.com/doolinferry. We would love to hear from you!