Burren Eco Tourism
What is Ecotourism?
Ecotourism is a hot topic in tourism circles. The Burren Ecotourism Network consisting of 30 North Clare based tourism businesses, including the Cliffs, is part of a Failte Ireland sponsored programme to establish Irish tourism industry ecotourism accreditation. The Cliffs works with the other partner businesses to develop low impact, high quality tourism packages for visitors who want to take a slower pace and really experience this wonderful area in a sustainable way.
Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people” (The International Ecotourism Society TIES). Ecotourism focuses on ecologically and socially responsible, nature-based tourism that fosters environmental appreciation and understanding while contributing to the local economy.
A number of businesses, of which the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is one, have formed the Burren Ecotourism Network with the aim of making the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark area a premier global destination in ecotourism.
Burren Ecotourism’s objective is to ensure that an exciting and memorable holiday experience is had by all who visit the area, which in turn supports sustainability and conservation efforts in the local community. The business network prides itself on providing genuine and authentic experiences for everyone who comes to the Burren, with a strong emphasis on the local people, local food as well as informative and/or exhilarating nature-based activities.
In 2013 the Burren Ecotourism Network launched the Burren Food Trail and Food Series. The fertile valleys of the Burren have long been known for their quality food produce. In recent years, this food tradition has expanded through the emergence of many award-winning chef-led restaurants and high quality artisan food producers, as well as an increase in practising market gardeners and growers. There are a number of ways for visitors to engage with the Burren Food Story. Select your own highlights from the Burren Food Trail which features a range of restaurants, eateries, food producers and farmer’s markets, each of whom has achieved defined food quality standards. Or make the most of your visit by taking in one of the many special food events that take place on a weekly basis throughout the year. What about a summer solstice twilight supper, a cosy evening of cheese, wine and story-telling, a kayaking picnic, a vegetarian harvest banquet – The Burren Weekly Food Series offers all this and more. Taking part in a festival is a great way to experience the spirit and culture of the Burren – for food lovers, the Burren Slow Food Festival in May and the Burren Winterage Food Fayre in October are not to be missed! You can view the next lot of Food Series events in the Calendar section under News
If you want to work off all that food then the Burren Ecotourism members can offer you walks through secret places led by guides with a deep seated affinity with the landscape or active adventure like surfing or kayaking along the Atlantic shore, climbing over or caving under the Burren limestone. Alternatively you can reconnect with your spiritual or creative side in a setting that has inspired poets, musicians and philosophers with an eco-retreat or a painting course.