Burren National ParkApprox. Time: 4 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

Geologically the Burren consists of a sequence of massively bedded Carboniferous limestones, dipping gently to the south. The landforms owe much to glacial erosion during the Quaternary ice ages, as well as to the effects of limestone dissolution. Drainage is almost entirely underground and there are well developed cave systems.

From a botanical point of view the Burren is one of the most fascinating regions of Western Europe. Many of the plants found in the Burren occur nowhere else in Ireland and the combination of plants usually found in Arctic regions or on high mountains with other species from southern Europe is remarkable. The Burren flora includes the Maidenhair Fern (a warm temperate plant), a mediterranean orchid, Mountain Aven (a true arctic-alpine plant), Spring Gentian (an alpine plant), Hoary Rock-Rose, Bloody Cranesbill and Dark Red Helleborine. Late May and early June is the best time to see the flora of the Burren in full glory.

The fauna is less spectacular but also interesting. Insects include the Burren Green Moth (found nowhere else in Britain and Ireland) and the Pearl Bordered Fritillary butterfly. There are also many Pine Martens in the Burren, a few of which have been translocated to Killarney National Park in the past.