Dolphins - The Shannon Seafari, Kilrush
The two and a half hour ecocruise sails daily from Kilrush Marina onto one of Irelands most beautiful, unspoilt waterways, the Shannon Estuary. The estuary is home to Ireland's only known resident population of bottlenose dolphins, with over 100 individual dolphins having been identified at different times in the estuary. The dolphins are curious, playful and unpredictable animals, whose charming antics are bound to amaze and delight you. The boat also carries a hydrophone on board, through which you can hear the dolphins communicate, allowing you to enter their underwater acoustic world.
Ballybunion Golf Courses
An American golfing aficionado thought so much of Ballybunion Golf Club that on his deathbed he ordered his body to be flown from Los Angeles for burial in the graveyard beside the first tee at the famous Old Course. That last request underlines the captivating spell cast over all those blessed with the fulfilment of having made the pilgrimage to one of the world's greatest links.
The legendary Majors champion Tom Watson, and the renowned course architect Robert Trent Jones are prominent among the many admirers. "Playing Ballybunion is similar in many respects to playing Cypress Point in America and I like that style of golf," says Watson. 'There appears to be no man-made influences and Ballybunion is a course on which many golf architects should live and play before they build golf courses,' adds the giant of golf, who many times practised at his most-loved Irish course before winning some of his five British Open titles.
It was also love at first sight for Trent Jones, the doyen of modern-day designers. 'This is the most natural golf course terrain I have encountered ... I will build you a great course, one of my best,' he exclaimed, thus was born the Cashen course. With possibly a more dramatic setting than its older brother and bigger dunes and carries required to round this course near par, it is a fitting companion to one of the world's leading courses. The upshot is that Ballybunion today is now a world-renowned golf complex of 36 of the finest links land holes you will encounter in any one place.
Angling at Carrig Island
Situated at Europe's westernmost extremity, Ireland is widely regarded as the last unspoilt fishing location in Europe. Carrig Island is situated on Irelands Shannon region which is an undiscovered paradise for sea, course and game anglers. Because the region benefits from the warm water offshoot of the gulf stream the waters around the coast provide a great variety of fish from both the cold and warm water regions of the Atlantic.
There are many different species of fish to be caught off Carrig Island. Bass, Mullet, Flounder, Thornback Ray, Bull Huss and Dogfish are amongst these. Fishing is good at all stages of the tide and is all year round. Fresh live bait can be obtained locally.
For the visitor to this area, the cycle trails offer not only invigorating exercise, but also an opportunity to see and enjoy the countryside. By travelling along the roads and lanes the cyclist will be close to a vibrant farming community set against a backdrop of very splendid hill, cliff and ocean scenery. There are little villages to stop at and countless artefacts that tell the story of Kerry's ancient days. There are four trails set out ranging from 12km to 30km. All routes start at Gregans Corner, opposite the Golf Hotel, Ballybunion.
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