The countrysides of Ireland draw visitors from around the world year after year, and it isn’t hard to see why. Spectacular green fields, dramatic oceanfront cliffs and ancient castles welcome visitors to the Emerald Isle, especially when they set foot in the naturally stunning Shannon region.
Named for the River Shannon that runs through this lush region, the Shannon Region is not a destination to rush through. Mother Nature has put on an incredible display here, from the simply stunning Cliffs of Moher to the peculiar and rocky karst landscape of The Burren to the underground caves of Aillwee. Wander the walking trails, take a leisurely road trip or cruise down the River Shannon — but just make sure not to rush this adventure into Ireland’s natural beauty.
Locals who once loved and lived in the Shannon Region have left their marks throughout the area in the form of medieval castles, a popular stop for visitors. Bunratty Castle often tops the list of must-see castles for both its 15th-century architecture and incredible folk park, filled with recreated cottages and buildings from Ireland’s past. The medieval banquets are also a must-experience.
It’s not all history and nature in the Shannon Region: the area is also home to rural counties like Clare and Limerick, where travelers can retire after a day of exploration at a local pub, where folk music and beers flow freely. With enough of the local libations, travelers just may find themselves singing a round of Irish folk tunes as day turns to night in the Shannon Region.
Ireland sees flocks of tourists throughout the isle during the peak travel months of June, July and August, and the Shannon Region is no exception. The peak travel season sees the least amount of rain and the warmest temperatures, creating the perfect environment for exploring the region’s famed landscapes and castles. Shoulder season months of April, May, September and October are also welcoming for visitors, and airfare may be cheaper compared to fares during peak travel months. Budget-minded travelers can find cheap flights to Shannon during the months of November, December, January and February, when the region is hit with its coldest temperatures of the year.
Because of the Shannon Region’s size, many visitors find it easiest to rent a car during their stay. This allows visitors to cross the distances between the region’s many attractions with ease, though travelers should keep in mind they’ll be driving on the left side of the road rather than the right. The public rail and bus systems also connect many of the region’s larger cities and offer access to the Shannon Region’s more popular attractions.