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Nestled at the foot of the Bluestack Mountains, Donegal Town provides the ideal base for exploring some of Ireland’s most dramatic landscapes. It offers accommodation to suit all tastes but, if you want to make the most of your stay in one of the most popular parts of the country, why not spoil yourself with a stay at one of the five star hotels in the area?
Most of the hotels in Donegal Town itself are centred around The Diamond: a spacious, open, pedestrianised area. It is the hub of the town and surrounded by restaurants, pubs, shops and coffee houses. Everything is close by, so you will have no trouble keeping yourself entertained.
The fifth largest in the county, Donegal Town is a hugely popular tourist destination and there is a diverse range of hotels catering for every budget. It is in area surrounded by beautiful countryside and if you are looking for sporting or nature-related activities there is an excellent choice of hotels on Donegal’s outskirts.
The picturesque town is set in a strategic spot and features a small harbour where the Eske River enters Donegal Bay. Some of the more luxurious hotels can be found dotted around nearby Lough Eske, one of the finest lakes in Ireland, and they offer beauty, spa and fitness facilities as well as gourmet dining experiences.
Given their largely central location, most of the hotels are close to Donegal Town’s most popular attractions. An impressive, well-preserved castle sits proudly in a stronghold which was once home to the O’Donnells, the mighty chieftains who ruled a large swathe of Ireland from the 15th to 17th centuries.
Originally constructed in 1474, destroyed by fire in 1607 and rebuilt some 16 years later along with a neighbouring three-storey Jacobean house, the castle underwent major restoration in the 1990s. Set on a bend on the Eske, it is a fabulously atmospheric fortress filled with fine French tapestries and Persian rugs.
At the end of the town’s quay lies the Old Graveyard, housed in the ruins of a former friary where the Annals of the Four Masters, one of the most important sources of early Irish history, was created. An obelisk, built in 1937, which commemorates the work, can be found in The Diamond.
If you want to explore Donegal Bay, your best bet is to hop aboard one of the waterbuses that take you on a 75-minute tour that takes in historic sites, coves inhabited by seals, castle ruins and an island manor. If you want to buy a personalised gift - jewellery, handwoven fabrics, ironwork or pottery - head to Donegal Craft Village, located about a mile out of town on the R267.
With its impressive mix of, pubs, restaurants, shops and attractions, Donegal Town is a great place to visit and if you opt to stay in one of the luxurious five star hotels in the area you are guaranteed to leave with some unforgettable memories.