Encompassing some of the most beautiful and wild parts of Ireland like County Clare and Tipperary, Shannon is a haven for nature lovers and those searching for a taste of traditional Irish hospitality. You will meet that same hospitality in the hotels and B&Bs in this welcoming part of the world.
Coursing through the heart of this region is the River Shannon. Meandering through the mountains and lakes, into the river and out to the rugged Atlantic coastline with its golden sandy beaches, the area is wonderful for fishing of all kinds, but particularly for salmon.
Bunratty Castle in County Clare, a15th century tower house, stands resplendent with ancient tapestries and artefacts and even offers visitors the chance to enjoy a medieval banquet in its grand hall. Dunguaire Castle is another architectural masterpiece that sits proudly on a rocky outcrop overlooking tranquil Galway Bay. Nearby is the quaint village and sea port of Kinvara with its local farmers markets and cosy traditional pubs.
The Viking fortifications of King John’s Castle in Limerick bring together remarkable archaeology and 21st century technology through re-enactments and costumed guides to reveal the secrets and scandals of its past. While in Limerick it is worth popping in to the Hunt Museum to see the country's most important art collections as well its beautiful local mills and thatched cottages. There are traditional arts and crafts to see and buy throughout this part of Ireland.
Explore mysterious and magical Lough Gur steeped in Stone Age folklore and fairytale at the Lough Gur Stone Age Centre or Brian Boru Heritage Centre in beautiful Killaloe that sits on the banks of the River Shannon. Discover its local markets, hike, swim or cycle the local area before dinner in one of its charming river-side restaurants.
Another spectacular walk is along the sweeping, craggy Cliffs of Moer with breath-taking views out to sea. With three viewing platforms it is possible to see nesting Puffins, Kittiwakes and Fulmars and even a Peregrine Falcon or two!
A tour of Shannon reveals a rural charm that is special to Ireland. Canoeing the River Shannon and skydiving in Tipperary, watching dolphins frolicking in the Shannon estuary and caving in Ailwee and Doolin; Shannon is an experience, not just a place to be admired from afar. Explore Shannon in your own time, get a great deal on car hire in Shannon, and make your own way, at your leisure.
If you want to road trip in Ireland, feast your eyes on 10 of the most beautiful villages in Ireland, and yes, Shannon is included.
Shannon Airport is located 15 miles northwest of Limerick and 56 miles from Galway. The airport is just 4 miles and 12 minutes by car away from the centre of Shannon. JJ Kavanagh and Sons operate the bus service that runs from the airport to Limerick which takes 45 minutes and onwards to Dublin in just over 4 hours. A taxi service also operates from outside the airport terminal. Want to keep an eye on your flight to Shannon? Follow updates in arrivals and departures for Shannon Airport.
What you need to know
Currency: The Euro (€)
Visas: UK and EU nationals do not require a visa to enter Ireland however a passport valid for the duration of stay is required. Nationals of other countries may require a visa – more information can be obtained from a local embassy or from the Foreign Office website.
Laws: 18 is the legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol across Ireland. There is a strict smoking ban in place across the country that prohibits smoking in all indoor public places from transport to bus shelters, pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants.
Best Time to Visit
Winters in Shannon are often cold and wet while summers are as good as any the UK can hope to expect, although these are perfect for exploring the cosy firesides of many of the local pubs. Summers are busier times with higher numbers of tourists but cheap flights can be found much of the year round. When the warmer weather arrives it means river walks and country rambles, picnics and cycle rides, horse-riding and hiking can all begin in earnest.
There are also plenty of events happening locally and in the surrounding area such as the Circus in Folk Park Banratty in July, the Lughnasa Festival in August that celebrates a Celtic God with crafts, arts, music and merriment. Harvest Day is a highlight in the August calendar while Halloween Holiday Horror at Bunratty Castle s popular with younger visitors. Santa comes to town in December to kick off the winter festival that is fun for all the family. Whatever season you choose for your visit will be perfect - now find out the best time to book.
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