First impressions count. It’s just as well, then, that many visitors’ first glimpse of Ireland is Shannon. Set in a landscape of remarkably greenery and within easy reach of famous sights from Bunratty Castle to the Burren, Shannon truly is a Gateway to the West.
Located about 24 km from Limerick and 22 km from Ennis, Shannon Airport is the third-busiest airport in Ireland after Dublin and Cork. Clare, Limerick, and Galway are all accessible via the N18, while Cork is reached via the N20 and Kerry via the N21.
Things to Do around the Shannon Region:
Cliffs of Moher
They made it to the final of the New 7 Wonders of Nature Campaign 2011, and it’s not difficult to see why. Take a deep breath if you’re not comfortable with heights, as the Cliffs of Moher are the tallest cliffs in Europe, towering 400 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. If you want to avoid the crowds milling around the top, take the Cliffs of Moher cruise.
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Just 12Km from Shannon on the N19, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park should be one of your first stops after you pick up your rental car. Consistently named among Ireland’s top 10 visitor attractions, this Norman castle is unique for its standard of restoration. Travel back to medieval times with a tour of the castle and attend a medieval banquet.
Foynes Flying Boat Museum
With car hire you’re less than half an hour from the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, one of the most unusual museums you will ever visit. It provides a fascinating glimpse of the history of the 1940s and the Flying Boat era, featuring a full-size replica of a Flying Boat, flight simulators, and a holographic exhibition. Given that Irish Coffee was invented here, you can also indulge a refreshing beverage.
Water babies will love Lough Derg, Ireland’s so-called Pleasure Lake. Messing about in boats is just half the fun at Lough Derg. There are tranquil picnic areas on its banks, a variety of looped biking and walking trails, and access to everything water-related – from fishing to water skiing.