If you like the savage beauty of nature then thecoastline of County Donegal will appeal to you. Itis rugged, wild and remote. Imposing cliffs tower — those at SlieveLeague are said to be the sixth-highest in Europe — interspersed withdeserted sandy beaches ringed with rocky headlands. MalinHead, on the Inishowen Peninsula, is the furthest north you can go onmainland Ireland.
The coast is fractured with many fjord-like inletsforming natural sea loughs such as Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly. Inland, theterrain is dominated by the Derryveagh Mountains to the north of the county andthe BluestackMountains to the south.
Despite the wildness of the landscape, the climate issurprisingly mild, thanks to the waters of the Gulf Stream.
Things to Doin County Donegal
Doagh Famine Village, only half an hour from Derry byroad, is an absorbing exploration of the history of Ireland from the 1840s bymeans of a series of displays housed in original thatched cottages. GlencolmcilleFolk Village, on the westernmost tip of CountyDonegal, offers another glimpse into the harshness of rural lifein times gone by.
Described as one of the most beautiful castles inIreland, Glenveaghis set in stunning scenery in a National Park and is a real treat of a day out.Within the grounds, you can hire bikes or take a short bus trip from theentrance up to the castle.
Of course, there is golf and fishing, surfing andsailing but most of all, people are drawn to CountyDonegal for its scenery.
The spectacular coastline, part of the Wild AtlanticWay, has such places as the Bloody Foreland, so named not because of somehorrendous battle but because the rocks glow ruby-red at sunset. The verticalcliffs of Horn Head, on Sheephaven Bay, are a sanctuary for breeding seabirdsand, on the windswept grasslands above, you can see Neolithic stone circles.These are just two examples to be found in a wondrous area, where you coulddrive, cycle, horse-ride or hike and be mesmerised by everything that catchesyour eye.
Staying inCounty Donegal
In the major settlements such as DonegalTown and Letterkenny,there is a fine range of hotels, guesthouses and B&B accommodation. Even in the more outlying areas, for examplethe Inishowen Peninsula, the tourist market is well-catered for so you willnever be lost for a place to stay. There are some lovely self-catering cottagesto be found in breathtaking locations, too.
Getting toCounty Donegal
Donegal has its ownairport, with flights to and from Dublin and Glasgow. Otherwise, Derry Airportis around an hour and a half away by road.