The Burren Way is a relatively short walking route of 77 km in County Clare on Ireland’s rugged Atlantic west coast. Walk the best sections of the Burren Way, taking in the famed Cliffs of Moher and the unique limestone escarpment of The Burren.
The tour starts in Liscannor and finishes on the north Clare coast at Ballyvaughan, overlooking Galway Bay.
- Cliffs of Moher
- The Burren Plateau
- The Aran Islands – The three islands of Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer
- Doolin – the heart and soul of Irish traditional music
- The beautifully restored 16th century cylindrical fortified tower house Newtown Castle
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Day 1: Arrival Liscannor
The village of Liscannor is reachable by public bus services from Shannon or Galway airports via Ennis and Lahinch. Liscannor overlooks Liscannor Bay and takes its name from its old castle.
- Accommodation: Cliff View B&B or similar
Day 2: Liscannor to Doolin via Cliffs of Moher | 19 km
Walk along the coastal path overlooking Liscannor Bay and through the farmlands of Kilconnell to reach the cliff path at Hag’s Head. Take in the dramatic scenery as the cliffs rise to over 200 m above the Atlantic. On a clear day, you can see across to the Aran Islands and the waters of Galway Bay and even over to the hills of Connemara. Pass the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre and follow the green road into Doolin village, the home of traditional Irish music. Overnight accommodation in Doolin Village.
- Walking for the day: 19 km, 5 hours, ↑185 m
- Accommodation: Daly’s House or similar
Day 3: Doolin/Aran Islands | 10-14 km
Enjoy a free day in Doolin village with its traditional fishing atmosphere. Or consider a boat trip (not included) to one of the Aran Islands to explore cliffs and limestone formations and island dwellers’ unique culture. Miles of dry stone walls and centuries of history await you!
- Walking for the day (optional): 10/14 km circular route along the Aran Islands Way
- Accommodation: Daly’s House or similar
Day 4: Doolin to Fanore | 20 km
Climb onto the Burren plateau via the old road with beautiful views of the Atlantic coast to the west and east to the scarred limestone hills. Descend to the Caher Valley, one of the few rivers above ground. This section offers views North and West of jagged coastline and unusual “striped” lulls caused by the layering of limestone. Fanore is a gorgeous coastal settlement; golden sands, undulating dunes, stone walls, flagstone rocks. Overnight accommodation in Fanore townland.
Day 5: Fanore Circular Walks | 12 km
Today you have several walking options – or you can take another rest day. A circular walk around Black Head climbs to 1st-century Caher Dun Irghus and Gleninagh Mountain. A gentler route takes you along the coast, following dunes and beaches to the Black Head lighthouse. Then there’s always the chance of an Atlantic swim! Overnight accommodation in Fanore townland.
- Walking for the day: 12 km, 4 hours, ↑320 m
- Accommodation: Sea Coast Lodge or similar
Day 6: Fanore to Ballyvaughan | 16 km
Back into limestone country for the last walk to Ballyvaughan village. Walk over the Khyber Pass before descending by the Rathborney River to the restored 15th century Newtown Castle a stronghold of the O’Loughlin clan. Ballyvaughan is a sheltered fishing port looking across Galway Bay. Overnight accommodation in Ballyvaughan village.
- Walking for the day: 16 km, 4 hours, ↑240 m
- Accommodation: Cappabhaile House or similar
Day 7: Departure
Scheduled bus service to Galway or Ennis for onward connections. Or you can book an extra night and do a circular walk from Ballyvaughan to the 12th century Churches at Oughtamama, Cormcomroe Abbey and enjoy superb views from Turlough Hill (18 km, 5 hours, ↑540 m).
What to Expect
Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming B&Bs and guesthouses. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere, cuisine and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Note that it is sometimes necessary to accommodate you a short walk away from the trail itself, as there is not always suitable accommodation close to the trail. Details will again be given in your pre-departure info pack.
Click to view default hotels
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at the guesthouse you are staying at or at the village inns and restaurants.
Difficulty & terrain
This itinerary is graded moderate and suitable for regular walkers. However, the day you walk via the Cliffs of Moher is more strenuous as the path undulates, and there are many elevation gains and losses. It is important not to stay too close to the edge when walking along the Cliffs of Moher, especially if you have vertigo, as there are no barriers, and it can get very windy. You will be walking along green roads (old cattle drover’s roads), pathways, forest tracks and minor tarmac roads. Overall about 1/2 of the route follows quiet and scenic rural roads. This is unavoidable because rights of way are almost non-existent in Ireland (read more about difficulty grades). The routes are generally well waymarked, and the itinerary is easy to follow. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available from mid-April till mid-October.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your journey on any date during the season. The walk is popular, so it is best to book as far in advance as you can.
Click to view travel options
- Dublin Airport is easily accessible from the UK, with several low-cost airlines covering the route as well as scheduled international carriers.
- Irish Ferries also operate from Holyhead to Dublin.
- From Dublin Airport there is a good bus service to Dublin city centre. Board a Citylink bus to Galway (2-3). Then, buses are available from Galway to Liscannor (2.5h). You can also take a train from Galway to Ennis (approx 2.5h) and then a bus from Ennis to Liscannor.
- Shannon Airport: Flights are available to Shannon Airport from Dublin, Bristol, Manchester, London Heathrow and Birmingham, and Boston and New York JFK. There are buses available from Shannon Airport to Liscannor (2.5h).
- Ballyvaughan is a one-hour bus ride away from Galway. There are just two buses per day to Galway. Once you are in Galway, you can take a bus to Shannon Airport (1.5h). Galway is also accessible to Dublin Airport (2.5h) by Citylink bus. See website links above for up-to-date schedules.
- See Bus Éireann, Citylink and Irish Rail for details or use the Omio planner above.
- 6 nights in private en-suite rooms (B&Bs and guesthouses)
- 6 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 18 kg per person)
- Detailed journey documentation and practical information (1:50000 maps)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Transfers to Liscannor or from Ballyvaughan
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras & supplements
- A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is available for solo travellers by request only; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request