Lough Derg

Lough Derg is today popular with cruisers and other pleasure traffic, as well as sailing & fishing.

Lough Derg

Lough Derg, Ireland's "Pleasure Lake," is today popular with cruisers and other pleasure traffic, as well as sailing & fishing.

Lough Derg, situated on the River Shannon, has an area of 118 km² (45.5 sq. miles) making it the third largest lake in Ireland and the second largest in the Republic. It is the most southernly of the Shannon lakes and its shoreline is shared by three counties, Clare on its west side, Tipperary to the east and Galway to the north. Its north-south axis runs for 40 km (25 miles) from the Galway town of Portumna to the twin settlements of Ballina-Killaloe.

It is situated in the heart of a fertile farming region where the main emphasis is on dairying, and it is an ideal venue for boating, sailing and fishing. The University of Limerick operates an activity centre just north of Killaloe, catering for groups and offering a range of pursuits including canoeing, kayaking, yachting and windsurfing. The southern section of the lake is flanked by mountains on either side, the Slieve Bernagh range in East Clare and the Arra Mountains of North Tipperary. The Lough Derg Way, a designated route through these mountains, is a popular attraction for hill walkers. Other pursuits which are offered in the vicinity include diving at Portroe and sky diving at Silvermines. At Ballina-Killaloe there are boat hire facilities and daily lake cruises aboard the Spirit of Killaloe and the Spirit of Lough Derg.

Apart from Portumna and Ballina-Killaloe, there are numerous lakeside settlements including Garrykennedy, Portroe, Dromineer and Terryglass on the Tipperary shore, with Scariff, Mountshannon and Whitegate on the western shore. Close to Mountshannon is the former monastic settlement of Inis Cealtra, also known as Holy Island, which contains four high crosses, a holy well and the ruins of a round tower and several small churches and cells. Although uninhabited, except for the cattle that graze its fertile soil, funerals still take place in its cemetery with the coffin and mourners being transported from the mainland on small boats. Regular boat trips to the island are available from Mountshannon Harbour.

With its backdrop of hills (the Slieve Bernagh range on the west and the Arra Hills to the east), its indented shores, shapely bays and numerous small islands, Lough Derg offers many thrilling vistas to the sight-seer. The panoramic views from Ogonnelloe (9 km from Killaloe on the western shore) and the Look Out (a designated viewing point with car parking facilities, also 9 km from Ballina-Killaloe on the road to Portroe) are truly spectacular.

Lough Derg

Benefits of being by the lakeside

Lough Derg

Learning the ropes

Lough Derg

Enjoyable trips on Lough Derg