The Burren are about 500 sq.kms of lunar-like limestone landscape in the North of County Clare and surely one of the greatest Irish attractions.
Its apparent bareness nurtures an internationally famous flora. Among the most exotic and unexpected is the Mountain Aven, whose main habitat is northern Scandinavia and the Spring Gentian, whose natural home is in the slopes of the Alps.
A near neighbour is the Maidenhair Fern, a stranger from the Mediterranean cosily nurtured in the sparse damp soil in the warm shelter of the Fissures.
When Stone Age farmers settled in the Burren they found the area forested. By late medieval times the felling of timber and the grazing of cattle produced to-days skeletal landscape.
Man has left a mass of evidence of having lived on the Burren for thousands of years.
Material remains abound, including megalithic tombs, stone and earth ring forts, round towers, medieval churches, monasteries and castles. Burials took place in Poulnabrone and other dolmens over a period of 600 years from 5200 to 5800 years ago.The Burren and Cliffs of Moher have recently been granted Geopark status.