Welcome to the Go Visit Donegal Blog

10 Cool Things to do in Donegal

Donegal really is capturing the imagination of visitors these days! It's a tribute to all the people here in the tourism, food and hospitality industries who have invested in their business over the years so that what we can offer to guests coming to Donegal is now second to none in the country!

As Donegal was recently awarded the title of "Coolest Place to Visit in 2017" by National Geographic Traveler we decided to ask some locals around the county what they thought were the Cool Things to Do in Donegal. And as "what is cool" depends on your perspective we uncovered a wonderful and diverse range of options!

So, check out these 10 Cool Things to do in Donegal:

1. View the Northern Lights

Fancy a glimpse of the jaw-droppingly beautiful Aurora Borealis aka The Northern Lights? Well Donegal definitely offers your best chance. Some of the best sightings of the Northern Lights have been in Donegal throughout the county. Visit Inishowen has lots of tips on how best to see these stunning shimmering solar phenomena.
Find out more at www.visitinishowen.com

2. Visit the Star Wars Filming Location

Scenes for the new film, "Star Wars : The Last Jedi", were recently filmed at Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula. Star Wars is one of the biggest movie series of all time and now you can go and visit the secret location where some of the latest film was shot. And it's not in a galaxy far, far away! See also www.discoverireland.ie/MalinHead

3. Walk on Top of Ireland’s Highest Sea Cliffs

The Slieve League Cliffs in Donegal are actually the highest sea cliffs on the island of Ireland. In fact, these spectacular sea cliffs are among the highest in Europe, plunging some 600m! That's nearly three times the height of their County Clare sisters. The views from the top are simply stunning and you can Walk the top of One Man's Pass, if you dare! Find out more at www.sliabhliag.com

4. Try your hand at Sea Stack Climbing

Scale new heights or dangle down a sea stack along the Wild Atlantic Way! Donegal has some of the most outstanding sea stacks in the northern hemisphere and you can join professional climbers Iain Miller of Unique Ascent or Bren Whelan of Donegal Climbing to brave the rock face and discover some of Donegal’s amazing climbable mountains, cliffs and sea-stacks..

5. Walk Uncharted Waters on Donegal's famous Beaches!

 There is no doubt that Donegal is home to some of Ireland’s most stunning and usually uncrowded beaches. Check out Portsalon, Stroove at Greencastle, Culdaff Beach, Trá Mór Beach at Dunfanaghy, Fintragh, St. John's Point, Port Beach, Rossnowlagh and many more! The beautiful Nairn Beach, at Portnoo, which was recently awarded the No.9 Best Beach in Ireland by TripAdvisor! See a full list of Donegal's Blue Flag beaches at www.govisitdonegal.com/do/blueflag-beaches

6. Enjoy some of the Best Food in Ireland!

Donegal is a foodie paradise with local produce in abundance with seafood in particular a speciality. Killybegs, the deepest natural harbour in Ireland, supplies fresh fish to the whole county and in most of the local harbours small fishing boats land lobster, crab and various delicious fish varieties every morning! Wash down your meal with one of the locally brewed Donegal Beers for a real taste of the county. Eat where the locals eat and you won't be disappointed! See www.govisitdonegal.com/eat/

7. Discover the Secrets of Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh is the second largest national park in Ireland. Home to Glenveagh Castle on the shores of Lough Veagh the famous castle gardens feature a rich collection of southern hemisphere species trees and shrubs and a diverse Rhododendron collection.  A guided tour of the castle takes approximately 30 minutes but a whole day could be spent exploring the castle and gardens! See www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie

8. Step Back in Time at Fintown Railway

Lovingly restored to its original condition, the red-and-white 1940s diesel railcar runs along a rebuilt 5km section of the former County Donegal Railway track along picturesque Lough Finn. The return trip, which includes commentary, takes around 40 minutes. For more details and rail-car running times See www.antraen.com

9. Go Birdwatching on Tory Island

Tory Island is one of the last safe havens for the endangered bird, the Corncrake and thousands of puffin make their home on the high cliffs of Tory from May to July. The island is also home to Peregrine, Chough, Curlew, Lapwing, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Oystercatchers and several other varieties. The King of Tory, Patsaí Dan Mac Ruaidhrí, one of the original members of the famous Tory School of Art and an avid birdwatcher himself, meets the daily ferry with a song and a smile! See more at www.govisitdonegal.com

10. Ride the Surf of the Wild Atlantic Way

Donegal is internationally recognised as the spiritual home of Irish surfing! Bundoran, Rossnowlagh and Mullaghmore are regular hosts to international surfing competitions with several world-class waves. More challenging waves are found in the wilds of Inishowen, Fanad Head, Dunfanaghy, Bloody Foreland and Dungloe. Excellent facilities for both surfers and kite surfers are available, making Donegal a true surfer's paradise! See more at www.govisitdonegal.com

Enjoy! Let us know when you discover your favourite Coolest Thing to Do in Donegal!