Car Travel

A car is the best mode of transport to navigate all that this region has to offer. Irish airports (Shannon, Dublin, Cork, and Belfast) have an ample supply of car rentals available.

There are three main access points to this area by car from anywhere in Ireland. The M6 (expressway) connects the region to the north and east, including Dublin. The N18 (highway) filters in traffic through County Clare from the south in a tunnel beneath the River Shannon (bypassing Limerick City) and onward to Galway. For those following the Wild Atlantic Way driving route, Shannon Ferries offers an hourly ferry service from Tarbert in County Kerry to Killimer, near the Loop Head peninsula in County Clare. A series of coastal roads lead to the N67 and onward to Galway City. Time permitting, pull off the M18 at the N85 exit and meander through the Burren.

Road Conditions

The West has good, wide main roads (National Primary Routes) and better-than-average local roads (National Secondary Routes), both known as "N" routes. Since late 2017 the M18 has connected the M6 to Galway City, bypassing all towns in between. If you follow the Wild Atlantic Way touring trail on the smaller Regional (R) routes particularly in West Clare, you may encounter some challenging roads. Narrow and twisty, they are also used by hikers and cyclists from April to October, as well as local traffic (which can take the form of huge trucks serving the local agricultural co-ops, school buses, and tractors). The speed limits on these Regional routes is 80 kph (50 mph), even for trucks and buses, so use your common sense and adjust your speed accordingly. If traffic builds up behind you, it is customary to signal to the left and slow down or pull over to let the locals fly by. Your kind gesture will usually be acknowledged with a flash of lights, nod, or a wave.

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