Places of Interest
Conquered by the Vikings in the ninth century, this bustling modern city, lying on the mighty River Shannon, has a rich medieval past, which resounds around its ancient streets. Highlights of the city include King John’s Castle, in the heart of the medieval district and St John’s Cathedral, which boasts Ireland’s tallest spire.
A spa town famous as the home of the Matchmaking Festival whose original function was to pair single men and women from isolated communities. It is now a major celebration complete with concerts, shows and attractions.
Cliffs of Moher
One of Ireland’s top visitor attractions and a designated UNESCO Geo Park, the cliffs rise to a height of 214m (over 700ft) and stretch for almost 5 miles along County Clare’s western seaboard. The cliffs take their name from a ruined promontory fort ‘Mothar’, which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower. They are home to one of the major colonies of cliff nesting seabirds in Ireland which is designated as a Special Protection Area. On clear days the views from the cliffs are truly spectacular!
Covering 160kms of north County Clare and parts of south Galway, The Burren is unique in that there are no bogs or pastures, but huge pavements of limestone called ‘clints’ with vertical fissures known as ‘grikes’. Despite its almost lunar landscape, the area is famous for its plantlife, with an abundance of limestone-loving flowers such as foxglove and rock rose and the rock’s microclimate nutures plants usually found in Arctic and Mediterranean regions. The area is also peppered with caves, Aillwee cave being the most well known.