Top 5 sights in Donegal

Slieve League, photo by Jody McIntyre on Flickr

Ireland has its fair share of unique and unusual places, but nothing is more out of the ordinary as Donegal, the northernmost area of the country. Donegal, or “Dún na nGall” in Irish, means the Fort of the Foreigners, but older Irish speakers usually refer to it by a much older name: Tír Chonaill, the land of Conal. Another, perhaps more fitting name is the forgotten country, as many of the inhabitants call it, because Donegal seems to be cut of from the country, and sometimes seems to have stronger connections to Scotland than Ireland. This remote and isolated place is not on the usual tourist routes in Ireland, which is why it is so interesting and unspoilt. Here are the top 5 sights in Donegal.

Slieve League Cliffs

Although less famous than the Cliffs of Moher, Slieve League are the tallest cliffs in Ireland, towering at 601 meters above the foamy waves of the Atlantic. The best view from the cliffs can be accessed through a narrow path, fittingly called One Man’s Path, which starts in Teelin, the final kilometers of which run along a stunning precipice.

Arranmore Island

Arranmore Island, photo by Joseph Mischyshyn on Geograph.ie

Arranmore is the largest offshore island in Donegal, and like its smaller cousin Tory, it is inhabited and has some pretty good tourist facilities. The wild natural beauty of the island attract many visitors, and there are quite a few sights to see: an ancient hill fort, the ruins of a coastguard station, an 18th century lighthouse and a WWII lookout post.

Ionad Cois Locha Visitor Center

This restored farmhouse near Dunlewy is one of the top 5 sights in Donegal, no question about it. The farmhouse complex can offer you a good idea of what rural life in Ireland was like in the past, and there are tons of activities to keep you entertained. You can feed and pet red deer and other animals, take a boat trip and see the underwater crannog (prehistoric lake house).

Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park, photo by Corinna Schleiffer on Geograph.ie

If you’re a nature lover, then you should under no circumstances miss out on Glenveagh National Park, 17 hectares of mountains, glens, lakes and woods. The Scottish style Glenveagh Castle, built in the 19th century, it surrounded by some of the finest gardens in the country.

Glenties

The tiny town of Glenties has won several times the much coveted title of ‘tidiest town in Ireland’, Although the town has only one main street, there are several interesting attractions you could visit – a couple of old churches, the St. Connell’s Museum & Heritage Centre. There are several picturesque hillwalking trails surrounding Glenties.

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