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From Athlone the Shannon lazes through undulating lush countryside that is steeped in history as well as real Irish character. The river slowly snakes past Clonmacnois, the ancient Christian capital of Ireland where you will find eight churches, a cathedral, two round towers, three great carved crosses, the remains of a castle, and more than 200 carved headstones dating from the 6th to the 12th centuries.
Life slows down along this stretch of the Shannon and boats begin to pass less frequently as you head to Banagher.
To the south looms the mighty Lough Derg, the largest lake on the waterway system. Lough Derg is famous for the idyllic little towns and villages that fringe its shores with small harbours with plenty of moorings. Good restaurants and pubs abound in this area and many a yarn can be overheard in the bars
Portumna National Park on the northern shore has its own harbour and a secluded nature trail. This is the place to go to 'get away from it all' to experience the peacefulness, the beautiful dramatic scenery and really good cruising waters.
Cruising south still further takes you straight to Killaloe, the most southerly navigable point on the Shannon. A warm welcome awaits cruising parties here and this pretty town's restaurants serve fine food and drink with customary Irish hospitality and humour.
The Athlone to Killaloe and back route is a comfortable one week route from our bases at Athlone. From Portumna to Carrick is a pleasant one-way trip for one week.
Read a Boating Holidays customer's diary of a week on the River Shannon
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Boating In Ireland
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Cruise Ireland, Bowers Wharf, Skipton, BD23 2PD, United Kingdom