There are many routes to and from The Cliffs of Moher and the route below is an example of one of the many road that you can take on your tour of The Burren and The Cliffs of Moher.

Oranmore... Clarinbridge... Kilcolgan... Ballindereen... Kinvara... Dunguaire Castle... Ballyvaughan... Blackhead... Lisdoonvarna... Cliffs of Moher...Poulnabrone Dolmen... Corkscrew Hill... Ballyvaughan... Return to Galway.

This Tour takes us through "The Burren" which is an area of about 500 square kilometers of Lunar-Like Landscape that some have described as one of the Wonders of the World. Its apparent barrenness is host to an internationally famous flora. Its scenery is magnificent. The Cliffs of Moher have to be experienced rather than described. The Burren has a farming history going back to the Stone Age, some 6000 years.

Oranmore was a village outside of Galway less than a lifetime ago, now it is a suburb of one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, yet has managed to maintain its own character including a thatched pub.  Clarinbridge is famous for its Oysters and each year since 1954 it hosts the well known International Oyster Festival.

Next we go to Kilcolgan where we turn off the main southbound road and head into The Burren. Kinvara is derived from the Gaelic "Cinn Mhara" which means "Head of the Sea" a name that gives an insight into its history. It has long associations with the sea and its past is recalled in the Annual Festival  "Cruinniu na mBad" or "The Gathering of the Boats" Probably the most famous landmark in the area is Dunguaire Castle, built in the 1500's, it is open to Visitors from May to October and holds Medieval Banquets.

 

Ballyvaughan has seen many changes over the years, once a fishing village it is now a thriving tourist center and has a definite air of prosperity about it. It's location at the edge of The Burren and the discovery of the nearby Aillwee Caves have certainly been major factors in its development.

We progress to Black Head at the southern entrance to Galway Bay, Black Head is also known as Burren Head and legend has it that it was once the home of "The Banshee Bronach". Our next stop is at Lisdoonvarna, a Town that is comparatively new by Irish standards, dating from the early 19th Century. It is the only active Spa Town in Ireland and developed almost entirely because of its Health Spa. The Town is also famous for its matchmaking and this activity peaks in September at the end of the harvest when bachelor farmers come to find a wife.

 

We now head on to the magnificent Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. The Cliffs rise from Hag's Head in the South reaching a height of over 700 feet just north of O'Brien’s Tower. On a clear day, the view is tremendous: The Aran Islands in Galway Bay to the Hills and Valleys of Connemara in West Galway. At the edge, you can hear booming far below as the waves beat into the soft sandstone and shale. You can also hear many bird sounds as The Cliffs of Moher are home to many species including razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, shags, ravens, choughs and puffins.

O'Brien’s Tower offers a superb view of the awesome face of The Cliffs. It is advisable, even in Summer, to bring some warm clothing as you will be at a considerable height and on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Do bring plenty of films, or nowadays, memory! You can take a ferry trip from Doolin that brings you right under the Cliffs of Moher and gives magnificent sea level views of the cliffs and "The Needle", home to thousands of different nesting seabirds.

From here we go to Kilfenora an area renowned for its Traditional Irish Music. Kilfenora's main claim to fame is its ruined Cathedral and associated High Crosses. There were five High Crosses originally, but one was removed in 1821. The best-known is the Doorty Cross with three bishops and a double-headed bird on the east side; on the west is (possibly) a carving showing Christ entering Jerusalem. Kilfenora is located on the edge of the Burren and the Burren Display Centre, a co-operative local enterprise, has many exhibits displaying features of the locality.

 

Five miles east of Kilfenora we come to Leamaneh Castle. If you look carefully you will see that there are two parts joined together. The original house was built around 1480 and the second part was added around 1640. The most impressive features are the intact stone window frames and "The Murder Hole".

We now visit the Megalithic Poulnabrone Portal Dolmen which is an ancient stone tomb dating between 2000 - 2500 B.C. It is one of the most famous and most photographed Irish dolmens. Poulnabrone translates from Irish as 'The hole of the sorrows'. Then head for "Corkscrew Hill" and back to Galway.

"I called Jim at Ireland West Tours looking specifically for a day touring around Galway to do photography. The minute I mentioned this to Jim, he started talking about light and times of day and I knew I was on to the right person! I trusted Jim with the places he recommended and he did not let me down!"

Jan M., Drogheda, Ireland

 

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Satisfying the customer 

Over the years we have had several compliments on our drivers from many of our satisfied customers. Click on the link to "Tripadvisor" below to read, in full, the reviews of some of our many happy customers.

"Once you experience a private guided tour, you will never consider a coach tour again! Jim is personable, knowledgeable, and an excellent driver. After 7 days in Ireland, I can say my favorite memories are those spent on our private tour. Best money spent was with Ireland West Tours."

Miss Wanderlust, South Carolina, USA

 

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IRELAND WEST TOURS

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