Few towns can claim to be the home of a king, but Killaloe was the home of the last high king of Ireland - Brian Boru. The magnificent River Shannon runs to the right of the town separating it from its twin village of Ballina in County Tipperary.
Brian Boru was the founder of the O'Brien dynasty - the vestages of which can be found throughout County Clare - and the ancestor of the Kings of Thomond. He ruled from Killaloe, as opposed to Cashel the traditional seat of the hHgh kKngs of Ireland. Throughout his reign he focused on rebuilding monasteries, schools and buildings in the region. His death at The Battle of Clontarf on Good Friday 23 April 1014 is surrounded in lore - it is said that he died fighting in hand-to-hand combat when chanced upon by a retreating Viking whilst at prayer at the end of the battle. He is regarded as one of the great figures in Irish history. To find out more, visit the Brian Boru Heritage Centre.
Take some time to appreciate its unique history such as in St Flannan's Cathedral with its cross shaft inscribed with both Viking Runes and Ogham Script.
Killaloe has a well-earned reputation for its scenery. A backdrop of mountains and wonderful scenic walks and drives offer the visitor a chance to step into another world. Green lush fields, the Slieve Bernagh Mountains to the West and the Arra Mountains to the East and the blue waters of Lough Derg mean that every interest is catered for - whether that is hill climbing or water sports, cycling or fishing.
Killaloe has many attractions for the visitor. Not only is it located on the banks of the River Shannon, it is also flanked by Lough Derg to the north and is linked to its twin village of Ballina by a 13-arch bridge. Wander through its charming network of streets and drop into its galleries, restaurants, boutiques and pubs. The town's Sunday Farmers' Market is highly regarded and the visitor can find loclly produced arts, crafts and food there.
Killaloe is your gateway to explore the waterways of Ireland. From there you can take a short cruise around Lough Derg and visit Mount Shannon and many of the tiny islands that dot the lake, the most famous of which is Holy Island. You can hire a boat to pilot yourself and cruise as far north as County Cavan or even Dublin City in the east. It is a haven for fishermen and attracts anglers from all over the world.
There is plenty of top class accommodation including hotelsa and B&Bs as well as excellent restaurants and bars.