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The Burren in County Clare Photo by: Tourism Ireland

Natural beauty of the Shannon Region

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The Burren in County Clare Photo by: Tourism Ireland

The Burren

This lunar-like, rocky landscape is a National Park and geological wonderland of terraced grey limestone covering 250 square km in north Clare. The Burren is world-famous for the richness and beauty of its wild flowers, where Arctic and Mediterranean species flourish side by side. www.burrenbeo.com

Cliffs of Moher

This joint rampart of rugged, rocky coastline on the edge of the Burren plunges dramatically to silent, Atlantic waves from a height of over 200 metres, (700 feet). Its towering cliff face of sheer visual force is home to many species of sea birds. The cliffs are spectacularly interpreted in the visitor centre. www.cliffsofmoher.ie

Loop Head Peninsula

Wedge-shaped, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Shannon Estuary on the other, cliffgirded Loop Head, gives the feeling of standing at the end of the world. The lighthouse that stands at the tip of the head has been flashing its warning signal to shipping for 300 years. www.westclare.com and www.loopheadpeninsula.htm

Callows and Peatlands

The water meadows of the River Shannon form a great expanse of green land, offering a haven for birds and bird-watchers: corncrakes breed there in summer, waterfowl by the thousand gather in winter. The seemingly endless, level peatlands nearby constitute one of the largest remaining tracts of raised bog in western Europe. www.DiscoverIreland.ie/ShannonRegion

Dolphin watching

The sheltered waters of the Shannon Estuary are home to a community of about 100 Bottlenose Dolphins, one of the largest ‘pods’ in Europe. These beautiful creatures can be observed from boat trips operating from Carrigaholt and Kilrush. www.shannondolphins.ie

Golden Vale

This great plain of some of the richest agricultural land in Europe is indeed ‘a land of infinite bounty’, presenting a delightful pattern of green fields and hedgerows. Ballyhoura Mountain Park is at the heart of the region and is ideal countryside for outdoor activities. www.ballyhouracountry.com

Slieve Bloom Mountains

The stark contrast of looming mountains rising suddenly from surrounding plains, gives this beautiful mountain range a lofty, imposing appearance which belies its modest height. This is gentle, romantic countryside that evolved from coniferous woodland to verdant valleys and large tracts of peatland on the high moors. www.slievebloom.ie

Aran Islands

The inhabitants of the three legendary islands proudly preserve the Irish language and an ancient tradition of farming and fishing. Timeless land in an endless sea, weathered monuments on spectacular cliffs, great labyrinths of limestone walls, patchwork fields and quiet beaches. Passenger ferries operate from Doolin and Liscannor on the Clare coast. www.visitaranislands.com

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