SELF GUIDED TOUR
The perfect way for the independent explorer to see our hidden gems & discover the many paths less travelled.
5 nights stay, 4 days hiking
Participants need to have a good level of fitness and previous hiking experience is recommended.
“Accommodation is well above standard, got spoilt! Overall excellence.”
– Leslie, USA, 2015
Burren’ is derived from the Irish word boireann meaning ‘place of stone’, and the name could not be more apt. There is no part of Ireland where rock so obviously dominates the landscape as it does in the Northwest corner of County Clare.
The Burren covers an area of some 260 square kilometres and is famous for its bare limestone pavements dissected by deep crevices and traversed by countless stone walls. Almost devoid of trees and surface water, it has been described as ‘lunar’ in its appearance, an ancient limestone plateau beneath which is a labyrinth of pot-holes, caves, streams and lakes. Surprisingly, this bizarre and apparently hostile environment is a botanist’s paradise as around ¾ of Ireland’s plant species are found in the Burren (more than any other region).
Although the Aran Islands belong to Co. Galway, geologically they are similar to the Burren with many of the fields consisting of little more than bare limestone. The islanders have eked out a living by improving the soil over generations with sand and seaweed.
Aran is also a bastion of Irish culture. Irish is still the everyday language of most islanders, making it the strongest Gaeltacht in the country. Many traditions that have been lost on the mainland have been maintained here. It also has a wealth of archaeological and historical remains, notably its prehistoric stone forts and Early Christian sites. Aran has been a Mecca for scholars and discerning travellers ever since Millington Synge’s depiction of the islanders’ life in The Playboy of the Western World.
If you would like a longer hiking holiday you should check out our 8-Day Self-Guided Burren Aran Connemara Hike
Click the days below to reveal more information.
Arrive to Doolin where you will be spending your first night. On arrival to your first accommodation, your hostess will give you your full Detailed Information pack. She will also be able to recommend some of the excellent local restaurants and suggest some of the pubs where you will find great traditional Irish music.
Access for this holiday is made by a taxi or bus connection from Galway or Shannon Airports to Doolin. This service is available all year round.
From your guesthouse you will walk to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre. From here you follow the “Burren Way” along the cliff tops to Hags Head and return by the same route, but enjoying a completely different panorama. Once back at the visitor centre, you will then be transferred back to your accommodations.
Walk Details: Distance: 16kms. Max. Height: Level, descending at end of day. Some road walking, muddy and rocky grass tracks, can be wet underfoot. Boots essential. Walking close to exposed cliff edge.
After Breakfast, you will be transferred to the pier in Doolin for the Ferry to Inis Oir, the smallest of the Aran Island, but an Island with lovely walks and people, where history, culture and Celtic remains are all around. Collected on the return in the evening for your B&B. Overnight in Doolin.
Walk Details. A flat walk around the Western side of the Island in the morning and another two hours walk in the Eastern side of the Island in the afternoon. Boots optional
You will be driven a short distance from your guesthouse to the start of your walk at Ballinalacken Castle. From here you follow the “Burren Way” along old green roads into the heart of the Burren, with wonderful limestone pavements and walls all around you. There are fantastic views over Galway Bay and the Aran Islands as you continue on, passing Fermoyle Chapel, to Lismacsheedy. Old ring forts can be found along the way as you continue on past the impressive Newtown Castle and finish in Ballyvaughan. Overnight in Ballyvaughan.
Walk Details: Distance: 20 kms. Max. Ascent: 250m. Some road walking, muddy and rocky grass tracks, can be wet underfoot. Boots essential.
A short drive will take you to the start of today’s walk. Walking across Moneen Mountain and continuing on over to the magnificent Turlough Hill with it’s Iron Age Ring Fort – you then descend to the historical Corcomroe Abbey to finish your walk at Bell Harbour. Return to Ballyvaughan for overnight.
Walk Details: Distance: 18kms. Max. Ascent: 280m. Rocky walking with no clear path a lot of the way. Some road walking. Boots essential.
After breakfast, depart for onward journey, either Airport or further holiday. All transfer details/information/details provided if required. Private transfer arranged if required.