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02nd Nov 2021

10 unreal spots you need to visit on your next trip to Donegal


Brought to you by Discover Ireland

Planning a weekend away in Donegal? Don’t miss these amazing spots along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Donegal excites and delights with its magnificent coastline, heritage hotspots and great gastronomy. It is an ideal destination for those hungry for adventure and authentic dining experiences.

Looking for a Wild Atlantic Way autumn getaway? Here are some exciting escapades to enjoy in Donegal.

Bundoran Surf Co, Bundoran

Get wet and wild and ride the waves in the surf capital of Ireland. Whether you are a pro or beginner, you’ll find the conditions at Bundoran perfect and enjoyable come rain or come shine.

Need a hand hanging 10? Then book in with the excellent Bundoran Surf Co which has lessons for all ages and abilities all year round. You’ll be catching the waves and hanging loose in no time.


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Smugglers Creek Inn, Rossnowlagh

Starving after surfing? At the nearby Smugglers Creek Inn, you can warm up and wind down whilst tucking into hearty dishes made with local, seasonal produce served with a side order of sweeping views. Smugglers Creek Inn’s opening hours are Friday to Sunday from 12:30 pm.

Donegal Castle, Donegal Town 

Dominating Donegal town, the striking 15th-century Donegal Castle was built by Red Hugh O’Donnell (remember him from school?). For those not up to speed, the one-hour self-guided castle tour will fill you in on the O’Donnell dynasty, including Red Hugh’s daring escape from the English. ’Tis an incredible tale and an important part of Gaelic history and heritage. Now is a great time to visit as there’s free admission until the end of the year.


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Olde Castle Bar & Restaurant, Donegal Town

If all that history has made you hungry, across the road is The Olde Castle Bar & Restaurant. The seafood platter is lip-smackingly tasty and a wonderful way to sample a variety of the local catch.

Sliabh Liag Cliffs, Carrick

The Sliabh Liag cliffs are some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Though they look and feel otherworldly, they are in fact located just outside the Gaeltacht village of Carrick and are a signature point on the Wild Atlantic Way coastal touring route.

From the viewing platform, you can admire their beguiling beauty as the waves crash below and seabirds soar above. Feeling adventurous? Follow the stone pathway up along the top of the cliffs for an even more breathtaking view.

Silver Strand, Málainn Bhig (Malinbeg)

Silver Stand Beach at Málainn Bhig in southwest Donegal is a stunning spot for a stroll, swim or snorkel. This secluded bay with its golden soft sand is reached by descending 174 steep-sloping steps. Surrounded by imposing, verdant cliffs, it really is an incredibly dramatic setting. The best thing about visiting this time of year? There’s a good chance you’ll have the place all to yourself.

The Rusty Mackerel, Carrick

Satisfy a rumbling tummy with a meal in The Rusty Mackerel. Sitting at the foot of Sliabh Liag, this charismatic bar and restaurant serves up the best seasonal, local produce Donegal has on offer.

Donegal Design Makers, Front St, Ardara

Donegal Design Makers in Ardara brings together some of the county’s most talented designers and artisan craftspeople under one roof. This unique gallery shop showcases a beautiful collection of ceramics, papercraft, photography, batik, jewellery, wood-turning, prints and knitwear all of which have been imagined, designed and handmade in Donegal. It’s a wonderful place to buy a memento of your trip and take a bit of Dún na nGall home with you.

Nancy’s Bar, Ardara

Nancy’s Bar in Ardara is a cosy pub and restaurant where you can warm your cockles with an Irish coffee by the roaring log fire and enjoy some fine, fresh seafood like locally caught mussels and oysters.

Glenveagh National Park and Castle, Letterkenny

In the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains in the northwest of Donegal, you’ll find the remote, rugged, romantic landscape of Glenveagh National Park and Castle. Lace-up your walking shoes and explore the majestic mountains, glorious glens and native oak woods. In the Castle Gardens, relax by the pristine lakes and waterfalls whilst basking in the beauty of nature. This is what Donegal is all about.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go to Donegal where exciting adventures and excellent cuisine awaits this autumn.

Capacity restrictions may be in place at visitor attractions, sites and restaurants so you are encouraged to book ahead to avoid disappointment. 

The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this autumn and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place, leave no trace.

Brought to you by Discover Ireland