Burren Beauty Drive
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The Burren Beauty Drive will bring you through mountainous terrain, beautiful sea views and unspoilt valleys. The purple route encircles the Burren, beginning at the ancient cathedral town of Kilfenora with its excellent Burren Interpretive Centre.
The north western corner of County Clare, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the quieter waters of Galway Bay, is a rock garden of no ordinary proportions. The Burren extends over more than a hundred square miles and most of it is bare, pale grey limestone.
The Burren Beauty (purple drive) takes in Kilfenora, Lisdoonvarna, Fanore, Black Head, Ballyvaughan, Carran and returning to Kilfenora. A distance of 68km (42 miles), approximately.
Your route encircles the Burren, beginning at the ancient cathedral town of Kilfenora with its excellent Burren Interpretive Centre.
The road westward leads through the spa town of Lisdoonvarna. Signposts for Fanore and Black Head show the way to the coast. Stop anywhere and enjoy the Atlantic air and amazing landscape. When travelling around Black Head watch out for the little lighthouse below the road and the distant hills of Connemara across Galway Bay.
A few kilometres westward lies the charming coastal village of Ballyvaughan, a perfect spot to break your journey and to explore the Aillwee Cave. From Aillwee the road south will bring you past the ancient monuments of The Poulnabrone Dolmen and Caherconnell Stone Fort. You could also visit the delightful Burren Perfumery in Carran for an extra sensory experience. To the south of Poulnabrone the ruins of Lemaneh Castle stand by the roadside.
A right turn there would bring you back to Kilfenora completing the circuit. But the left turn sets you on the way to Ennis. Passing the beautiful Lough Inchiquin you come to Corofin where the Clare Heritage Centre offers a genealogical research service. Round off your trip in Ennis where you'll have your choice of accommodation and fine dining.
Route can be travelled in any direction and from any starting point. Map illustrations are intended as a guide only and routes should be travelled in conjunction with reference to a good road map of Ireland.