Ballyvaughan – Gateway to the Burren! Ballyvaughan village is situated between the hills of the Burren and the southern coastline of Galway Bay, making it the perfect location for discovering the botanical riches of this unique limestone landscape. Ballyvaughan is a picturesque fishing village, boasting excellent restaurants, top quality craft/gift shops and quaint pubs, renowned for their traditional music. The word Burren comes from the Irish word “boireann” meaning rocky land. Huge pavements of limestone are present with clints and grikes while most of the drainage is underground in deep caves. This region is home to more than 700 plants and is considered one of Europe’s richest botanical areas. Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean plants grow along side eachother in perfect harmony – somewhat of a puzzle to botanists! Limestone is abundant here, formed from the shells of sea creatures from shallow seas over 300 million years. 15,000 years ago, glaciers stripped the soil off and the forces of nature eroded the rock into the limestone pavements we see today. 32 species of butterfly are present in Ireland and 28 of these can be found in the Burren. Wildlife is very rich and abundant with many birds found in the meadows and hills. Wild goats can be seen strolling around in the uplands as can badgers and stoats. Man has been known to have settled here since the stone age, leaving a rich source of habitations and tombs. When you visit the Burren, give yourself plenty of time as the views and natural beauty are spectacular. Please respect this fragile eco system, especially the flowers as many of these are endangered. For more information on the Burren, visit www.burrenbeo.com – The Burrenbeo Trust encourages locals and visitors to the area to help protect the Burren region by complying with the following code: Leave the limestone pavement as you find it, Preserve natural habitats and leave wildflowers undisturbed, Take care not to damage monuments, walls and buildings, Respect landowners, their property and their livestock, Park and camp in designated areas, Leave no trace of your visit, Take nothing but memories.