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Shannon Airport/Ireland

Introducing Shannon Airport

Ireland's second-largest airport used to be a vital fuelling stop for piston-engine planes lacking the range to make it between the North American and European mainlands. Today Shannon (Sionainn) is a low-stress gateway to the region. It's an ideal entry point for the western counties.

About 3km from the airport, Shannon town, built to serve airport workers, has the feel of one of those old planned Soviet industrial cities – albeit with more reliable hot water. Don't linger.