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5 Donegal Ways to make 2015 a year like no other

Another year starts and with it, new hopes and aspirations. Once again, Donegal has seen a steady increase in visitor numbers for 2014. But whether you plan on visiting our county in 2015 or you are living here, Go visit Donegal has some suggestions for you to get the most from what is on offer and to whet your appetite because Donegal has it all! 
So here goes......

1.    Experience Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way

Ireland’s newest tourist trail is a 2,500km driving route that captures the majestic beauty and awe-inspiring ruggedness of the western Atlantic seaboard. The route stretches from Ireland’s most northerly point at Malin Head to Kinsale, Co. Cork. With over 550 km of this route passing through the scenic landscapes of Donegal, the Wild Atlantic Way offers an experience to native and traveller alike that is unsurpassed anywhere on the planet. Highlights include Donegal’s three signature discovery points of Malin Head, Fanad Lighthouse and Europe’s highest sea cliffs at Sliabh League; but the real thrill of this route is the chance to find your own unique, as yet undiscovered, signature point that is awaiting your arrival…

2.    Embrace our language

Whether it is a chance to embrace a few conversational phrases or to deepen your knowledge of the rich tapestry of the ancient Gaelic language and literature, Donegal has the appropriate starting point for you. There is a deep love of the mother tongue within the county and an unrivalled enthusiasm among the people to share this conversational style. The county boasts the largest geographical Gaeltacht in all of Ireland and it has been said that the Gaelic tongue that has been preserved here through the centuries is one of the purest forms of the language due to the county’s remoteness. "— Fiachna Ó Braonáin ó The Hothouse Flowers put it very well when he said "Rich in its complexity, soulful in its expression and resonantly inspirational, the Irish language, too often perceived as a burden, is as important to our identity as the very land upon which it is spoken. Life without it would seem empty and unfulfilled — with it we nurture our sense of place. Too often we hear the cries of regret in advanced years, as if a part of us is missing, and, to remedy this, our challenge is to pass it on to the next generation and to encourage them to do likewise, for the fact remains and always will, the Irish language, battered as it may be, is far too strong to just simply go away”.

3.    Experience Outdoor adventure and culture in Donegal

With its traditionally rural history, Donegal is a naturally outdoor kind of place. However,
when it comes to outdoor adventure, the place is anything but old-fashioned. These days you are as likely to turn a corner and encounter kayakers, climbers, or surfers as you might meet a goat or a sheep. The great strength of adventure in Donegal is that the people have managed to marry the cutting edge excitement of the world’s most modern outdoor activities while remaining respectful and true to the natural beauty of the landscape. This synergy provides the visitor with an experience that is second to none that will remain with you long after your (temporary!) departure.
Donegal is a place where you can avail of such activities all year round because there is no such thing as bad weather; it is only a matter of inappropriate clothing!!

4.    Unlock your musical potential

Whether you’d like to learn a rhythm for the bodhrán (Irish traditional drum), or to master the
intricate art of the unique traditional Donegal playing style of the fiddle, the county’s host of exceptional traditional musicians are very pleased to demonstrate their talents and impart
their knowledge to the willing enthusiast. The friendly informal, natural style that is the Donegal way is also infused with the craic and humour that accompanies all things traditional within the county. The resilience of the Donegal people down through the years has been born out of indeterminate patience and a wicked sense of humour. These character traits are very common to our traditional musical tutors and sets the scene for a very enjoyable musical experience for those of you willing to take that leap of faith!

5.    Donegal Marathon and half marathon 

As you begin to count the personal cost of a festive season of over-indulgence and search
for a new year’s resolution that will be both rewarding and beneficial, why not consider getting out and active over the coming months. 2014 saw the birth of the Donegal Marathon in August where a top class athletics challenge was provided to the people of Donegal within their own county. The competition will run for the second year in 2015 and we would like to take this opportunity to invite you to be a part of it. Now is the perfect time to begin your preparations and whether you are a seasoned athlete, or a budding long distance runner merely trapped in a couch potato’s body, 2015 can be a year where you rise to reach your personal goals and accomplish personal bests beyond your greatest hopes. Running and jogging has seen a resurgence in popularity throughout Donegal in recent years and the Donegal Marathon and Half-marathon provides the perfect platform to indulge this pastime or competitive endeavour in equal measure. So whatever your goals may be; or wherever you may come from; why not put the Donegal Marathon on your 2015 calendar and into your things to do list. Remember, getting fit is a lifestyle choice and investment that will repay you with interest, and you may achieve something that you thought you could never do into the bargain. In the splendid surroundings of Donegal, you’ll be a winner all round!

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So there you have it, 5 ways to make 2015 a year like no other. #donegalhasitall

For information on all things Donegal, visit www.govisitdonegal.com