Shannon, the second largest city in County Clare, is located at the mouth of the river of the same name. This is the only city in Ireland founded after the Second World War (in 1960) in order to develop the regional economy. The construction of the city is connected to the Shannon International Airport and the Shannon Free Industrial Zone, which houses the production facilities of the largest technology companies: Shannon Aerospace, Molex, Intel, Avocent and Element 6.
It is not surprising that there is nothing special to see in the city itself, which cannot be said about the surroundings: there are natural parks, and the ruins of ancient settlements, and restored ancient castles. But Shannon International Airport is an ideal starting point for traveling around the country.
How to get to Shannon
According to simplyyellowpages, Shannon is the starting point on a journey through the expanses of Ireland.
Shannon International Airport was built in 1936 and was an important point on transatlantic flights – planes bound for America were refueled here. In 1947, the world’s first duty-free zone was opened at Shannon Airport. In the 1960s due to the development of jet aviation, when aircraft were able to travel long distances without refueling, Shannon Airport lost its main passenger flow. And only in the 1990s. thanks to the development of the tourism industry, it revived. Now the airport receives more than 3 million passengers annually from the UK, Europe and the USA. From Moscow, you can fly to Shannon in 7-10 hours with transfers.
Bus Eireann buses run between Shannon Airport and Cork (journey time 2 hours 30 minutes), Ennis (50 minutes), Galway (1 hour 45 minutes), Limerick (55 minutes).
There is no railway station in Shannon. To start your journey through Ireland from Shannon, you can take a taxi or bus to Limerick, and then take the Irish Railways to other cities. From Limerick, trains run to Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Rosslare. You can check the schedule at website (in English).
By car from Shannon you can reach Limerick (20 km), and from there to Dublin, Galway, Cork, Kerry, Waterford. You can rent a car at Shannon Airport.
On a ferryboat
The main tourist routes in the western region of Ireland (the Shannon region) pass through the water. Ferries from Killimera, a 50-minute drive from Shannon, take you to the village of Tarbert in County Kerry. The ferry service takes approximately 20 minutes, saving time and sightseeing in Counties Kerry, Clare and Limerick.
Currency can be exchanged at banks, specialized exchange offices, hotels and at the airport. Banks are usually open from 10:00 to 16:00. Cash can be withdrawn from the card at 24-hour machines on the street.
Shannon is a small city with less than 10,000 people, so there are few large stores there. Among them are the Skycourt Shopping Center with lots of shops, restaurants and parking, and the Ballycasey Craft Center (10 minutes drive from Shannon International Airport and 5 minutes from the city center). Here you can buy products of many talented craftsmen and designers, a restaurant and parking are available to visitors.
The Carrygerry Country House Hotel’s restaurant won the Best Restaurant of the Year award. It is located in a picturesque place near Shannon. Shannon Knights Inn, located in the heart of the city, combines two bars, a dining room, the Knight Club and a liquor store.
Entertainment and attractions around Shannon
- Aillwee Cave in County Clare is located 3 km south of the village of Ballyvaughan. The cave was formed due to the melting of glaciers 2 million years ago, and it was discovered only in 1940. Tours are led along it, where you can see the frozen and ordinary waterfalls, the bones of extinct ancient bears. The cave is open all year round from 10 am to 5:30 pm, and closes an hour later in July and August.
- “Desmond Hall” (Desmond Hall, County Limerick) – a medieval reception hall.
- Dromore Wood Reserve – rivers, lakes, peat bogs, reed beds, water meadows, karst deposits and forests have been preserved in their original form. O’Brien’s Castle, built in the 17th century, stands on the shore of the lake. You can also see the ruins of an ancient castle, two round forts, a church and a lime kiln.
- Near the village of Kilfenora is The Burren Center National Reserve (website), where you can see megalithic tombs and monuments older than the Egyptian pyramids.
- Scattery Island (Inis Cathaig) is located about one mile from the town of Kilrush in County Clare. In the 6th century, Saint Senan founded a monastic settlement on it, the ruins of 6 churches and one of the highest round towers in Ireland (120 feet, approximately 36.5 m) have been preserved.
- Cliffs of Moher, 120 meters high, abruptly falling down, are located near Doolin (websitein English).
- Banratty Castle and Falk Park (County Clare) are located in the village of Banratty, 4 km east of Shannon. Banratty Castle is one of Ireland’s most famous and well-preserved medieval castles. The park recreates the general atmosphere of the village that prevailed here in the 19th century: houses with thatched roofs, antique furniture, utensils and other household items of the villagers.
- Dunguaire Castle is an Irish stone fortress of the 16th century, located near the town of Kinvara on the southeast coast of GalwayBay and is considered one of the most popular castles in Ireland.
- King John’s Castle and St Mary’s Cathedral on King’s Island, Limerick. The walls, towers and defensive fortifications of the castle are still preserved, so it is a popular tourist attraction.
- 13th century Ennis Friary Franciscan Monastery (County Clare).
- The historic village of Adare (County Limerick) is one of the most beautiful villages in Ireland. The main street of the village combines elements of Irish architecture and English style.
- The village of Roscrea (Roscrea, website, County North Tipperary) is one of the oldest and most historic towns in Ireland. It was founded as a monastic settlement and is located on Slí Dhála, one of the five great roads of ancient Ireland.
Weather in Shannon
Winters are usually mild and summers are cool. The average temperature in January is +7…+9° C, in summer the thermometer needle rarely rises above +18…+20° C. Humidity in the city is high and ranges from 70% to 100%. See also the current weather forecast in Shannon for 10 days.