Our choice of the top 10 things to do in Donegal
From cultural attractions to the Wild Atlantic Way there is so much to see and do in Donegal. Enjoy breathtaking adventures or simply take in the stunning scenery. Donegal has something for everyone.
1. Tory Island
Visit the beautiful and traditional island of Tory, off the coast of Donegal and meet the last remaining King of Ireland - Patsai Dan Rodgers. The island also has its own painting school, founded by Derek Hill where you can see the work of some local artists - including Patsai Dan. This is a day trip not to miss.
2. Dolphin Watching
To get the full benefit of any visit to Donegal Town, a trip on the Donegal Waterbus is a "must". During an 80 minute cruise that explores the history, environment and wildlife of the unique estuary of Donegal Bay, the boats skipper, Billy Bustard, gives a lively commentary on the sites of special interest, freely illustrated with his own humorous asides and anecdotes. If you're lucky, you will spot some dolphins swimming alongside the boat during the cruise.
3. Rathmullan Sailing & Watersports
Learn to sail on beautiful Lough Swilly. Rathmullan Sailing & Watersports School offers classes for children and adults on the beautiful waters of Lough Swilly.
4. Eco Atlantic Adventures
Based on Lough Swilly (Rathmullan & Portsalon), Mulroy Bay and SheepHaven Bay. Eco Atlantic Adventures offer the most Scenic Kayaking where the Atlantic ocean has spent its lifetime shaping this wonderful playground for you to enjoy.
5. Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park lies in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains in the north-west of Co. Donegal. It is a remote and hauntingly beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains and pristine lakes. The Park, over 14,000 acres in extent consists of three areas. The largest of these is the former Glenveagh Estate, including most of the Derryveagh Mountains. To the west are the quartzite hills around Crocknafarragh and to the south, the peatlands of Lough Barra bog, Meenachullion and Crockastoller.
Glenveagh is the haunt of many rare and interesting plants and animals and is famous for it’s fine herd of red deer. The Park contains the peaks of the two highest mountains in Co. Donegal.
A fine Victorian castle surrounded by beautiful gardens is picturesquely located on the eastern shore of the lake and provides the focal point for visitors to the Park. The last private owner Henry P. McIlhenny donated the castle, including much of its contents in 1983. The Park and gardens were officially opened to the public in 1984 and the Castle in 1986.
6. Dunlewey Lakeside Centre
DÚN LÚICHE is a small rural community in the Donegal Gaeltacht, lies in unique scenery at the foot of Mount Errigal, the highest mountain in the County. Ionad Cois Locha is situated on the shores of Dunlewey Lough in the shadow of the haunting and mysterious Poison Glen. Welcome, step back in time to the homestead of a famous weaver, hear local tales on our boat trip. Visit our cafe and craft shop.
7. Donegal Equestrian Centre
Providers of high quality horse riding experiences for all ages and abilities. Visit us to experience some of the best beach riding Donegal has to offer. Horse riding lessons, beach/trail rides & pony camps available.
8. Doagh Famine Village
Doagh Famine Village tells the story of Irish life from the Great Famine of the 1840s through until the present day. Tour guides will take you on a journey showing how families and communities have lived on the edge generation after generation, adapting and surviving as the environment and society around the local area changed over the years. A combination of informative storytelling and life size exhibits provides an informative, thought-provoking and at time humorous look at Irish life.
9. Fanad Lighthouse
An amazing journey of discovery awaits you on Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way. Learn about the light and 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. Tours offer a fantastic insight into the rich and vibrant history of Fanad Lighthouse and the beautiful Fanad Peninsula.
10. Glebe House & Gallery
Regency House, 1828, set in woodland gardens, decorated with William Morris textiles, Islamic and Japanese art etc. The collection includes 300 works by leading 20th century artists; Picasso, Kokoshka as well as Irish and Italian artists. Exhibitions are shown in the adjoining gallery.
Where to Stay: The Silver Tassie Hotel & Spa
The Silver Tassie Hotel & Spa in Donegal offers the best of both worlds - a rural setting on the Wild Atlantic Way whilst only a short drive from Letterkenny town. This unique, cosy and intimate family run hotel is renowned for excellent service and award-winning food with the "Tassie steak" a speciality! Open fires, candlelit oak beamed foyer, relaxing surroundings & a warm Donegal greeting awaits you. The Seascape Spa at The Silver Tassie Hotel is the perfect place to relax & unwind, offering a range of indulging treatments & luxurious products to suit all pockets.