Ireland’s lakes are ready to welcome you….
Get ready to be mesmerised by the beauty of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands with its dramatic expanses of water surrounded by lush countryside, historic landmarks, old wooden jetties and lovely villages and towns to stop off and explore. See our 72 hours on Lough Derg itinerary featuring Portumna South detailed to follow….
Day 1 – Arrival at Banagher Marina
Once you arrive, let us familiarise you on your Silver Line Cruisers luxury boat. Our instructors will ensure you are fully acquainted with your luxury boat and the rules of the waterways before you head away. We have over 40 years’ experience in the business, offering a premium, luxury fleet to choose from.
We have 40 years in the business
Silver Line Cruisers is renowned as one of the best in the business, and you can be rest assured you have received the benefit of their expert orientation and professionalism, no matter if you haven’t set foot on a boat before. When you leave the marina in Banagher, you’ll be confident in your chosen route and all aspects of managing your craft on the water.
Motoring off to Lough Derg
This is the largest lake on the River Shannon and the third biggest lake in Ireland. It is one of the easiest options for a boating holiday to explore as it only has 7 locks along its entire 500 kilometres. It covers 24 miles between Portumna and Killaloe and is 9 miles across as its widest point. Killaloe is one of the main crossing points of the Shannon and the town has some excellent pubs and restaurants. This particular area is great for those that like hiking, biking, trail or SUP boards or simply want to relax. The area is rich in history and heritage hotspots. Some have even suggested the newly revitalised region will be Ireland’s answer to Lake Como.
Explore Portumna – (2-3 hours)
Stop off at Portumna and rent some bikes from Dick’s Bike Hire (www.Dicksbikehore.ie) and tour the historic Galway town including; Portumna Castle and Gardens which date from 1550 to the stunning 450 hectares Portumna Forest Park. The park features a number of all-level cycling trails, hikes and ziplines ..and take in the scenic views at Bonaveen Point. Look out for the white tailed sea eagle that have been spotted on an island close to the park!
Off to Terryglass now and enjoy lunch (2 hours)
Back on your cruiser, make the relaxing 30 minute crossing along Lough Derg’s northern shores to the gorgeous Tipperary village of Terryglass. After mooring up, enjoy lunch at one of Ireland’s finest gastropubs, The Derg Inn, where speciality dishes like seafood mussels with garlic & white wine sauce offer the perfect boating fare! Or dine alfresco and relax on your luxury cruiser.
Afternoon & Overnight at Garrykennedy
After lunch, start the motor on your cruiser and journey south to your base for the evening, Garrykennedy, where you will moor under the shade of the village’s 15th century castle, Garry Kennedy Castle built in the late 15th century. For a pre-dinner preamble, stroll along the village’s beautiful forest and wetlands trails which can be enjoyed by heading either north or south along the stunning Lough Derg Way. Your food journey continues with a visit to Larkins, a 300 year old tavern which serves up favourites from wild mushroom bruschetta to ruby ale battered fish & chips.
Day 2 – Killaloe – Ballina (morning)
After rustling up a fresh breakfast on board, navigate your way south to Killaloe-Ballina, the charming twin town flanking the Clare and Tipp border. You’ll probably be ready to stretch your legs when you arrive and there’s no better hiking destination than Tountinna, one of the highest points over Lough Derg.
The 457m hilltop sits 7km from Ballina marina and those lakeland views, stretching from Kerry to Galway on a clear day, are well worth the step count! Any hike is only as good as its snacks, of course. To stock up on trekking treats, head to the gorgeous Wooden Spoon café in Ballina. Menu options here feature superfood salads, raspberry and apple scones and great coffee – they’re very kid-friendly too!
Afternoon (Paddling With 1,000 Years of Irish History)
Now let’s explore the area on the water by grabbing a paddle with My Next Adventure , a water-sports outfitter which offers fun-packed guided kayaking trips on Lough Derg. Inspired by the legendary High King of Ireland who once navigated these waters, their Brian Ború Experience takes kayakers through one thousand years of Irish history — all prompted by sights along the scenic river, lough and canal route.
Evening – Dinner & Relax
Come evening, indulge in a little slice of la bella vita at one of Ireland’s Hidden Heartland’s most ambient restaurants, Tuscany Bistro. Fusing the best of local Irish ingredients with authentic Italian cuisine, the restaurant is a real regional favourite for both couples and families (so be sure to book ahead!). Dishes include goats cheese bruschetta, seafood risotto and home-made lasagne emiliana — along with a great cocktail menu too.
Day 3 – Killaloe to Mountshannon
After overnighting in Killaloe-Ballina, the next morning make your way northwest across the lake to the postcard village of Mountshannon. En route, keep an eye out for Lough Derg’s spectacular white-tailed sea eagles who have made their home in the region since their successful reintroduction to Ireland. The birds can be best spotted soaring the skies in search of prey and are usually identifiable by their huge wing-span of up to 2.4m!
Afternoon – Beach Day!
Soak up Lough Derg life, enjoy a beach day at Mountshannon’s glorious blue flag strand. The beach, which sits just adjacent to the village marina, offers the pleasure of pristine lakeland swimming and bathing. If you’d like to get more active, My Next Adventure also operates guided water activities out of Mountshannon. For another blue flag beach option, Ballycuggeran is a lakeside bathing area, nestled in a designated conservation area, 4km north of Killaloe.
After a stroll around scenic Mountshannon, enjoy a relaxing meal at The Snug, the restaurant, best known for its delicious homemade pizzas, is also popular for wine and tapas if you fancy smaller bites. Keep an eye out for their movie showings to wrap-up your all-star day!
(Allow 2 hours to motor back to Portumna)
Day 4 – Back to Banagher Marina
The next morning after breakfast on board, head north at your leisure to return your Silver Line Cruisers vessel. Don’t forget to factor in a little additional time in case of a wait at Portumna bridge.