Over-touted as 'Ireland's prettiest village', Adare's fame centres on its string of thatched cottages built by the 19th-century English landlord, the Earl of Dunraven, for workers constructing Adare Manor. Today the pretty cottages house craft shops and fine restaurants; while prestigious golf courses nearby cater to golf enthusiasts. The Irish name for Adare is Áth Dara – the Ford of the Oak.
Tourists arrive by the busload in Adare, 16km southwest of Limerick on the River Maigue, clogging its roads (the busy N21 is the village's main street). As it's thronged with visitors at weekends, book accommodation and restaurants in advance.