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Western Ireland

The coastline around Galway Bay is legendarily beautiful, while immediately to the south are the spectacular 700-foot Cliffs of Moher (from the top of which, on a clear day, you can see the Aran Islands). Lough Corrib is justly famous for some of the best ...

The coastline around Galway Bay is legendarily beautiful, while immediately to the south are the spectacular 700-foot Cliffs of Moher (from the top of which, on a clear day, you can see the Aran Islands). Lough Corrib is justly famous for some of the best brown trout fishing in Europe. Lahinch, parts of which were designed by Old Tom Morris, is only the most famous of the region’s numerous golf courses. And the Burren is a mysterious coastal region where the landscape has been eroded into an incredible expanse of fissured limestone, which in spring and summer blooms with an astonishing array of wildflowers. To the great puzzlement of botanists, these blooms are of both Mediterranean and Arctic origin. In addition to the famous Poulnabrone dolmen, a neolithic tomb, the Burren is also home to a rich abundance of birds and other animals, so it is worth following some of the well-marked trails to see this extraordinary place up close.

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Beauty Abounds in the Buren

The Burren is a coastal region where the landscape has been eroded into an incredible expanse of fissured limestone, which in spring and summer blooms with an array of wildflowers. To the great puzzlement of botanists, these blooms are of both Mediterranean and Arctic origin. The Burren is also rich with birdlife and animal life, so it is worth following some of the well-marked trails to see this extraordinary place up close.

Authentic Irish Music in Doolin

The once-sleepy little town of Doolin is considered one of the best places for hearing authentic Irish music. Although the town abounds with venues, three pubs are of particular note: Gus O’Connor’s, McGann’s and McDermotts.

Irish Preserves and Smoked Fish

I’ve always loved Irish preserves and have found those from The Clare Jam Co. (a short mile south of Doolin on the coast road) to be among the finest. Set in a small cottage, the shop sells more than two dozen varieties. I always opt for the gooseberry, but the strawberry-Champagne jam and Connemara whiskey marmalade have been found in the Harper pantry. I also encourage you to visit the nearby Burren Smokehouse (about five miles away in Lisdoonvarna) for a wonderful selection of smoked fish.

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