From the United States, Delta Airlines, Aer Lingus, and Continental operate regularly scheduled flights into Shannon Airport, off the Limerick-Ennis road (N18), County Clare (www.shannonairport.com; tel. 061/712000), 24km (15 miles) west of Limerick. Aer Lingus operates domestic flights from Dublin.
Irish Rail operates direct trains from Dublin, Cork, and Killarney, with connections from other parts of Ireland, to Limerick’s Colbert Station, Parnell Street (www.irishrail.ie; tel. 061/315555). Irish Rail also runs several trains a day from Limerick and Waterford into Clonmel Station on Thomas Street in Clonmel, County Tipperary (www.irishrail.ie; tel. 052/612-1982). The station is a 10-minute walk from the town center.
Bus Éireann (www.buseireann.ie; tel. 061/313-333) provides regular bus service from all parts of Ireland to most towns listed in this chapter, although service isn’t frequent in the most rural areas, and many of the sights located outside of towns and villages are not served by public transportation.
Although several of the major sights in this region can be reached on public transportation, you really need a car for the more remote places. Shannon Airport has offices for international car-rental chains Avis (www.avis.ie; tel. 061/715600), Budget (www.budget.ie; [tel] 061/471361), and Hertz (www.hertz.ie; tel. 061/471369). Several local firms also maintain desks at the airport; among the most reliable is Dan Dooley Rent-A-Car (www.dan-dooley.ie; tel. 061/471098).
From points south, County Clare can be reached directly, bypassing Limerick, on the Tarbert-Killimer Car Ferry. It crosses the Shannon River from Tarbert, County Kerry, to Killimer, County Clare. Trip time for the drive-on/drive-off service is 20 minutes; no reservations are needed. Crossings from Tarbert are on the half-hour; from Killimer, on the hour. Ferries operate year-round except Christmas Day. From Killimer departures are April to September Monday to Saturday 7am to 9pm and Sunday 9am to 9pm (with additional sailings May-Sept at half past the hour from 10:30am-5:30pm daily), and October to March Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm and Sunday 9am to 7pm. From Tarbert departures are April to September Monday to Saturday 7:30am to 9:30pm and Sunday 9:30am to 9:30pm (with additional sailings May-Sept on the hour from 11am-6pm daily), and October to March Monday to Saturday 7:30am to 7:30pm and Sunday 9:30am to 7:30pm. Summer fares for cars with passengers are €18 one-way and €28 round-trip; for foot passengers and cyclists, fares are €5 one-way and €7 round-trip. For more information, contact Shannon Ferry Ltd., Killimer/Kilrush, County Clare (www.shannonferries.com; tel. 065/905-3124). The Killimer Ferry terminal has a gift shop and restaurant, and daily hours are 9am to 9pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.