The 7 Wonders
of County Donegal
While some consider Donegal to be Ireland’s “forgotten county”, it seems to be the keeper of great wonders, the kind of places you only see in movies. Donegal is filled with landscapes designed for fantasy stories, breathtaking beaches, verdant mountains, picturesque villages and impressive historical sites. It’s not by chance that we targeted this county for our Zoobox project, but precisely because it’s a goldmine that deserves to be recognized.
To give you an idea of what your stay in Ireland could be like with us, we have listed our favorite activities, our 7 wonders to visit in County Donegal! If it’s not just the unusual beauty and ancient character that makes you want to immediately teleport yourself to this country, these 7 tourist attractions will certainly do the trick.
1. Slieve League
If you’re a fan of stunning scenery, County Donegal clearly has more than one trick up its sleeve. Amongst the list of unreal views is the Slieve League, a cliff that offers a breathtaking coastal landscape.
The Slieve League, or Sliabh Liag, is known as one of the highest cliffs in Europe. You will be amazed by the 600m of imposing rocks and the view of Donegal and the Sligo coastline. If that doesn’t convince you to check it out, we don’t know what will!
2. Murder Hole Beach
This unique beach is located on the Rosguill Peninsula. The road to get there is winding (hence the reputation of Irish roads), but the detour is totally worth it. Its name might scare some people, but don’t worry, it is very safe to get there and spend the day, it’s a truly enchanting experience.
You might be tempted by its soft sand and crystal clear blue water, and that’s completely normal, unfortunately, swimming is not recommended due to the strong current. You can, however, enjoy the breathtaking view from the cliff and watch the waves crashing on the shore for hours.
3. Glenveagh Park
Glenveagh National Park is situated in a remote wilderness of spellbinding beauty. In the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains in the northwestern area of the county, the park is packed with rugged mountains, pristine lakes, waterfalls and native oak forests.
At the center of the park is Glenveagh Castle, dating from the late 19th century. The mansion mimics the style of old Irish houses, giving it an antique look.
4. Errigal's Ascent
For hiking enthusiasts, climbing the incredible Errigal is a must. Being the highest peak in the Derryveagh mountain range, you will have the chance to contemplate the valley of Poisoned Glen as well as the Glenveagh National Park. Located in the northwest of the island of Ireland, near the Gaoth Dobhair area, the climb can be strenuous for some, and the altitude may be a challenge, but you will surely be rewarded with a view that is second to none.
We recommend that you bring experienced guides with you, so you can enjoy the climb without the fear of losing your way. We suggest the company Awaken Adventures Donegal, who has experienced guides for all kinds of hikes and multiple outdoor activities.
5. Inishowen Peninsula
The Inishowen Peninsula offers a wide range of activities for its visitors, from breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean to numerous archaeological sites and extraordinary beaches.
The first must-see is Malin Head. It is the most northern viewpoint of the county. This place is famous for its panorama, but also for its flourishing flora and the ocean that graces us with a breath of fresh air. Interesting fact for Star Wars fans: its imposing and dark setting allowed it to appear in the last Star Wars opus!
With its perfect blend of green mountains and clear water, Dunree Bay is also a must while you are there. It is the perfect place for a picnic, a leisurely walk along the shore or a well-deserved day of rest.
For history lovers, the prehistoric Bronze Age fort of Grianan d’Aileach will take you back in time. On the hill of Grianan near the town of Burt, the so-called “ringfort” became a renowned archaeological site following its discovery in 1830. You will be captivated by its imposing structure and its mysterious atmosphere.
6. Ards Forest Park
This park is located just a short drive from Dunfanaghy, a small village on the north coast of County Donegal. With over 480 acres of playground, you can spend a full day walking, viewing different vistas, picnicking on the beachfront, swimming, paddle boarding and venturing into these
endless bays. A multitude of soothing hikes also awaits you, observing its impressive biodiversity composed of a wide variety of wildlife. Take advantage of this peaceful place to rest and recharge your batteries.
7. Arranmore Island
Visiting the island of Arranmore is to travel back in time, to immerse yourself in the ancient Irish customs and to develop your knowledge about their way of life. You will be immersed in the local culture, its history, and traditions. It is the perfect destination for visitors who want a full immersion experience.
There are several must-sees during your stay on this island. First of all, it is the ideal place to go scuba diving or to go fishing. Accompanied by local guides, you will have the chance to visit some incredible marine areas. The Arranmore Charters company specifically offers scuba diving and several other marine activities.
Hiking around the island is also a must, as its 14km of trails will allow you to contemplate enchanting landscapes. Afterwards, you can enjoy the sunset on the terrace of one of the local pubs, with a drink in hand.
Don’t forget to visit the steps of the old Arranmore lighthouse, the ones that allowed the lighthouse crew to access the lifeboats. These striking steps are very impressive even just to look at, but you can access them and walk down to the water’s edge. Be very careful as they are steep and sometimes slippery.