County Donegal

Slieve League
County Donegal, part ofthe province of Ulster, is located in the far north-west of the Republic ofIreland. It shares its border with three counties in Northern Ireland —Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh — and a short stretch to the south withCounty Leitrim, also in the Republic.

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.

Popular cities in County Donegal

Known for Friendly people, Poolside bars and Relaxing
Donegal sits on the Atlantic-washed northwest coast of Ireland, straddling the Eske River in lush, green County Donegal. Nestled between the Barnesmore Mountains and the Eske as it flows into Donegal Bay, this charm-laden town serves up pastel-painted houses, a quaint harbourside and narrow lanes edged with welcoming restaurants, shops, pubs and bars. Any walk around Donegal will bring you to The Diamond, the pedestrianised square at the heart of the town, with its stone obelisk, and imposing Donegal Castle, dating from the 15th century.

Reasons to visit

  • Donegal Bay Waterbus
Known for Friendly people, Dining and Poolside bars
Relaxing Letterkenny is calling! Discover its bars, golf, entertainment and more.
Known for Friendly people, Poolside bars and Golf
Trip time! Discover the golf, bars and fishing in trendy Bundoran.
Known for Gardens, Poolside bars and Small town
Escape to secluded Ardara! Enjoy its gardens, live music and culture.
Known for Scenery, Budget and Relaxing
Come to relaxing Glencolmcille and enjoy its countryside, hiking and coffee.
Known for Sea, Small town and Sightseeing
Experience quaint Dunfanaghy: its golf, ruins, beaches and more!