Shannon and its surrounding coastline are stunning. Start your stay with a visit to the historical castle of Bunratty. Located just 12kms outside the town, the site was originally a Viking trading post and was destroyed several times. The present version of the castle was completed in 1425. Rich and dramatic in history, its ornate tapestries and relics remain today and a spectacular tour allows visitors a glimpse into the castle's past. For the brave, venture into the depths of its dungeon!
Less than an hour from the coast, drive west and discover the impressive ocean cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most popular destinations. Over 200 meters high, the cliffs offer spectacular views of the Aran Islands. The surrounding areas of Shannon offer endless possibilities for exploration by road. Venture further afield and take a day trip north to the lovely city of Limerick. Located on the River Shannon, Limerick has a rich history dating back to the early eighth century.
You can pick up your rental car at Shannon Airport, which serves Shannon and the nearby Limerick. When driving around the region, remember that it is not unusual to share the road with slow-moving farm machinery, livestock and wildlife. The county is also the most mountainous in Ireland, and roads can become quite winded. As with the UK and Northern Ireland, in the Republic of Ireland, you will drive on the left-hand side of the road. Ensure you familiarise yourself with the legal driving requirements, road symbols and stick to the legal speed limit, which can change during poor weather.
It is a requirement that visiting motorists carry their valid Australian State or Territory driving licence. It is recommended that you also carry with you an International Driving Permit, which must be obtained before you leave Australia. Some suppliers require this document to hire a car. The minimum age to rent a car in Ireland is 23 years, though most suppliers may have a minimum age between 25 and 30 years. Most suppliers charge a fee for young drivers (25 and under) usually for insurance purposes.
There are a number of toll roads, bridges and tunnels which connect the larger towns and cities in Ireland. If you are driving between towns, the fastest route is usually the motorways, and sections of the larger motorways operate toll charges. Generally, you will pay at the barrier to the toll zone. The toll charges vary anywhere from €2 to €10, depending on the time of day, the type of vehicle, and the particular road, bridge or tunnel used.
Some suppliers allow rental cars to be driven in Ireland and Northern Ireland without restrictions. Some cars are permitted to travel to the United Kingdom for an additional fee, though you will need to confirm at the time of booking that the car is permitted to be transported on ferries. Both international and domestic one-way rentals are on a request basis with the suppliers and include minimum duration conditions.
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