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County Donegal Holiday Guide

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

If you like the savage beauty of nature then the coastline of County Donegal will appeal to you. It is rugged, wild and remote. Imposing cliffs tower — those at Slieve League are said to be the sixth-highest in Europe — interspersed with deserted sandy beaches ringed with rocky headlands. Malin Head, on the Inishowen Peninsula, is the furthest north you can go on mainland Ireland.

The coast is fractured with many fjord-like inlets forming natural sea loughs such as Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly. Inland, the terrain is dominated by the Derryveagh Mountains to the north of the county and the Bluestack Mountains to the south.

Despite the wildness of the landscape, the climate is surprisingly mild, thanks to the waters of the Gulf Stream.

Things to Do in County Donegal

Doagh Famine Village, only half an hour from Derry by road, is an absorbing exploration of the history of Ireland from the 1840s by means of a series of displays housed in original thatched cottages. Glencolmcille Folk Village, on the westernmost tip of County Donegal, offers another glimpse into the harshness of rural life in times gone by.

Described as one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland, Glenveagh is 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 the entrance up to the castle.

Of course, there is golf and fishing, surfing and sailing but most of all, people are drawn to County Donegal for its scenery.

The spectacular coastline, part of the Wild Atlantic Way, has such places as the Bloody Foreland, so named not because of some horrendous battle but because the rocks glow ruby-red at sunset. The vertical cliffs of Horn Head, on Sheephaven Bay, are a sanctuary for breeding seabirds and, 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 could drive, cycle, horse-ride or hike and be mesmerised by everything that catches your eye.

Staying in County Donegal

In the major settlements such as Donegal Town and Letterkenny, there is a fine range of hotels, guesthouses and B&B accommodation.  Even in the more outlying areas, for example the Inishowen Peninsula, the tourist market is well-catered for so you will never be lost for a place to stay. There are some lovely self-catering cottages to be found in breathtaking locations, too.

Getting to County Donegal

Donegal has its own airport, with flights to and from Dublin and Glasgow. Otherwise, Derry Airport is around an hour and a half away by road.

Guide to Exploring Donegal

Top Hotel Deals

See all 102 Hotels in Donegal
Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa

Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa

1 Lough Eske, Donegal
of 5, from 216 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Situated on a lake, this luxury hotel is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Lough Eske and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Ardnamona Gardens. O'Donnel's Castle and Donegal Castle are also within 6 miles (10 km).

Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny

Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny

Paddy Harte Road, Letterkenny
of 5, from 380 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Letterkenny hotel is located in the entertainment district, within a 15-minute walk of Letterkenny Golf Club and Letterkenny Cathedral. Letterkenny Town Park and Donegal County Museum are also within 1 mile (2 km).

McGettigan's Hotel Letterkenny

McGettigan's Hotel Letterkenny

100 Main Street, Letterkenny
of 5, from 516 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Letterkenny Leisure Centre, Letterkenny Cathedral and Donegal County Museum. Letterkenny Town Park and Letterkenny Golf Club are also within 15 minutes.

Clanree Hotel

Clanree Hotel

Derry Road, Letterkenny
of 5, from 529 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Letterkenny hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Letterkenny Town Council Public Services Centre and Letterkenny Golf Club. Letterkenny Leisure Centre and Letterkenny Cathedral are also within 3 miles (5 km).

The Abbey Hotel Donegal

The Abbey Hotel Donegal

The Diamond, Donegal
of 5, from 88 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Donegal, this hotel is steps away from Donegal Castle, O'Donnel's Castle and Donegal Bay Waterbus. Lough Eske and Ardnamona Gardens are also within 6 miles (10 km).

Bay View Hotel

Bay View Hotel

Main Street, Killybegs
of 5, from 103 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.7 km) from Killybegs Maritime and Heritage Visitor Centre and within 9 miles (15 km) of Deane's Farm Equestrian Centre and Muckross Head. International Applachian Trail and Ardara Fort are also within 12 miles (20 km).

Station House Hotel

Station House Hotel

Lower Main Street, Letterkenny
of 5, from 134 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Letterkenny, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Letterkenny Cathedral, Letterkenny Leisure Centre and Letterkenny Golf Club. Donegal County Museum and Letterkenny Town Park are also within 1 mile (2 km).

Gateway Lodge Donegal

Gateway Lodge Donegal

Killybegs road (R925), Donegal
of 5, from 94 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Donegal, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Donegal Castle and O'Donnel's Castle. Donegal Bay Waterbus is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) away.

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