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Donegal Trade Mission to the USA

This August will see Donegal reach across the Atlantic Ocean to extend a heartfelt Céad Mile Fáilte to its nearest westerly neighbours, friends and family. As part of its ongoing marketing campaign aimed at increasing its ever-growing visitor numbers to the county, Donegal Tourism along with Harvey’s Point with Support from Tourism Ireland will embark on a highly-anticipated trade mission to the States. The delegation intends to engage with major American Tour Operators and Irish Diaspora in three States, including the largest ethnic festival in the world.

The trip will take in the cities of New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee. The New York event will take place on the evening of Tuesday 15th August and the Chicago event will take place on the evening of Wednesday 16th August. Each of these two events will consist of an evening of celebration of all that is Donegal, with members of the tourism team meeting with some of America’s major tour operators providing them with first-hand accounts and information about Donegal. The team will be looking to publicise the recent accolades that Donegal has achieved such as being voted the coolest place on the planet to visit in 2017 by top travel publication, National Geographic, while also promoting the Wild Atlantic Way initiative emphasising Donegal’s relevance to this.

In the lead up to this promotional campaign, Donegal Tourism has been working closely with Tourism Ireland in these cities to build connections with tour operators and significant stakeholders within the industry that can open up new routes and packages aimed specifically at people who may wish to visit Donegal over the coming years.

Donegal Tourism also wishes to extend an invitation to these events to all of our Diaspora that may live or work in these regions. Tickets to these events are free and there will be entertainment and refreshments at each event. To access information about either event, simply visit Eventbrite and search for Donegal Gathering New York 2017 or Donegal Gathering Chicago 2017 depending on which event may be of interest. So if you have a friend or loved one that may be interested in these events, please let them know that their support would be greatly welcomed.

On Thursday 17th August, the team move on to Milwaukee to host an area at the Irish Fest the Irish Fest is to Promote and Celebrate All Aspects of Irish, Irish American and Celtic Cultures and attracts over 130,000 attendees. While primarily a music festival, there is a focus is Irish heritage and culture with a section devoted to travel to Ireland. The festival features separate areas highlighting Travel, Genealogy, Irish Theatre, Culture and Heritage. Donegal Tourism will host a branded destination display stand only at the show.
 For three days Donegal Tourism will host this area at the festival promoting Donegal and all its glory. So spread the word to anyone you may know in the Milwaukee, Illinois region.

Donegal Tourism would also like to ask businesses to create packages on their websites for USA 2017 trip as it is anticipated that website traffic to www.govisitdonegal.com which will in turn create traffic to businesses that are listed within this website.

To book you place at any of these events Click Here:

Chicago Donegal Gathering 2017

New York Donegal Gathering 2017

Donegal Gathering - New York Registration

Cathedral Quarter in Letterkenny Launch New Heritage Map App

Cllr Gerry McMonagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, officially launched the new Cathedral Quarter Heritage Tour App in Dillon’s Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday, 12 July. The Heritage Tour App is a product of a collaboration between Donegal County Council and Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter group under the IMPROVE project.

The Heritage Tour App can be downloaded HERE onto mobile devices and computers and will give visitors the chance to explore the area at their own leisure. The app was developed by Darragh McDonagh from the Geographic Information Systems section of Donegal County Council, using information gathered by Cathedral Quarter committee member John Nee. All information available on the new Heritage Map App was validated by Kieran Kelly of Letterkenny Historical Society.

Darragh McDonagh (Donegal Maps, GIS section of Donegal County Council), John Nee (Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter), Cllr Gerry McMonagle (Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council), Paddy Friel (Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter, Chair), Gerard McCormack (President Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce), Donnan Harvey (Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter)

Speaking about the positive impact that the new Heritage Map will have in the area, Donnan Harvey, Cathedral Quarter said, “There are twenty points of interest on the Cathedral Quarter Map which include St Eunan’s Cathedral, Conwal Parish Church, Sentry Hill, Bishops Palace and Mount Southwell."

"Once the map is launched, we hope that it will be widely used and promoted by local businesses and the tourist authorities. We now look forward to seeing many tourists wandering around the Cathedral Quarter area whilst finding out about our proud history.”

Guest speakers at the official launch on Wednesday 12 July included Darragh McDonagh, Donegal County Council, Paddy Friel, Chair of Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter and representatives from Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce.

10 More Sightseeing Tours & Guides in County Donegal

Whether you are coming to County Donegal or have already arrived, there are loads of excellent Guided Tours offering tailor-made itineraries and the opportunity to see all of the fantastic attractions around the County. Here are some more of the local companies that are offering bespoke tours around County Donegal.

Get an authentic Donegal experience, by connecting with some of our many partner Sightseeing Tours & Guides. This is part Two of a 2-part listing.

The Mulroy Drive is a 45km Touring Route in north Donegal which connects the beautiful Atlantic drive to the rugged beauty of the Fanad lighthouse and the stunning Portsalon beaches and Knockalla drive. This drive offers a wide variety of walking and cycling routes, canoeing, swimming and fishing that can be seen on the route maps along the way.

