6. Cliffs of Moher and The Burren
There are two options when planning to travel to the west coast. You could take the N21 to Limerick city and then the N18 towards Ennis (as you would go to Shannon airport) or you could also take the scenic route by travelling along the N69 towards Tarbert where the car ferry (www.shannonferries.com ) will take you across to Killimer. The journey is 20 minutes and there is a regular service.
From Killimer continue along the coast road (N67). Kilrush and Kilkee are popular sea side towns. Doonbeg is famous for its golf course and Miltown Malbay for its traditional music festivals.
Take the R478 from Lahinch to the Cliffs of Moher, one of Irelands most spectacular sights. Standing 230 metres above ground level at their highest point and 8 km long, the cliffs boast one of the most amazing views of Ireland.
Continue to the Burren (www.theburrencentre.ie ) on the R481. This limestone plateau covers over 300sq. km and is of extreme importance to geologists, botanists and archaeologists from Ireland and beyond. It is the longest karstic limestone area in Western Europe. With its many rare alpine plants, gentians, mountain avens, maidenhair ferns, underground rivers and grykes, it is sure to delight any explorer. The Burren has many reminders of ancient history with megalithic tombs, Celtic crosses, a ruined Cistercian abbey and several wedge tombs. On a clear day there are great views of Galway bay and the Aran Islands.
The route home can be the R476 to Ennis and then the N18 to Limerick city, passing Bunratty. If you still have daylight and energy, you can stop to tour the castle and folk park (www.shannonheritage.com/Folk_Park.htm ) and drop into Durty Nellie's for a sun downer! From Limerick the N21 will bring you to Adare and the R519 to Ballingarry.