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DonegalIreland

Donegal sits onthe Atlantic-washed northwest coast of Ireland, straddling the Eske River inlush, green County Donegal.Nestled between the Barnesmore Mountains and the Eske as itflows into Donegal Bay,this charm-laden town serves up pastel-painted houses, a quaint harbourside andnarrow lanes edged with welcoming restaurants, shops, pubs and bars. Any walkaround Donegalwill bring you to The Diamond, the pedestrianised square at the heart of thetown, with its stone obelisk, and imposing Donegal Castle, dating from the 15thcentury.

Best of DonegalDonegal is small enough to feel at home in right away, and there’s no shortage of things to do in this welcoming town. There’s something for history and culture buffs, keen walkers, foodies and night owls.

Explore the harbourside to enjoy the postcard-perfect views of the Eske and Donegal Bay; admire enchanting St Patrick’s Church; and view the Four Masters Obelisk at The Diamond, which honours the four monks who penned the ‘The Annuals of the Four Masters’, a historical account of Gaelic Ireland.

Take a guided tour of Donegal Castle, once home to the O’ Donnell family who ruled the area, to see its grandiose rooms and furnishings, and roam the atmospheric ruins of Donegal’s 15th century Franciscan Friary, set against beautiful bay views.

Other must-sees include the Railway Heritage Centre, a museum commemorating the long-gone local railways, and a cruise on the Donegal Bay Waterbus, a journey around the unspoilt islands, seal-inhabited crags and green hills that bound the bay, all backed by views of the Bluestack Mountains.

History of DonegalThe site of prehistoric forts, Donegal town was settled by the Vikings in the 9th century, becoming known as Dún na nGall, which translates as ‘Fort of the Foreigners’. After the Vikings were forced out by the Gaelic family of the O’Donnell clan, the town became the capital of the O’Donnells’ Tir Chonaill territories, before being seized by the English crown and developing into the town it is today between the 17th and 20th centuries.

Sights around DonegalDonegal is an excellent gateway for the sandy beaches, craggy coastlines, mountains and untouched countryside. Head for the nearby lake of Lough Eske for scenic walks along its banks, go hiking in the Bluestack Mountains, relax on the Blue Flag beaches of Murvagh, Rossnowlagh and Bundoran, or hit the Wild Atlantic Way touring route to ogle Donegal’s magnificent coastline, including the Slieve League cliffs. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for angling, horse riding and golf, and Donegal town is a perfect base for those who love the outdoors.

Enjoying DonegalDonegal bursts with shops, restaurants and pubs to keep you busy day and night. Stroll around Main Street and The Diamond to discover a great choice of traditional stores, including clothing, arts, crafts and book shops — all perfect for souvenir-hunting.

When you’re peckish, visit any of Donegal’s restaurants in the town centre or edging Donegal Bay. With everything from seafood, pasta and Chinese to fish and chips and fine dining on the menu, there’s something for everyone.

Later, sample the Irish craic at Donegal’s cosy pubs and inns. Along with a famously warm Irish welcome, traditional Irish music is a draw at most drinking spots, making Donegal great for nightlife.

Top hotels in Donegal

Lough Eske Castle
Lough Eske Castle
5 out of 5
Lough Eske, Donegal Town, County Donegal, Donegal, Donegal
The price is £161 per night from 2 Dec to 3 Dec

This family-friendly Donegal hotel is located on a lake, within 3 mi (5 km) of Bluestack Mountains and Ardnamona Gardens. Donegal Castle and Donegal Bay Waterbus ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (485 reviews)

"Room spacious, comfy bed, excellent food, friendly staff, good service."…"

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2020

Lough Eske Castle
Harvey's Point Hotel
Harvey's Point Hotel
4 out of 5
Lough Eske, Donegal, Donegal
The price is £146 per night from 2 Dec to 3 Dec

Situated on the waterfront, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Bluestack Mountains and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Ardnamona Gardens. Donegal Castle and ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (83 reviews)
Amazing

"An amazing stay. The rooms were unbelievable. The staff were very welcoming and attentive. The food was fantastic. The bar excellent"…"

Reviewed on 23 Jan 2020

Harvey's Point Hotel
Mill Park Hotel
Mill Park Hotel
4 out of 5
The Mullins, Donegal, Donegal
The price is £118 per night from 6 Dec to 7 Dec

Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of O'Donnel's Castle and Donegal Castle. Donegal Bay Waterbus and Bluestack Mountains are ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (304 reviews)

"We had a great two-night stay here. Lovely hotel and grounds and only few minutes walk into the centre of Donegal. Our only comment would be around the number of people using the pool at any one time (given COVID situation). We would certainly return again."…"

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2020

Mill Park Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Donegal

The Suite on The Diamond
The Suite on The Diamond
3 out of 5
Merchant Court, The Diamond, Donegal, Donegal (county)

Situated in Donegal, this holiday home is steps away from O'Donnel's Castle and Donegal Castle. Donegal Bay Waterbus and Bluestack Mountains are also within ...

5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Great place for a family getaway

"Had a lovely stay in the Studio. We used it as a base for a few day trips around Donegal. Perfect to come home to. All amenities, quiet though bang in the middle of town. Easy access to restaurants. We knew parking space around the house was limited but we found space quite easily. Isabel very efficient ..."…"

Reviewed on 11 Aug 2020

The Suite on The Diamond
Crona Cottage
Crona Cottage
3.5 out of 5
Buncronan, Donegal, Donegal (county)

Situated in Donegal, this cottage is within a 10-minute walk of Donegal Bay Waterbus and Donegal Castle. O'Donnel's Castle is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away.

Crona Cottage
Crona Cottage, Mountcharles, County Donegal
Crona Cottage, Mountcharles, County Donegal
Donegal, Donegal (county)

Situated by the ocean, this cottage is within a 10-minute walk of Donegal Bay Waterbus and Donegal Castle. O'Donnel's Castle is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away.

Crona Cottage, Mountcharles, County Donegal
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Donegal

Top things to do in Donegal

Reviews of Donegal

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
21
5 - Excellent 72.41379310344827%
4 - Good
6
4 - Good 20.689655172413794%
3 - Okay
2
3 - Okay 6.896551724137931%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Dave

24 Dec 2019

nice town and some good nightlife in bars

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

4 Nov 2019

Fabulous coastline

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Oct 2019

Don’t miss the ice cream shop across the square from hotel!!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Aug 2019

The food festival was great and the beach with lifeguards and giant waves was definitely the highlight for all the children and adults !!

5/5 - Excellent

Reg

11 Jul 2019

Enjoy the Music and the food and the general friendly locals.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

1 Mar 2019

The people were so kind a generous the food music and crack was fantastic

Cities near Donegal