Ireland

Trip to the Burren National Park

Moon landscape and castles

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Trip to the Burren National Park
Inserted: 02.06.2018
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General Ludlow said of the Burren landscape: „There is not a single tree on which to hang a man, there is not enough water to drown him, nor enough clay to bury him.“ County Clare, south of Galway towards the well-known Cliff of Moher. This area covers a relatively large area and only a small part falls under the National Park, yet in the vicinity you will find several attractions that are worth a visit.

Dunguaire Castle

On the way to the Burren area, we drive south from Galway to County Clare. After about half an hour's drive, Dunguaire Castle in Kinnvara is a short stop right on the route. The 16th-century castle is in a well-preserved condition and offers a short tour with an entrance.

Dunguaire Castle
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Stone mountains

Furthermore, our path turns more inland, where the stone mountains so typical of this area of the Burren begin. We drive through a rolling landscape along the rising mountains, at the foot of which sits pastures full of cattle.

Stone mountains
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com

Hazel groves

Following the serpentines, which are generally a rarity in the Irish flat landscape of pastures, we drive to the top of the plain, from where we have a view of a distant landscape full of low hazelnut trees, to which the area is very fertile. The nuts are wild and so do not grow to the size of trees. The groves have been here for thousands of years and the first inhabitants who settled here used them extensively as a source of livelihood. Today, you will find several chocolate factories that add nuts to chocolates.

Hazel groves
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com
Poulnabrone dolmen
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com

Poulnabrone dolmen

Probably the biggest highlight on our journey through the Burren is the Poulnabrone dolmen, a gantry tomb – one of about 172 in Ireland. Its age is estimated at the Neolithic period, probably between 4200 BC and 2900 BC. It is located on the R480 about 8 km south of Ballyvaughan. The tomb was used both for the burial of important people and for ritual ceremonies.

Moon Landscape

The landscape around the tomb is similar to the lunar landscape created here a thousand years ago by a glacier that cracked a rock into individual stone slabs.

Moon Landscape
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

The ruins of Leamanagh Castle

One of the attractions to stop along the R480 is the ruins of Leamanagh Castle. You will find it at the very beginning of the road from south back to north towards Galway. Access to the building is not possible for security reasons, but it still provides insight into times long past.

The ruins of Leamanagh Castle
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Lakes

There are also several picturesque lakes, such as those created for fishing or boating. We also enjoyed a beautifully colored sunset at Lake Inchiquin.

Lakes
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com
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