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Trip List by Sarnia G

Half Day Tour of the Burren, Starting and Ending in Doolin

20 May 2010  by SarniaG : I "Heart" Ireland
3.5 of 5 stars based on 1 vote

This is for those of you who have driven from Dingle to Doolin, and may have just half a day in which to see some of the highlights of the Burren region.

This would also be an ideal half day tour for those of you arriving in Shannon in the morning, and heading up to see the Cliffs of Moher. Have a break for a couple of hours before doing this drive, and spending the night in Doolin before moving on.

Please note: distances are taken from the aa routeplanner and drive times are only an estimation. The roads through the Burren are single lane, narrow and winding, and travel can be terribly slow if there are farm vehicles on the road.

  • 1. Doolin
    Doolin, The Burren

    You will probably have stopped at the Cliffs of Moher on your way up the coast of county Clare.

    On leaving the Cliffs car park, turn right (R478), and drive towards Doolin village, turning left (R479) at the junction with the petrol station on your right.
    This road will take you down the hill to a junction with Fitzgerald's pub on your right.

    Turn right and drive past Tir Gan Ean Hotel, McGann's pub and McDermott's pub.

    Continue up the hill past the Church and the entrance to Doolin Cave until you come to a junction. As you approach this junction if you look to your right you will see Ballinalacken Castle on the skyline.

    At the Junction, turn left (R477) and follow the winding road down to the coast and along to Fanore beach. If you fancy a stroll along a beautiful beach, this is one of the nicest in the area.

    Cliffs of Moher - Fanore : approx. 20km, 35 minutes.

  • 2. Fanore
    Fanore, The Burren

    From Fanore continue along the coast road R477 around Black Head to Ballyvaughan Village. This route will give you lovely views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and on a clear day the mountains of Connemara in the distance.

    There is a parking place on the left-hand side just before Black Head where you can wander down to the shore. A particularly nice spot in Spring/Summer when you will discover exquisite flowers growing in the grykes.

    Fanore - Ballyvaughan : 15km, approx. 30 minutes

  • 3. Ballyvaughan
    Ballyvaughan, The Burren

    Ballyvaughan is a pretty village on the shore of Galway Bay, with the limestone hills of the Burren behind it. There are a couple of nice gift shops in the village, and a well-equipped Tourist Office located opposite Logue's Lodge.

    From Ballyvaughan take the N67 (direction Lisdoonvarna) for a short while, before turning left onto the R480 (you will see a large sign to Aillwee Cave at the junction).

    This narrow winding road will take you past the iconic Poulnabrone megalithic tomb on your left (small car park and information board), and further down the road on the right you will see Caherconnell Stone Fort (admission fee).

    The road ends at the junction with the R476 and on your right you will see the remains of Leamaneh Castle, which is privately owned. There is a small space by the side of the road if you wish to stop briefly to take photos.

    Ballyvaughan - Leamaneh : 17km, 30 minutes.

  • 4. Kilfenora
    Kilfenora, The Burren

    Turn right onto the R476, and drive to Kilfenora village which is where you will find the Burren Centre, and Kilfenora Cathedral (ruin) with it's acclaimed High Crosses.
    Factor in min. 1hr if you wish to visit the Centre and the Cathedral.

    Leamaneh - Kilfenora : 6km, 10 minutes.

  • 5. Doolin
    Doolin, The Burren

    Time to head back to Doolin.

    Take the R476 direction Lisdoonvarna for approx. 8.5km.
    Bear left onto R478 just outside Lisdoonvarna town for approx. 4.8km.
    Turn right onto R479 and you will be driving down into Doolin Village once again!

    Kilfenora - Doolin : 15km, approx. 30 minutes.