County Donegal’s stunning coastal landscape attracts tourists from all over the world, its wild and natural beauty providing visitors with images that live in the memory forever. There are few better places on the planet to experience the raw power of the Atlantic Ocean.
Kilcar and its more attractive neighbour Carrick are the perfect bases for exploring the incredible coast around south-west Donegal. They are close to the amazing sea cliffs at Slieve League and offer plenty of comfortable and affordable accommodation to cope with the large number of holidaymakers who descend on the area every year.
Hotels Close to a Real Natural Wonder
Although the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare may get more publicity, the ones at Slieve League - also known as the Cliffs of Bunglass - are higher. In fact, they are thought to be the highest in Europe, the beautiful polychrome rockfaces plunging 600 metres into the sea.
The cliffs and rocks - look out for two nicknamed the “school desk and chair” for obvious reasons - make a particularly attractive sight at sunset, when the last of the sun’s rays reflecting off the Atlantic Ocean add an extra element of beauty to an always dramatic view.
A road beyond the excellent Slieve League Cliffs Centre leads to a lower car park, allowing you to reach the cliffs on foot, or you can drive a further mile or so to an upper car park, which can often be full but which is right next to the main viewing area.
If you’re feeling adventurous, there is plenty of opportunity to explore the area by yourself. From the upper car park, a rough and eroded path leads up and along the cliffs to One Man’s Pass. It’s a fitting name for a narrow ridge that leads to the 595-metre summit of Slieve League. Be warned though, it’s a round trip of some six miles and mist and rain can roll in off the ocean with little warning, making conditions hazardous.
Taking a Hike
South-west Donegal is fabulous walking country, particularly if you like traversing up and down hills. The Kilcar Way is one popular route while the Slieve League Cliffs Centre, which has its own artisan cafe and craft gallery, runs one-day and three-day archaeology and hill-walking courses.
It is also possible to reach the summit of Slieve League from Carrick, via the Pilgrim Path, which is signposted along the minor road on the right before the Slieve League cliffs road. Allow four to six hours to complete the seven and a half-mile route, which returns via One Man’s Pass.
Your Hotel Choices
Carrick and Kilcar are good options when it comes to looking for a hotel, guesthouse or bed and breakfast, but if you want to stay somewhere with a wider selection of pubs, restaurants and shops you could consider setting up base in Donegal Town, about 25 miles away. Adara, about 18 miles to the north, and Killybegs, just seven miles to the east, are other options worth looking at.