North of County Kerry, the west coast of Ireland has long drawn visitors entranced by its stunning landscape. From the lush, emerald-green farmland of the Shannon River Valley, you can head north to the towering Cliffs of Moher, wander through the ancient fortress known as the Rock of Cashel, and finally wind your way up steep roads to the extraordinary lunar landscape of the Burren National Park. However far you go, there’s something wonderful to catch your eye. This is where Ireland begins to get wild.
Bordering Kerry to the north, but entirely separated by the broad Shannon Estuary, County Clare is a rugged and beguiling county. Its principal draw is the region known as the Burren, a stark and desolate landscape filled with mysterious, ancient stone dolmens—it’s quite unlike anywhere else in the country. As if that wasn’t enough to impress, Clare also has the famous Cliffs of Moher, a place of high drama and majestic beauty. The contrast with its neighbor, and rural County Limerick, could hardly be more pronounced. Limerick is distinguished by the swirls and eddies of the Shannon River and its valley. To the east, Tipperary is filled with pleasant, emerald-green farmland. In truth, Tipperary doesn’t contain much else that’s worth going out of the way for, with one major exception: the Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland’s most spectacular medieval ruins—it’s worth a trip across the county all on its own.