Less than an hour from Athlone is the ancient monastic site at Clonmacnoise. You can moor your boat here and there's a visitors centre.
Next is Shannonbridge, about two hours from Athlone and named after the imposing bridge that crosses the Shannon here. Shannonbridge has two major attractions – angling and ecology. The peat bogs which surround the village are home to an abundance of flora and fauna, and is preserved as a natural habitat to the now rare corncrake. Also along the river are eskers, which are winding ridges of raised ground caused by melting ice during the Ice Age and were used by early settlers to cross the river
At Shannonbridge you can turn west and cruise the suck river to Ballinasloe and moor your boat and the new marina here. Ballinasloe is a large town and hosts one of the oldest horse fairs in Europe every October.
Continuing south to Banagher, about two hours from Athlone. A medium size town with pubs and restaurants, Carrick Craft and Silverline both have marinas here.
Three hours south of Banagher is Portumna. Portumna Forest Park and Portumna Castle are both worth a visit here, and there's a good selection of pubs and restaurants to choose from. There's a swing bridge at the river that opens at certain times during the day, view our FAQ for more information. Emerald Star have a marina here. In order to get to Lough Derg you'll need to pass through the swing bridge in Portumna which opens several times at set times during the day.
Terryglass is a lovely village on the northern tip of Lough Derg about an hours cruising from Portumna with mooring in a small harbour off the lake. There are two good pubs here that do food.
Onto Lough Derg and there are some nice towns and villages where you can moor your boat. Kilgarvan is a popular stopping point for pleasure craft on Lough Derg, a small unspoilt village of great beauty. A strange place to find one of Irelands’ top restaurants, but it’s here and well worth visiting.
About 20 minutes walk from the Kilgarvan Quay is the village of Ballinderry, which has some good pubs and a shop.
Dromineer is a popular village with anglers and sailing enthusiasts alike, and there’s always a good cross section of water sports enthusiasts here in the Summer months. Dromineer is also home to Lough Derg Yacht Club, one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world. This village is a very popular spot for tourist, and the quay is well equipped with developed piers and a children’s playground.
Mountshannon is situated where the mountains of Sleive Aughty meet the waters of Lough Derg. The mountains provide some breathtaking views of this picturesque village and river from which its name is derived. The village has in the past been overall winner of the national tidy towns competition, and inspires a sense of peace when walking the tree lined main street.
Scarriff is a small village on the river Scarriff, just off Scarriff bay on Lough Derg. The village was once an important market town, and today the market survives, and Scarriff and the surrounding areas are renowned for the quality of the angling. Just a short trip downriver is the village of Tuamgraney, which can be reached by road or river. New moorings were installed in 2012.
Killaloe is the limit of navigation for the hire cruisers and is about 4 hours from Portumna across Lough Derg. Killaloe is the seat of the ancient High King of Ireland, Brian Boru and there are some good historic sites here.
Cruising Time 22 Hours, 2 locks.