Must-see attractions in County Donegal

  • Coastal cliffs near the Slieve League in County Donegal.

    Sliabh Liag

    Southwestern Donegal

    The Cliffs of Moher get more publicity, but the cliffs of Sliabh Liag are higher. In fact, these spectacular sea cliffs are among the highest in Europe,…

  • Close-up of the wavy sand at Maghera beach at ebb tide, County Donegal, Ireland; Shutterstock ID 2286569939; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Maghera Strand

    Southwestern Donegal

    This astonishing beach is a dream come true, especially if you are rewarded with a gorgeous sunset. Get here during lowish tide to explore the caves in…

  • From Glencolumbkille a road heads inland towards Ardara, through the Glengesh Pass.
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    Glengesh Pass

    Southwestern Donegal

    On a narrow road from Glencolumbcille to Ardara, past remote mountain bogland, magnificent Glengesh Pass (Glean Géis; meaning 'Glen of the Swans'),…

  • Malin Head is located on the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal, Ireland and is the most northerly point of the island of Ireland. A military watchtower was built at Banba's Crown in 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars. Around 1902, a signal station was also built at Banba's Crown, quite close to the old Napoleonic watchtower. Both of these buildings still stand.

    Banba's Crown

    Inishowen Peninsula

    On the northernmost tip of Malin Head, called Banba's Crown, stands a cumbersome 1805 clifftop tower that was built by the British admiralty and later…

  • Donegal Castle in County Donegal.

    Donegal Castle

    County Donegal

    Guarding a picturesque bend of the River Eske, well-preserved 15th-century Donegal Castle is an imperious monument to Irish and English might. The castle…

  • Sheep in a field by the coast at Horn Head near Dunfanaghy.

    Horn Head

    County Donegal

    The towering headland of Horn Head has some of the Wild Atlantic Way's most spectacular scenery, with dramatic quartzite cliffs, topped with bog and…

  • Ballymastocker Beach on the western shroes of Lough Swilly in Ireland.

    Ballymastocker Beach

    County Donegal

    Once named the second-most beautiful beach in the world by British newspaper the Observer, this tawny-coloured Blue Flag beach is a supremely fine place…

  • Culdaff beach, Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal

    Culdaff Beach

    Inishowen Peninsula

    This Blue Flag beach is great for swimming and windsurfing. You can wander its gorgeous length and get lost in the grassy sand dunes, and there's a fun…

  • A sheep on the cliffs at Malin Beg Beach.

    Malinbeg Beach

    Southwestern Donegal

    At Malinbeg you'll find this stunning, sheltered bay bitten out of low cliffs, with 60 steps descending to a gorgeous little sandy beach. It's 6km past…

  • Glebe House & Gallery

    County Donegal

    The English painter Derrick Hill bought this 1828 mansion in 1953, providing him with a mainland base close to his beloved Tory Island. Sumptuously…

  • Iniskeel Island

    Southwestern Donegal

    You can walk out to this tiny island at low tide from the sandy tip of the Blue Flag beach at Narin. St Connell, a cousin of St Colmcille (Columba),…

  • Doonalt Beach

    Southwestern Donegal

    This lovely sandy beach with brisk waves is in Doonalt, immediately west of the village; access is from the car park opposite the folk museum.

  • Glenveagh Castle

    Glenveagh Castle

    County Donegal

    This castle was modelled on Scotland's Balmoral Castle. Henry McIlhenny made it a characterful home with liberal reminders of his passion for deer…

  • A bridge in Poisoned Glen.

    Poisoned Glen

    County Donegal

    With a name like this – misnomer that it is – how can you resist its allure? Follow a rough walking path into the rocky fastness of the glen (4km round…

  • Grianan Of Aileach

    Grianán of Aileách

    County Donegal

    This amphitheatre-like stone fort encircles the top of Grianán Hill like a halo with eye-popping views of surrounding loughs. On clear days you can see as…

  • Landscape with Mount Errigal, Co. Donegal, Ireland.

    Errigal Mountain

    County Donegal

    The pinkish-grey quartzite peak of Errigal Mountain (752m) dominates the landscape of northwestern Donegal, appearing conical from some angles, but from…

  • Pine trees on the rocky shores of Ards Forest Park in Donegal.

    Ards Forest Park

    County Donegal

    Anyone looking to stretch their legs will love this forested park, criss-crossed by marked nature trails varying in length from 2km to 13km. Covering 480…

  • Tramore beach

    Tramore Beach

    Southwestern Donegal

    Backed by sand dunes, this remote and beautiful beach is worth a detour. It's south of Kiltoorish; look for a right turn off the R261 just north of…

  • Two people on a boat sailing in the Glenveagh National Park.

