The Burren


Image: A view of the burren landscape.

The Burren Area in Co. Clare is an extremely impressing karst area. It is a region of about 100 square miles in the north of County Clare which is almost completely covered with limestone. It is about 15km from North to South and 20km from East to West.

Image: Karren are large furrows, dissolved by the rain water.

The name Burren means rocky place, like the Slovenian word Karst. Geologists call karst areas like this Bare Karst because of the lack of vegetation. The typical feature of the Burren are limestone pavements or  Karren.

The largest Irish cave so far discovered, Pollnagollum, is over 11km long. It is situated in the Burren, in an area called Slieve Elva, about 20km West of the Aillwee cave. More than 300 caves are known in the Burren.

The Burren has no rivers and no trees, but the flora is nevertheless very interesting. Alpine, scandinavian and mediterranen plants are found side by side. This area has a great amount of megalithic remains. Dolmen and ring forts are frequent, about 2500 archaeological sites are known. Very interesting are single granite blocks, left by the glaciers of the ice age.


 Aillwee Cave |  Doolin Cave

Image: Karren with a megalithic dolmen.

See also


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