Oideas Gael, based in  Gleann Cholm Cille (Glencolmcille), Southwest Donegal, has become the holiday destination of choice for adult Irish language learners and cultural holiday enthusiasts. Courses on offer include Hill-walking, Archaeology, Marine Painting, Landscape & Environment, Digital photography, Tapestry weaving, Harp, Flute and Bodhrán.

Rapid Kayaking offers the opportunity to go and explore. Get close and interact with the Wild Atlantic scenery, bird and animal life with the possibility of paddling into caves, through sea arches, to rocky reefs and along the beautiful, picturesque coastline of Donegal. Based out of Boatstrand Carrickfin, Kincasslagh Harbour, Cruit Island and at Dungloe Lake you will recieve instruction and then are issued with a wetsuit, footwear, bouyancy aid and a helmet. Each paddler is given a boat to fit their suitability and a paddle for the trip.

Iain Miller, of Unique Ascent, is a rock climber, guidebook author and hill walker living, working and playing on the sea cliffs, sea stacks, mountain ranges and uninhabited islands of County Donegal. He has explored the mountains and coastline of County Donegal since 2007 finding and climbing over 50 previously unclimbed sea stacks including Tormore Island, Ireland's highest sea stack. Unique Ascent has created a collection of unique and compelling visitor experiences for those seeking a new level of outdoor adventure.

Saoire Mara Charters, based in Kincasslagh, County Donegal, provide boat hire with a qualified skipper for Deep Sea Angling and Coastal & Island Cruises. Their modern charter boat 'Caitlin Marie' is licensed to carry up to 12 passengers. If you have never fished before they will be happy to offer angling tuition and rod and tackle hire is also available. The Sightseeing cruises offer an opportunity to view the rugged west coast of Donegal from a new perspective.

Curran Travel & Coaches operate an efficient, flexible, reliable and economical coach and bus hire transport service. They offer a unique coach hire service in the tourism sector whereby we can collect at any Irish airport or sea port and bring any group numbers from 4 to 50 on tour to different scenic venues throughout Donegal & Ireland. Their coach drivers have a wealth of experience and can give running commentaries on historical and scenic data while travelling through areas of historic and natural interest in Donegal.

True North Bike Tours provide custom guided and self-guided motorcycle tours of Ireland covering lesser known routes along the Wild Atlantic Way, Causeway Coastal routes and Donegal Highlands. They also do guided daily tours from June to September from the tourist office at port road in Letterkenny on a Wednesday and Saturday leaving at 10am each day.

Walking & Talking in Donegal, based in Ramelton, organise 7 day walking tours and also weekend walking tours, taking in Glenveagh National Park, Ards Forest Park, Fanad coast, Knockalla, Muckish and Errigal. The walks range from easy – 3 to 4 hours over a reasonably flat surface such as Ards Forest Park – to medium difficult such as Knockalla Mountain and Muckish which involve steep inclines and uneven, soft and boggy surfaces. Minimum group size is 6 and maximum 12. Accommodation is provided with breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal.

Arranmore Sea Safari & Marine Heritage Tour is based at the harbour of Burtonport, 8km northwest of the town of Dungloe. The numerous offshore islands are havens of peacefulness and tranquility where nature and wildlife prosper without interruption.  Cliffs, beaches, rocky outcrops, sea stacks, sea caves provide perfect habitats for marine life as well as superb photographic opportunities for visitors . Bird-watching opportunities abound together with the possibility of spotting dolphins, seals and basking sharks.  Beverages provided on trip. WC on board.

Sliabh Liag Tours are a family run company, based in Teelin who offer bespoke tours around the Slieve Liag Cliffs, on the south-west coast of Donegal. The cliffs stand 600 metres above the wild Atlantic Ocean and from the viewing point you see across Donegal Bay to Sligo and Benbulben, Leitrim, Mayo, Rathlin O'Beirne and out into the Atlantic ocean as far as the eye can see! On the short journey to the cliffs our drivers and guides will point out all of the interesting landmarks and structures left on the mountain from hunderds of years ago, in the form of Napoleonic towers and some of the navigational aids used by aircraft in World War 2. You will also learn the history of the cliffs and of the people and animals who have inhabited the area throughout the ages, in a fun and exciting way.

Click Here for even more Donegal Sightseeing Tours & Guides around the county and keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog and getting updates to your email!

Sightseeing Tours & Guides in County Donegal

Whether you are coming to County Donegal or have already arrived, there are loads of excellent Guided Tours offering tailor-made itineraries and the opportunity to see all of the fantastic attractions around the County. 

Get an authentic Donegal experience, by connecting with some of our many partner Sightseeing Tours & Guides. This is part one of a 2-part listing. 

Atlantic Way Tours Ireland provide Bespoke Chauffeured Adventure Tours for Tourists and Corporate Clients to Scenic, Historical and Coastal locations throughout Donegal and the North West of Ireland. Their tours start and finish in Letterkenny, however you can request to be collected from your Hotel, Guesthouse or wherever you are staying during your visit.

