5-7 days in Limerick - Exploring the Wild Atlantic Way

  • The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare

Being the only city in the world that nautically connects the Atlantic Ocean to the heart of medieval Ireland, Limerick’s waterfront setting gives it the edge on other European destinations. The longest river in Britain and Ireland is our backbone and the Atlantic is just a heartbeat away, so just like early medieval settlers – todays’ urban visitors can enjoy the best Irish hospitality and still be within an hour of Ireland’s most magnificent castles, fortresses and coastal cliffs along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Days 1 – 2

Follow our 48 hour itinerary to discover Limerick City’s fascinating past, sports and avant-garde arts and dining scene, which will whet the intrepid visitor’s appetite to discover our world class destination that satisfies outdoor enthusiasts and culture vultures alike.

Visitors can take advantage of TFI Bike Hire for a quick and easy way to discover the city – for a nominal fee and refundable deposit, guests can pick up and drop their bikes at dozens of cycle hubs throughout the city.

County Limerick visitors can’t miss historic Adare Village with its medieval abbey, thatched cottages, and world famous Adare Manor, while aviation enthusiasts can take the scenic spin along the Shannon Estuary to Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum. Ballyhoura Mountain Park and Curraghchase Forest Park offer great open space and exhilarating opportunities to get close to the elements.

Are we there yet? Days 3 - 7

Within an hour’s drive of Limerick City’s bright lights is Europe’s finest cultural playground. On our doorstep there is an unrivalled collection of Ireland’s best tourist attractions. Long before little voices from the backseat of the car can ask ‘are we there yet?’ the colossal Cliffs of Moher, the magnificent Rock of Cashel, the mysterious Burren National Park, wild Loop Head, Bunratty Castle with its fairy-tale folk park and of course Doolin, the gateway to the Aran Islands, will appear through the windscreen.

Day 3: Set the compass south - for a half day trip

You’ll discover that from the Treaty City, that it’s not a long way to Tipperary.

As Ireland’s only major city in the ancient kingdom of Thomond, you’ll discover the playground of Irish kings and an unsurpassable concentration of castles, churches and abbeys. It was the epicentre of early Irish medieval history and provided Ireland with its greatest and only High King, Brian Boru. Explore The Rock of Cashel , the home of Irish royalty just across the border in Tipperary, or Cahir, one of Ireland’s largest and best preserved castles.

Day 4: Set the compass west - for a half day trip

Take the scenic Shannon Estuary Way along the N69 from Limerick City, then head west along the southern bank of the River Shannon, and just north of the Listowel, the literary capital of the southwest, is the port of Killimer.

A frequent half hour car ferry service sets across the river to Loop Head, County Clare’s south-westerly peninsula. Get lost in its cliff hugging roads and windswept landscapes with views across the coast. At the tip of the peninsula is the quirky Church of the Little Ark and modest Loop Head Lighthouse, a whitewashed tower with epic views.

Day 5 - Set the compass north – for the day

Cross any of Limerick City’s bridges and within minutes family friendly Bunratty Castle and Folk Park appears on the horizon. Shortly afterwards, pull off the motorway to discover the UNESCO Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark. Set in north Clare’s ancient limestone park, it’s etched with man-made monuments that were carved by hand in stone thousands of years earlier. Ailwee Caves and Moher Farm distract younger visitors while the iconic Cliffs of Moher offer some mega Insta magic.

Day 6: Set the compass east – for a half day trip

A short drive to the neighbouring twin towns of Ballina and Killaloe offer a unique opportunity to get to grips with Limerick’s mighty river, The Shannon. In the 19th Century, Limerick was at the hub of Ireland’s river travel as the largest city on River Shannon’s 360km waterway, with manmade canals linking it to the capital. Guinness and other important products arrived this way, as did famous author Charlotte Bronte who took the ferry from Limerick City Pier across the Shannon to County Clare. Rediscover life on the Shannon aboard the Spirit of Killaloe which tours Ireland’s pleasure lake.

Day 7: Discover Connemara or The Lakes of Killarney

For more ambitious travellers, Connemara, the famous Lakes of Killarney and The Dingle Peninsula, the filming location of Star War’s Last Jedi (2017,) where intergalactic battles were planned, are all within a two hour drive.

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Treaty Stone Limerick. Photo Piotr Machowczyk