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Lough Derg Drive

Explore the spectacular scenery, historic sites, visitor attractions and fascinating towns & villages around Lough Derg

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 79.722 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This is a suggested circular route around Lough Derg, Ireland's Pleasure Lake, so you can pick it up at any of the delightful towns or... more »

Tips:  Approximate Distances:
Killaloe to Tuamgraney 17km;
Tuamgraney to Whitegate/Williamstown 14.5km;
Whitegate to Portumna 24km;
... more »

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Points of Interest

The picturesque twin towns of Ballina/Killaloe, sited at the southern tip of the lake provide the perfect starting point for the Lough Derg Drive. The towns are hugely popular with visitors who come to enjoy its watersports and bustling pubs and restaurants. In Killaloe you have a network of charming narrow streets, flanked by old shops and houses... More

2. Ballycuggeran

This renowned beauty spot provides one of Lough Derg's two Blue Flag Beaches, indicating that it reaches a high level of environmental quality. As well as being a safe bathing area, it is a popular location for wind-surfing and sailing. This is a lovely area for a picnic and also provides pleasant family-friendly walks around Rinnaman Point. For... More

3. Tuamgraney

The village of Tuamgraney is one of the most notable ecclesiastical and historical places in Ireland. There are many relics of its rich heritage recorded in its townland names, pillar stones, holy wells, as well as in the Annals and lives of the saints. One of the highlights is the East Clare Heritage Centre and 10th century St. Cronan’s Church... More

4. Scarriff

Scarriff, the East Clare capital, is an important market town which offers excellent facilities for the visitor interested in either active pursuits or leisurely sightseeing.
The town is a noted angling centre, with wide appeal for both coarse and game anglers in the surrounding East Clare Lakelands comprised of over 40 lakes and rivers.
Other... More

5. Mountshannon

A previous winner of Ireland’s prestigious National Tidy Towns Award, Mountshannon is an attractive village which offers many amenities to visitors.
With the reconstruction of its harbour, the village is now one of the principal stopping places on the lake for hire cruisers, sailing and other boats. You can also catch a boat trip here and guided... More

6. Whitegate/Williamstown

Home to one of the major operators of pleasure cruisers on Lough Derg and the River Shannon, Whitegate is a very popular centre for boating, angling and other watersports. Shannon Castle Line operates a fleet of modern, self-drive 2-8 berth motor cruisers from its base at Williamstown Harbour. The cruisers come fitted out to the highest standards,... More

The visitor will find much to do and see in Portumna, County Galway, a Georgian town set on the idyllic banks of the River Shannon, at the head of Lough Derg.
One of the main centres for hire cruisers and watersports on the lake (see www.emeraldstar.ie), the town also offers an ideal base from which to engage in land-based activities. Excellent... More

Twice voted as Ireland’s tidiest village, Terryglass has all the attractive features and facilities which make the village a splendid holiday base.
Two outstanding pub/restaurants, the Derg Inn and Paddy’s Bar, a church, school and community hall, a delightful Craft Shop located in the old Protestant Church and fine accommodation options are among... More

9. Ballinderry/Kilgarvan

This is a quiet and attractive village located in the north eastern part of the lake. There is an impressive, large all-metal mill wheel and derelict mill adjacent to the village. The water wheel once powered an important distillery.
The village projects an image of peace and tranquility – and makes a great stopping point. Relax and take in the... More

10. Coolbawn

The tiny village of Coolbawn is tucked away on the eastern shores of Lough Derg in an idyllic and tranquil setting. A popular touring location for visitors in North Tipperary, the village is also the setting for an extensive, privately run holiday village resort. The Coolbawn Quay resort includes a well-equipped marina and fine accommodation,... More

11. Puckane

Puckane, or Puckaun, is a pleasant village just a short distance from Lough Derg that is home to a number of thatched traditional style cottages which are available for hire. Services in the village include pubs and shops. A vibrant Craft Shop & Tea Rooms a little north of the village is also worth checking out. Wood Art products made in its... More

12. Dromineer

Dromineer is one of the oldest villages located on the Lough. Once known as the 'Port of Ormond', Dromineer offers a range of visitor facilities and services including accommodation, a pub and places to eat. This makes it a pleasant stopping point on your drive with children’s play facilities located here, together with picnic and BBQ areas.... More

Nenagh, the administrative capital of North Tipperary, is the eastern gateway to Lough Derg. The town (pop. approximately 8,000) is very accessible, being just off the main M7 motorway linking Dublin and Limerick. It offers a wide choice of accommodation, eating places and other services for the visitor. With its central location within easy reach... More

For a commanding and spectacular view of Lough Derg and the surrounding countryside, the village of Portroe offers a marvellous setting. The village stands at 182 metres (605 ft) above sea level and, besides a great panoramic view, has a range of services to offer the visitor. Portroe is located close to the sandy shore of Castlelough, one of the ... More

One of the best ways to experience the magic of Lough Derg is to visit the beautiful hamlet of Garrykennedy.
Situated less than 3.2km (2ml) off the Nenagh – Portroe lake drive road, the village is a true gem. It’s a small unspoiled fishing and boating village with a great reputation for traditional Irish music.
Up to the 1950s, it was a busy port... More

16. The Lookout Portroe

This amenity area marks the special viewing area known locally as “The Lookout”, where you can savour breathtaking views – possibly the most spectacular throughout Lough Derg.

Ballina is the sister town to Killaloe and is a busy village with many fine pubs and restaurants to choose from.
The history of Ballina is synonymous with transport. During the 19th Century the twin towns were a hub for transport as goods and passengers were conveyed from Limerick up the River Shannon to Portumna, Athlone and Banagher and onward ... More