A perfect weekend in June, 18-20C and sunny, may have clouded my judgment, but I rate this road trip to the Burren as “worth the journey”.
The journey started in Oranmore and generally proceeded towards Doolin with a detour to see Aillwee Caves (yellow hill caves) and the Poulnaborne Dolmen (hole of the quern stones). The mid-way point was at a B&B in Doolin. The way home started with a visit to the Cliffs of Moher followed by an exploration of the backroads of the Burren and a visit to Caherconnell Stone Fort (yes it is only 1 km away from the Poulnaborne Dolmen).
Here is the map:
View Road Trip #3 - Burren Region in a larger map
We started out about mid-day from Oranmore to the Aillwee Caves, a good example of the caves of the Burren. The tour was about ½ hour and is not too bad for those who can control their claustrophobia. I’ve experienced better tourist cave visits, but this was just the right distance from Oranmore and had a store selling Burren Gold at the end of the tour…a good excuse for a picnic of great cheese and crackers. The same location also has a birds-of-prey exhibit that we did not see, but I’ve heard is highly rated.
Flow Stone in Aillwee Cave
We then headed to the Poulnaborne Dolmen that is a great example of an almost intact portal tomb from around the Neolithic period. These tombs apparently held multiple bodies and were the center of the ceremonial life for that period and later. Check out wikipedia for more info.
The trip to Doolin and to our Bed & Breakfast was another 45 minutes. We had great accommodations along the Aillwee river, close to our favorite restaurant in Ireland, about 2 minutes from several pubs and about a 10 minute walk from the pub famous for it’s Trad music, Gus O’Connor’s Pub in downtown Doolin.
We stayed at O’Connors B&B, a very clean, comfortable and updated B&B along the Aillwee River. At breakfast, my scrambled eggs with smoked salmon were great, and Carol’s traditional Irish breakfast….was a traditional Irish breakfast. We had fresh fruit and the coffee was good. The view out the back was a green field, and at the end of the building was the river. The back featured a very comfortable patio where one could enjoy a beer or a Bulmer’s either brought from home, or bought at the “off license” down the street. I would rate this B&B a 4 out of 5.