I keep seeing pictures of Donegal and it looks beautiful. What are the big outdoor attractions...

I keep seeing pictures of Donegal and it looks beautiful. What are the...

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Posted Tue 28 Nov 2023 10:16 AM
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Lonely Planet recently declared County Donegal as fourth on their list of best regions to visit in the world in 2024, so it’s no wonder you keep seeing photographs of this Wild Atlantic Way county! Donegal has some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe at Slieve League (which rise to a height of 601 metres), a national park filled with treasures and plenty of hikes and trails through the spectacular rural landscape. Here are some of Donegal’s unique outdoor attractions that you won’t want to miss: 

First on our list is Glenveagh National Park – one of the island of Ireland’s 15 National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This area lies within the Derryveagh Mountains in the heart of Donegal and there is an abundance of hikes and trails you can do here including the Lakeside Walk, the Glen (Bridle Path) Walk and the Derrylahan Nature Trail. If you see a tall cone-shaped mountain looming over you, that would be Errigal. This mountain is also part of the Glenveagh National Park and standing at 751 metres, it’s the tallest mountain in County Donegal. 

The wonders of Glenveagh National Park don’t stop there. The golden eagle was reintroduced in this very park after an absence of over 100 years! Keep an eye on the sky for these very rare birds as you follow the lakeside walk to Glenveagh Castle and Gardens for a stroll through the impressively maintained gardens and a bite to eat in the Synge and Byrne Tearooms. There is also a bus service which can take you from the Glenveagh National Park Visitor Centre to the castle and back.

Let’s head to the beach next. Bundoran is known worldwide as a top spot for surfing – the picturesque sandy beach and large crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean make for a fun day out! Don’t worry if you’ve never surfed before, you can avail of the surfing lessons here from the likes of Bundoran Surf Co and Murf’s Surf School, which also offer board rental right at the beach. 

Did you know that County Donegal also has cliffs almost three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher? The Slieve League Cliffs (known as Sliabh Liag in Irish Gaelic) offer incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean below. Visit the family-run Slieve League Cliffs Centre where you can take part in their daily guided tours, and learn about the wildlife, history and heritage of the cliffs. There are designated view points along the cliffs, as well as walking trails. Fancy getting a different perspective? Try the Sliabh Liag Boat Tours (weather dependent), where you can really immerse yourself in the nature of these cliffs with a sea swim beneath them! 

Last but not least, head to the edge of Europe on the remote Inishowen Peninsula, and you will find Malin Head. This location is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but it also has a bit of Hollywood fame accredited to it… some of the famous movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi was filmed right here! If you time your visit right, then Malin Head is also a fantastic place to watch the Northern Lights dancing across the sky. 

Has our Community visited County Donegal?
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