Lonely Planet Writer

See the airport with the most beautiful landing in the world

One of the focal points of Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way coastal route and home to breath-taking beaches and rolling emerald hills, Donegal is world famous for its boundless beauty. But now, the title has been made official, as the county’s airport has just been voted number one in the world for scenic landings.

Donegal Airport in Carrickfinn.
Donegal Airport in Carrickfinn. Image by Owen Clarke

Announced by PrivateFly, a 2018 poll saw Donegal Airport beating out stiff competition from all over the world, with a panel of travel experts forming the shortlist that was put forward for a public vote. The annual “bucket list” has global travel fans choosing the most breath-taking, unique and eye-catching descents in airports both big and small. Landing just by the water, passengers arriving at Donegal Airport can catch views of the Atlantic coastline, including tiny rocky islands and stunning beaches, as well as the rugged form of Mount Errigal nearby.

Barra Airport in Scotland.
Barra Airport in Scotland. Image by Barra Airport

“Donegal is extraordinarily beautiful and deservedly sits in the top spot this year. Its rugged coastal landscapes were a location for the recent Star Wars movies, and it’s not hard to see why. Whether you’re in the Millennium Falcon; on a commercial airliner; or on a private jet, coming into land here feels like an otherworldly experience,” said Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly.

London City Airport at night. Image by London City Airport

The PrivateFly Scenic Airports 2018 poll was conducted in February 2018 and included over 8500 votes, with a total of 112 different airports receiving nominations. The top ten airports included Barra in Scotland, Nice in France, Queenstown in New Zealand, Saba in the Caribbean, Orlando Melbourne in the USA, Toronto Billy Bishop in Canada, London City in England, Princess Juliana Airport in the Caribbean and Miami, USA.

Princess Juliana Airport at St Maarten. Image provided by PrivateFly / Shutterstock

“Having been voted in the top ten in the last two years we are delighted to have been voted No. 1 airport landing in 2018. It is indeed a great endorsement from the travelling public and aviation and travel experts putting Donegal firmly on the map of the world’s places to visit,” said Anne Bonner, Managing Director of Donegal Airport.