I may have lived in Dublin close to 13 years now but i will always consider myself a Donegal gal at heart! I love escaping from citylife to the wilderness of Donegal. Recently, voted the "coolest place on the planet" by the National Geographic Traveller, here is a list of my top ten things to do in Donegal.
10: Donegal Airport: Voted the second most scenic airport in the world (I still think we were robbed in those awards). I will never get tired of the panoramic views of the rugged coastline, beautiful islands and crystal clear waters that welcome you upon descent.
9: Harveys's point: A luxurious family run hotel surrounded by mountains and lake. I'm not usually a fan of traditional sunday carvery lunch. But, i do make the exception for Harvey's Point. It's more what i imagine a Versaille Palace feast to be like, with a spectacular dessert display being the piece de resistance. As a seasoned veteran my advice is to ditch the skinny jeans in favour of elasticated trousers!
Glenveagh: Steeped in history and culture, Glenveagh is a must also for wildlife lovers and photographers. It has numerous walks with amazing views of the Derryveagh Mountains, the poisoned Glen and a glimpse of Errigal mountain.Your instagram feed will thank you for visiting here!
7: The night sky: The scarcity of street lights in Donegal make it an amazing vantage point for star-gazing! A few years ago i took a notion to study an evening course in Astronomy at Trinity College Dublin. To this day i have never used this knowledge in my scientific career. However, i have entertained friends over the years pointing out the constellations on the way home from the pub!
6: Errigal: An iconic volcanic mountain (presumably dormant) that towers over the surrounding glens. It's quartzite surface reminds me of a semi-precious jewel the way it reflects an array of colours depending on the weather. No trip is complete without a visit to the "Happy Camper" cafe, famous for it's nutella pancakes and fabulous coffees!
5: Slieve League: Not to brag but the Slieve League cliffs are twice the size of the Cliffs of Moher!! In fact they are believed to be amongst the high sea cliffs in Europe with almost vertical plunges of 600M into the roaring Atlantic. This is a must for hikers, with a trail path guiding the way to the summit! SJP has her summer residence in nearby Kilcar. The exact location was never divulged to me as a teenager as my parents lived in fear that i would land at her house decked out in my Carrie Bradshaw finest! Please!!! Although, i still hold onto my studded Carrie belt (circa SATC 2008) just in case she invites me in for tea! lol.
4: Carrickfinn beach: Located beside Donegal airport, is the idylic Carrickfinn beach. It retains its blue flag status due to its pristine waters and golden sandy beach. A short distance away is "Caislean an Oir" hotel, with fabulous wines, great food and always a warm welcome.
3: Waterfront hotel: The recently refurbished " Waterfront " hotel in Dungloe is not to be missed. With it's birdseye view overlooking Dungloe bay, it's nautical themed decor resembles that of Cape Cod's finest hotels. The wine list is extensive and the measures are very generous. Nothing beats a hearty meal in the "Waterfront" while watching one of Dungloe's majestic sunsets.
2: Crohy head: Just 1km south of Maghery Village is the Wild Atlantic Way. Crohy head has breath taking views of the sea stack " An Briste" also known as "the Trousers" in English. The Martello tour situated there provides sweeping views of nearby headlands and Arranmore Island.
1: Arranmore Island: A picturesque island 5km off the coast of Burtonport Village. A short ferry journey reveals the untamed splendour of the Island. Aside from it's dramatic sea cliffs and sandy beach, my favourite attraction is the lively pub scene. A trip to Arranmore is not complete without a hike (well it is a hike in 5 inch heels) up the hill to Early's pub. The pizza is a must and the owner Jerry might even treat you to an impromptu guitar session! Every visit is always an adventure!!
I hope you find this list helpful!