Ireland’s most northerly county, Donegal, is home to some marvellous scenery and historic landmarks.
Just at the finishing stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way, a great place to start your tour of Donegal would be Slieve League, some of the highest cliffs in the world. At their highest point, the cliffs are a staggering three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher. On the way to one of the main viewing points, stop off at Carrigan Head to see the Watchtower used to watch for potential French invasion in the 19th century.
Just a small distance up the coast, Glencolmcille is host to a replica thatched rural village where you can catch a glimpse of life in Ireland in the 18th and 19th century. Tour around the village and look inside the cottages to see how our Irish ancestors lived. Join one of the guided tours and take a look at real artifacts from rural daily life. There is a great craft shop on site too where you can pick up some traditional Irish handmade giftware.
The best place to experience the landscape of Donegal is hands down Glenveagh National Park. Nestled in a valley of the Derryveagh Mountains, explore the walkways winding through dense woodland around glistening lakes and waterfalls. At the heart of the park is Glenveagh Castle, originally built in the late nineteenth century as a hunting lodge and summer home to a wealthy Irish landlord. Today, the estate and park are a wonderful place to visit to experience the wilderness and raw beauty of Ireland’s northwest.
Amongst some of Ireland’s oldest ring forts is Grianan an Ailleach. This restored stone fort is thought to have been built in the 1st century. Located on top of a hill it offers spectacular views of Lough Swilly and the Inishowen peninsula below.
Just a few miles away you’ll find Burt Castle overlooking Lough Swilly. Built in 1560 by The Lords of Inishowen, it was part of a larger network of castles in this region. One of the most recognisable landmarks in Donegal, it’s well worth a stop even for the views alone.
Of course, it would be a shame not to take in some of the most northerly tips of the island when in Donegal. Fanad Head is home to one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world. The rugged coast below is often visited by sealife such as dolphins and porpoises so it’s well worth taking your time during your visit.
The most northerly point in Ireland is marked at Malin Head in Donegal. On your way, you’ll pass the curious 10 arched stone bridge just outside Malin town which dates to 1758. Malin Head itself is an impressive headland offering views of the raging Atlantic Ocean which has carved its cliffsides. The dramatic backdrop was recently used by filmmakers of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Take in the rugged scenery and breathe in the North Atlantic breeze on this most stunning of pinnacles of the island.
Donegal is well worth the trek north during your tour of Ireland. Let your driver take you through the breathtaking scenery as you imagine a life more simple on this remote edge of the country.
Laura, Tom and team will be on hand with local folklore and the best recommendations on your tour of Donegal. Contact Tom from VIP Chauffeur today. Let’s get started on planning your perfect, tailor made trip around Ireland.