From the eastern side of the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork, the Wild Atlantic Way follows 2500 km of Ireland’s most stunning coastline. Soaring cliffs, Blue Flag beaches, and small Irish villages welcome travelers to areas once overlooked by tourists.
Only a handful actual cities lie along the Wild Atlantic Way and one that you would think should be along the route is conspicuously absent.
Shannon Ferries : How the Wild Atlantic Way Hops the River Shannon
If you were to drive from Killimer, County Clare to Tarbert, County Kerry via Limerick City you would travel approximately 90 miles (141 km) and it would take nearly 2 1/2 hours. That’s quite a chunk of time if you don’t have any Limerick attractions on your itinerary.
Or you can queue and take a 20 minute ride across the River Shannon on a Shannon Ferry.
Even if you were to ‘backtrack’ to the Flying Boat Museum in Foynes, my favorite B&B (The Old Bank in Bruff), or to Limerick City itself you would likely still save time and you will definitely save miles.
Hop a Lift on Shannon Ferries
Whether you’re in a car, on a bike, or hiking through Ireland, you can use Shannon Ferries to cross the river.
Simply arrive at the pier, enter the queue of vehicles, and wait for the ferry to arrive.
Watch the vehicles roll off, then wait for your turn to roll onto the ferry.
Remain in your vehicle as crew come to you to collect your fare or e-receipt.
If the weather is nice, get out and enjoy the crossing. Small indoor cabins are available, or climb to the upper deck. If you’re having an attack of hunger there is even a snack shop on board.
Or find the wifi hotspot and do a quick social check-in.
Before you know it the ferry will dock, the gates will open, and you’ll exit as you entered, back to your Wild Atlantic Way adventure.
Shannon Ferries FAQ
The trip takes approximately 20 minutes and ferries depart every hour (from Killimer on the hour and Tarbert on the half hour).
Reservations are not necessary – but booking online will save you a bit of coin.
During the busy summer months of July & August extra sailings are scheduled to facilitate heavier traffic.