    Glenveagh National Park

    County Donegal

    Lakes shimmer like dew in the mountainous valley of Glenveagh National Park. Alternating between great knuckles of rock, green-gold swaths of bog and…

  • Tullan Strand Bundoran, Donegal, on a summer day

    Tullan Strand

    County Donegal

    The long strand of surfing beach has a bountiful supply of that gorgeous trademark fine white sand that much of Ireland is famed for. There are rip tides,…

  • A view across Lough Eske

    Lough Eske

    County Donegal

    Almost surrounded by the Blue Stack Mountains, tranquil Lough Eske ('Lake of the Fish') is a scenic spot perfect for walking, cycling or fishing. It's a…

  • Rossnowlagh beach

    Rossnowlagh Beach

    County Donegal

    This stunner of a Blue Flag beach is the main draw in town, with the Atlantic surf rolling onto its broad expanse of sand. You can drive your car straight…

  • Doagh Famine Village

    Inishowen Peninsula

    Set in a reconstructed village of thatched cottages, this open-air museum is packed with interesting tidbits about the tragic Famine of the mid-19th…

  • Donagh Cross

    Inishowen Peninsula

    The intricate 7th-century Donagh Cross (also called St Patrick's Cross) stands under a shelter by an Anglican church at the west end of town. It's carved…

  • Sliabh Liag Distillers

    Southwestern Donegal

    This artisan gin distillery produces An Dúlamán using a 500L hand-hammered copper still and five Donegal seaweeds that can only be harvested during a full…

  • Fintragh Bay

    Southwestern Donegal

    The best beach in the Killybegs area is at secluded Fintragh Bay, about 3km west of town, a gorgeous stunner of a Blue Flag beach and a must-see. Go down…

  • Studio Donegal

    Southwestern Donegal

    Though mechanised in the 1960s, there has been a hand-weaving tweed mill here for more than a century. Visitors are often invited upstairs to see spinners…

  • St John's Point

    Southwestern Donegal

    The scenic drive from Dunkineely to St John's Point takes you past a ruined castle tower and tantalising views. It's around a 15km journey to the tip…

  • Tramore Beach

    County Donegal

    Reaching Dunfanaghy's loveliest beach, Tramore, requires hiking through the grassy dunes to the west of the village for about 2km. It's not safe to swim…

  • Fort Dunree

    Inishowen Peninsula

    Fort Dunree is the best preserved and most dramatic of six forts built by the British on Lough Swilly following the 1798 uprising of the United Irishmen …

  • Dunfanaghy Workhouse

    County Donegal

    This prominent stone building on the western edge of town was once the local workhouse, built to keep and employ the destitute. Conditions were horrible…

  • St Colmcille's Abbey & Birthplace

    County Donegal

    The 10th-century ruins of Colmcille's abbey lie on a hillside to the north of Lough Gartan and northwest of Lough Nacally, beside a 16th-century chapel…

  • Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium

    Inishowen Peninsula

    An eccentric collection of artefacts awaits at this museum in a former coastguard station on a grassy verge right by the waterfront. The most fascinating…

  • Glencolmcille Folk Village

    Southwestern Donegal

    A museum with a mission, this folk centre was established by the forward-thinking Father James McDyer in 1967 to freeze-frame traditional folklife for…

  • Largy Viewpoint

    Southwestern Donegal

    Pull your car in here for excellent, serene and sublime views over the sea. It's west of Killybegs along the R263. On a clear day, you can see four…

  • Colmcille Heritage Centre

    County Donegal

    Colmcille's Hall of Fame is this comprehensive heritage centre on the shore of Lough Gartan in a wooded grove, with a lavish display on the production of…

  • Dunlewey Centre

    County Donegal

    This great hotchpotch of craft shop, museum, restaurant (mains €7.50 to €10), activity centre and concert venue has something for everyone. Kids will love…

  • Clonca Church & Cross

    Inishowen Peninsula

    The gable ends and huge windows of the roofless shell of 17th-century Clonca Church frame views of the Donegal mountains. Inside there is an intricately…

  • Doe Castle

    County Donegal

    The best way to appreciate the charm of early-16th-century Doe Castle is to wander the peaceful grounds, admiring its slender tower and crenellated…

  • Dunlewey Church

    County Donegal

    This roofless white-marble, blue-quartzite and brick church, overlooking Dunlewey Lough, was consecrated in 1853 and makes for sublime photos with the…