The River Shannon and the Shannon region of Ireland are famous for their beauty, but the city bearing the same name is largely overlooked by tourists.
Bunratty Castle © Jon Sullivan
Shannon was a 'planned' town, built in the 1960s as a satellite to nearby Limerick. For this reason, the city lacks the old-world charm of many Irish towns. However, Shannon makes a convenient stop on any tour of the country due to its airport, the second largest in Ireland.
Because of its location, Shannon is an excellent base for exploring the beautiful County Clare, which includes famous attractions like Bunratty Castle, the Burren Caherconnell Stone Fort, Craggaunowen Castle, the famous Blarney Stone, and Dromoland Castle.
Nature lovers will find plenty of spectacular landscapes to explore, including Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, and the beaches of Spanish Point. Shannon is also a good starting point for walking tours of Dingle and the Ring of Kerry, or cruises on the river itself. Dolphin watching is a popular activity from Carrigaholt pier, while Loop Head peninsula is home to a large puffin colony.
While the town of Shannon isn't as cosmopolitan as larger cities like Dublin or Galway, it has a good selection of restaurants and bars, and a friendly atmosphere that will make any traveller feel welcome.