Located in the north of County Clare and situated on Ireland's Atlantic coast, the magnificent landscape of the Burren is distinguished for its terrain of low, undulating gray rock dotted by occasional trees and small patches of green – a part of Ireland that is both startling and welcoming in its rugged, curious beauty.
The Burren takes its name from the Gaelic “boireann,” which means “stony place” – an evocative phrase for the massive outcrops of carboniferous limestone which define the character of the landscape. Not surprisingly, this dramatic setting is home to many archaeological treasures that span 7,000 years of Irish history, from megalithic tombs and burial mounds to monasteries and holy wells.
The village of Ballyvaughan, where Arcadia program students are housed, is a vibrant community with a population of about 200 people. The village is filled with quaint shops, musical pubs and excellent restaurants, and the residents tend to be very welcoming to international visitors and students. There is ample opportunity for outdoor adventure in and around Ballyvaughan and the Burren. The varied terrain of the Burren provides opportunities for water sports such as sailing and fishing, or land-based activities like cycling, hill walking, and rock climbing.
Finally, the nearby city of Galway is accessible by daily bus service. You won't want to miss visiting this vibrant city, which radiates an exuberant ambiance with its many young people, ubiquitous music, lively theaters and galleries, and wide array of excellent restaurants and pubs.