Suggested cruising options Banagher*
A boating holiday around Lough Derg

One week
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Terryglass, Killaloe
165km KM
from 1723 EUROS**
* Cruise suggestions: non contractual information
** All prices are calculated on the basis of a two day weekend in low season.
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Description of
the boating holiday

Head to Lough Derg to explore the villages and activities that line its shores

This boating holiday itinerary will take you to many charming little villages in which castles, hiking trails, spectacular viewpoints and legends of Irish folklore await you. No previous boating experience or a licence is needed.

Departure base

In the centre of Ireland between Galway and Dublin and in County Offaly is Banagher. The village is the starting and end point for many boating holidays on the River Shannon. While here make the most of the convenience store to stock up on groceries and provisions to take on board your canal boat before heading off along the waterways.

Banagher may be relatively small, but it's still very much alive: sip a pint of local beer at the Railway Bar or the JJ Houghs Singing Pub, while listening to traditional music, and learn to toast in Gaelic ("Sláinte"). As you walk through Banagher, cross the stone bridge and pass in front of the Martello Tower, built in the 19th century to protect the city from a possible French invasion.

Places to see and things to do

Portumna: a step back into the forgotten history of Ireland

Welcome to Portumna, known for its 17th century castle which perfectly combines 17th century Irish and Renaissance styles. Tours of the ground floor and the gardens are possible from April to October to discover the history of the place. Near the castle is the forest country park where you can follow many hiking trails. There is also the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna which tells the prison like story of where people would arrive of their own free will, abandoning their land and their freedom to work in extreme conditions in exchange for food and survival. A visit here is highly recommended and really opens your eyes to the living conditions of a social class that is very often forgotten. Finally, end your visit to Portumna on a happier note with a round of golf at the Portumna Golf Club!

Terryglass: Irish folklore and sacred wells

To the north of Lough Derg is Terryglass, a charming and welcoming village. Make sure you save time to see its two sacred wells, the story of which is part of local folklore: it is said that it is thanks to the water of Saint Augh's Eye Well that Saint Augh would have regained his sight and that the well was also visited by Saint Patrick who would have officiated baptisms there. The second well, called Saint Columba's Headache Well, is said to cure migraines and headaches. Terryglass Castle is also worth a visit and its four-leaf clover-shaped ruins are listed as a 'national monument'.

Lough Derg: explore Ireland’s third largest lake

As Ireland's third largest lake, there are plenty of things to do around Lough Derg. Go to the Twomilegate pontoon and start the hike to the top of Moylussa to enjoy a superb view of the lake (allow 3 hours 30 minutes of easy to moderate hiking to cover the 13km loop). Then relax at West Lake Water Park. Travel all around the lake and explore the dozens of small islands, many accessible only by your canal boat, and on which you will sometimes be completely alone. Don't miss the island of Inis Cealtra and its castle.

Killaloe-Ballina: the twin towns of Lough Derg

You have arrived in Killaloe, the southern end of your boating holiday on the River Shannon. This peaceful little village was briefly, in the 11th century, the capital of Ireland. Today Killaloe is simply a must visit place when in the Lough Derg region. A 17th century stone bridge connects it to Ballina, its twin town. After visiting the 12th century St. Flannan cathedral enjoy fine dining options in one of the town's restaurants. If you are lucky enough to be here on a Sunday, don't miss the opportunity to go to the market which takes place in the middle of the bridge! Before taking the helm of your canal boat for the return along the River Shannon, take the time to admire the sunset.

Your self-drive canal boat rental on the River Shannon is coming to an end. Turn around as it’s time to head back to the Nicols Banagher Marina.

Canal boats available

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Holiday reviews from Banagher

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Our crew are big fans of hiking and we were impressed with the number of hiking trails on offer within the region - most of them being easily accessible in just a few minutes from the waterways. Spectacular views await you!

Thomas, Dijon (21)