Things To Do & Places To See in Clare – Burren, Fanore & Ballyvaughan

Murrough, Co. Clare

View over Fanore from Murrough Mountain

County Clare

County Clare in the heart of the west coast of Ireland and on the Wild Atlantic Way provides an exciting choice of activities, attractions and year round festivals and events.  Clare’s soul is steeped in traditional Irish culture and music.  And it’s not just a show for tourists. In little villages like Fanore, Doolin and Ballyvaughan you’ll find pubs with year-round sessions of traditional music.

Discover the glorious UNESCO Burren, The Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, O’Brien’s Tower, Poulnabron Dolmen, Loop Head, Scattery Island and the list goes on and on.

Clare combines the stunning natural beauty of its long, meandering coastline with the unique Burren landscape and wraps it up in a blanket of Irish culture.

west burren

“Erratic” Boulder on the mountain overlooking Fanore to the West

The Burren

The Burren, meaning “great rock” is a unique limestone paved region in northwest County Clare and measures up to 560 square kilometres (220 sq mi)..

The Burren is a magical place. It is created from huge slabs of limestone which were formed in the warm shallow seas of the Carboniferous ocean 340 million years ago.  These limestone pavements are eroded in a distinctive pattern and the pavement is crisscrossed by cracks known as grykes.  Underneath the pavement there are huge caves and rivers constantly flowing

The Burren contains dozens of megalithic tombs and relics of life of 5,000 years ago in the mountains and coastal areas.   Poulnabron Dolmen, just outside of Ballyvaughan, being the most famous of these tombs.  You can find villages abandoned since famine times and green roads on which you can walk for miles.  And if you visit in springtime you will see the Burren in Bloom with an exotic mix of rare flowers, such as gentian, orchids and bloody cranesbill, from different habitats and climate zones.

blackhead point

View over Blackhead and Caherdooneerish Stone Fort from the Mountain

Fanore / Ballyvaughan

Fanore and Ballyvaughan are small seaside villages on the North West coast of Clare. Fanore has a long beach and extensive sand dune system. It is a popular swimming spot. The Caher River enters the sea at Fanore. This river travels down the Caher Valley which is one of the Burren’s finest sites for observing the true Burren scenery as well as Burren Flora and geology.

Fanore is a haven for anglers who enjoy fishing from the rocks along this coast road. This area is a real unspoilt haven.

There is lots to see and do in the area such as Aillwee Cave, Doolin Cave, The Burren perfumery,  Poulnabron Dolmen, a trip to the Aran Islands, The Cliffs of Moher, (only 20 minutes drive)  not the mention the many beautiful scenic walks and tracks.  However for those who do not have the ability or time to for these strenuous walks, Burren Mountain Tours is the ideal option. Choose from a driving or easy walking tour.

(All photos on this page taken by Michael Foley on our mountain)