Visiting Donegal, Ireland exposes tourists to a rich cultural tradition, as well as rugged mountain regions, gorgeous seascapes, and heritage sites and landmarks.
For the people of Donegal, music and literature are important elements of their cultural history, and some of today’s most popular Irish musicians, such as the folk-rock group, Clannad, hail from the area.
Visitors to this county often leave with fond memories of sunset surfing, camping in the mountains, and relaxing nights out at pubs and restaurants.
Donegal is known for it splendid natural beauty, as well as the distinctive (and sometimes tricky to decipher) accents of its natives.
For an authentic Irish experience, this region of Northwest Ireland truly has it all! Here is a quick guide to some of the best things to see and do in the area:
Things To See And Do In Donegal
1.) Mount Errigal
Scenic Mount Errigal is one of the Seven Sisters range of Irish Derryveagh Mountain peaks, and rises the highest of them all.
Located in Gweedore, Donegal, this mountain is 751 meters high. Visitors to Mount Errigal can expect a challenging hike up the cone-shaped slope, but they will be rewarded by a pristine view from the summit!
Clear lakes, unspoiled greenery, and pure alpine air are just a few reasons to make this ascent a must-do activity while in Donegal. Be sure to take enough water and energy bars to fuel your body on the way up (and don’t forget your camera!).
If you’re looking for an easier hike that still allows you to experience all the wonders of Donegal’s mountain ranges, consider the less challenging Muckish peak.
Rising 666 meters, it offers serene views of Horn Head Peninsula, as well as a much-traveled pathway up the south slope of the mountain.
For the best experience, choose a day when the weather is dry and plan your climb for early evening. Take advantage of gorgeous sunset views as you follow the zig-zag pathway to the top: you’ll know you’ve summited when you see the metal cross planted in the ground.
3.) Donegal Castle
Donegal features many Irish castles, such as the one pictured at left, but none is more well-known than Donegal Castle: this ancestral haunt of the famed O’Donnell chieftains was built in the 15th century.
Resting near the picturesque River Eske, the castle underwent renovations in the 16th century, when Jacobean elements were added to the design by Sir Basil Brooke.
Castle tours and historical information provide a sweeping overview into Donegal’s colorful past…be sure to plan a free day to explore and enjoy the beautiful architecture. The tapestries and period furnishings that decorate the castle’s myriad rooms are another highlight.
Dining And Shopping In Donegal…
Enjoying traditional Irish seafood chowder at the Olde Castle Bar in Donegal Town will make for a memorable meal.
This Castle Street proprietor also offers meat pies, designer coffees, and delicious desserts. Be sure to enjoy a pint of Guinness in this warm, friendly atmosphere.
For shopping, consider a trip to the renowned Magee’s Clothing shop, which offers the very best in tweeds and other classics (with a contemporary twist).
Located downtown, in “the Diamond”, this shop offers wonderful outerwear and blazers with a touch of true Irish charm.
Another Great Way To Enjoy The Irish Spirit…
For a souvenir of Ireland you can keep with you always, consider choosing the perfect piece of Irish jewelry to wear every day!
For thousands of years, the Irish tradition of mastery in metalwork has made handcrafted rings, earrings, and pendants coveted symbols of Irish art and culture.
This beautiful Celtic ring features delicate Trinity Knot detailing. The Trinity Knot is a symbol of the Holy Trinity, and it has appeared on Irish and Celtic art treasures and stonework since the sixth century.
A lustrous, genuine cultured pearl is accented by the carefully crafted knot work. This ring is created by hand in Ireland, and assayed (stamped) at Dublin Castle itself.
Authenticity combines with affordability in this very wearable piece. Wearing a special Irish ring will always remind you of your own Irish adventure.