Welcome to Aillwee Burren Experience –  a family run business open to visitors since 1976!

We currently employ 38 people full time rising to 80-100 seasonally throughout the year, e.g., during Christmas and Summer seasons.

The mission of the business is to ensure visitors of all ages and abilities from home and overseas enjoy unique underground and overground Burren experiences in an informative, friendly, safe, and welcoming environment.

The development of the cave and its surrounding 26-acre site has steadily progressed.  Over 45 years of business, we have developed the following attractions and experiences for our visitors:


Member of Burren Ecotourism Network, Recipient of The Lonely Planet Best in Travel Awards for ‘Best Community Project’


Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark Code of Practice Emerald Award


Best Large Visitor Experience on the Wild Atlantic Way finalist – Irish Tourism Industry Confederation Awards


Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark Code of Practice Emerald Award

An underground experience that encapsulates the Geological History of The unique Burren region. Geographical facts provide insights into how underground chasms, caverns and various calcite structures form. Time and Water are the most prominent features of this Natural Wonder. Aillwee’s Guided Cave Tour captures the attention of all ages. It is a 45-minute stroll over bridged chasms, under weird formations and alongside impressive waterfalls. Explore and learn about the hibernation chambers and appreciate remains of the European Brown Bear, dating from 10,400 years ago to 4,600 years ago – an impressive timeline of Cave inhabitation.
The Farmshop has been described as a ‘Hidden Gem’ by visitors. Call into the Artisan Farmshop and take a step back in time. See how traditional methods are used to create the unique, Award Winning Burren Gold Cheese. The ‘Burren Gold Cheese at Aillwee’ story, overlooking the Wild Atlantic Way, continues to be told for over 35 years. Annually, from April to October, our talented cheesemaker makes 70 Kilos of beautiful semi-soft farmhouse Gouda style every day. The milk that produces our award-winning cheese has, since 1985, come from the Friesian herd at Davoren’s of Caherconnell. Their cows graze on the wild Burren grasses and herbs, just a stone’s throw from Aillwee Mountain. Always using traditional Farmhouse cheese crafting methods, six flavours of Burren Gold are produced – plain, smoked, black pepper, cumin, Piri Piri and our ever-popular, garlic and nettle.
Witness some of Ireland’s and the world’s top predators at the Birds of Prey Centre. Eagles, Owls, Vultures and Hawks all reside at Aillwee.  See our raptor collection in their aviaries and in free flight every day during scheduled flying displays. The mission of the Centre is to aid the conservation of Birds of Prey through visitor awareness and education, whilst actively fundraising for Raptor conservation monitoring efforts within Ireland and worldwide.

2008 saw the opening of our Birds of Prey Centre @Aillwee. Home to around 30 birds of prey, we have developed the largest collection of both native and international species along Ireland’s west coast.

We continually feed into Market Research carried out by Fáilte Ireland and have hosted their Researchers on several occasions. We are consulted quarterly by Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and other bodies to give our progress report on visitor numbers, visitor spends, market trends etc.

When Aillwee Cave first opened to visitors in 1976, Tourism in The Burren and North Clare was in its infancy.

The research and analysis behind the development of Aillwee Cave as a day visitor attraction, in the early-mid 70’s, was the realisation by original owners, Roger Johnson and Micheál Mulqueeney, that visitors to the area would be curious to explore, experience and learn about The Burren’s underground environment.

Educating both natives and visitors about this unique landscape was the company’s main drive.

Also, the establishment of a sustainable business that would provide employment for the families involved and others living in the area was a factor. In the years after opening Aillwee Cave, rising visitor numbers became the driving force behind the development of enhanced visitor facilities.

The market drove this development to some extent. Information through market research and customer feedback pointed to the necessity for the development of more experiences to enhance the offering at Aillwee Cave and thereby sustainably grow the business and provide more employment.

As the Cave became more well known as an interesting and enjoyable place to visit the company could afford to reinvest and expand. This growth led to all the developments explained above. Our directors, their families and our core management team all live in The Burren and, for the most part, grew up alongside the business.

Through experience and listening to our visitors, who are varied across all ages and nationalities, we know what it means to cater for and exceed their expectations.