Lough Derg

within 20 milesIn addition to supreme scenery, Ireland’s premiere lake hosts a variety of fishing, boating, and leisure activities. A day trip around Lough Derg provides a great experience for hikers, shoppers, and history buffs.

At the southern tip of Lough Derg, the twin villages of Killaloe and Ballina are connected by an ancient arched bridge. Brian Boru, the last high king of Ireland, was born in the area. A drive in the Arra Mountains can a include a stop at the Graves of the Leinstermen, an 11th Century burial site of a Leinster King and his army who were killed when Brian Boru’s wife alledgedly sent a surprise attack to foil plans for royal wedding to her daughter.

The trip can also include a drive to take in the views from the Five Counties Scenic Lookout (which actually offers views of six counties on a clear day) or a picturesque hike to the Millennium Cross.

At the northern end of Lough Derg, the village of Portumna attracts visitors to its 17th Century, semi-fortified castle which is surrounded by beautiful gardens.