Based in the historic town of Ramelton in Co.Donegal, Boyce Coaches are a familiar sight across the North-West with our fleet of top-of-the-range coaches. All their coaches and mini coaches are Fáilte Ireland inspected and fully approved.

Divin' Dec Scuba Dive School is a scuba dive training & education business based in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland. They provide world class dive lessons & courses through the PADI system of diving education and standards. Divin' Dec aims to provide the highest quality training and courses available anywhere in the World.

Donegal Bay Charters cater for all fishing and sightseeing occasions. They organise 2-hour mackerel trips, half-day and full-day fishing trips within the Donegal bay area with daily fishing trips and sightseeing trips available from The Pier in Donegal Town.

The Donegal Bay Waterbus trip lasts for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and includes a full commentary on the historical, natural and geographical sights view from the vessel. Cruise around Donegal Bay in their state of the art 160-seater Waterbus. View the seal colony on Seal Island, the Bluestack Mountains and Donegal Bay's many islands with full commentary. Relax in their fully stocked bar and enjoy a cabaret show on the return leg of the trip.

Donegal Heritage Trails specialise in walking tours of Ramelton and Rathmullan. If you really want to explore Donegal, why not try one of their guided tours? And who better than a native guide with local knowledge to show you places of interest and tell you the fascinating stories behind them.

As one of Donegal's leading travel experts, Donegal Tours has put together a mix of amazing landscape, examples of real heritage and sheer excitement. Each organized tour has a different personality, covering major attractions around Donegal such as Sliabh Liag, Glenveagh National Park, Ardara, Gleann Cholm Cille and Inishowen. All tours collect passengers in both Letterkenny and Donegal Town.

With Fanad Lighthouse Tours an amazing journey of discovery awaits you as you learn about the lighthouse and other aids to navigation, past and present. Step back in time and hear stories about light-keepers in days gone by and climb to the top of the tower for spectacular views of land and sea.

Inishowen Tourism has produced an excellent information guide to enhance the experience of “what to see and do” when you visit the Inishowen Peninsula. Their Visitor Services Teams are located in both Buncrana and in Carndonagh and are dedicated to passing on their factual expertise of the area highlighting iconic attractions of scale, cultural and historical locations, niche and special interest activities to suit your needs.

MNG Ventures run customised tours and are a bilingual enterprise. They craft boutique experiences that help visitors connect with Donegal's unique culture and magical landscape. The tours are guided or self-guided with the handpicked local services assistance of Rock & Roam, Connecting Colmcille, The Whiskey Pilgrimage, Footprints, faeries & folklore!

Donegal Climbing is based in Malin Head. Your guide, Bren Whelan, is a Mountain Instructors Certificate (MIC) & International Mountain Leader (IML) award holder, who has over twenty five years of experience mountaineering & rock climbing in Ireland and across the World. Join him for an unforgettable Donegal rock climbing experience on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Click Here for even more Donegal Sightseeing Tours & Guides around the county so keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog and getting updates to your email!

Surfing is Hot in the Coolest Place on the Planet - Donegal!

Donegal is renowned worldwide for its rugged, stunning coastline and it's beaches that catch the full force of those wild Atlantic waves! There simply is no place hotter than Donegal when it comes to surfing… and that's a fact.

Donegal has waves for all levels of surfing skills, from beginners to experts. With our uncrowded and unspoiled beaches, it’s little wonder that many a dedicated surfer is making a dash for Ireland's surfing hot-spots such as Bundoran, Rossnowlagh, Culdaff, Fanad Head, Dunfanaghy and Bloody Foreland


It’s no secret that surfing is fun. It is in fact, a truly exhilarating experience. Once you've tried surfing, it's hard to fight off the bug! It can make you feel young wild and free, it takes your mind off life’s problems, frees your mind and riding that first wave ride is….unforgettable.

Whether you are a veteran surfer in search of the perfect wave, or a beginner looking to get started in more moderate waters, there is no shortage of options in Donegal. The beach at Rossnowlagh is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. More challenging waves are found in the wilds of Inishowen, Fanad Head, Dunfanaghy, Bloody Foreland and Dungloe. 

For the novice, surf lessons will open up the world of surfing to you and Donegal has no shortage of surf schools dotted around the County. If you are just beginning, instructors will teach you the essentials that will have you ‘hanging ten’ before you know it. No matter what your skill level, you can learn the basics of board handling, positioning, paddling, and various techniques for getting to your feet, surfing etiquette, ocean knowledge and water safety from dedicated, professional instructors.     

Surf trips make memories that you will carry for the rest of your life and once you've been bitten by the bug, we can’t guarantee any cure! Pretty soon you’ll go from being a kook to kickflips and laybacks (you'll definitely have to learn some surfin' speak!). 

For further information on surfing in Donegal check out these links below:

So grab your board - Surfing is epic and cranking in Donegal!