Ballybunion Tourist Attractions
Ballybunion (Baile an Bhuinneanaigh, "Town of the Sapling"), a popular family resort in the southwest, lies on a coast open to the west where the Shannon, emerging between two promontories, at last reaches the Atlantic. With its sea caves, rugged cliffs, coves and beaches, it offers a variety of attractions for seaside holidays.
In the cliffs to the north of Ballybunion there are many caves, some accessible only by boat, others which can be reached on foot at low tide. A 3mi/5km long footpath runs along the top of the cliffs between Doon Cove and Doon Point, both of which have remains of promontory forts, past the old fortress of Lick Castle.
To the east of Ballybunion, rising out of the flat surrounding country, is Knockanore Mountain (866ft/264m), from which there are superb views of the Mouth of the Shannon.
International Bachelor Festival
This annual 10-day festival takes place in late June and includes daily entertainment. Music, dance and drink mix together to form a continuous party in this small town. Irish folk culture is also on display, although the main events center more on late night pub and club crawls.
From Ballybunion the R551 leads northeast to Ballylongford, at the head of a narrow inlet. On the west side of the inlet is Carrigafoyle Castle (15th C. National Monument), with a 85ft/26m high keep, with fine views. To the east of the little town are the ruins of a beautiful Franciscan house, Lisloughtin Abbey.
To the east of the little town of Ballylongford is Lisloughtin Abbey 15th C., National Monument. The church has a fine west window. There are remains of conventual buildings.
5mi/8km beyond Ballylongford on the R551 is Tarbert, from which there is a car ferry over the Shannon to Killimer.
1.25mi/2km north of Tarbert, on Tarbert Island, are a lighthouse and an old battery. The islet is connected with the mainland by a causeway.
4mi/6km southeast of Ballybunion is Listowel, a thriving little town which has become known for its Writers' Week, held annually in June. The town has produced such famous writers as John B. Keane and Bryan MacMahon.
Listowel Writer's Week
To the south of Ballybunion the River Feale flows through a fjord-like estuary, Cashen Bay, into the sea. Here is a well-known salmon-hatchery, Cashen Fishery, which visitors can inspect.
Rattoo Round Tower
1.25mi/2km south of Cashen Bay near Ballybunion, on the site of an old monastic settlement (Rattoo), are a 15th C. church and the excellently preserved 92ft/28m high Rattoo Round Tower (National Monument).