Are you looking for a relaxing getaway with stunning surroundings? Do you fancy exhilarating outdoor adventure? Well if so, Donegal has it all. Its breath-taking golden beaches, scenery, beautiful wildlife array and rugged islands, this Northern and seemingly untouched part of Ireland should be an absolute go-to place any time of the year.
As you plan your trip to Donegal, there are lots of intriguing places that should be on your list. However, it is vital that you get to know some of the interesting facts about this beauty. That said, below are some of the things you should know before setting foot in Donegal.
Nicknamed Ireland’s Forgotten County
Coming as the first in this factual list about Donegal is its nickname. It is isolated both physically, politically, and culturally, perhaps where its nickname “the Forgotten County” originates. Despite being one of the largest counties in the Northwestern corner of Ireland, it is difficult to access and very remote.
Donegal has, for long, been forgotten by the other highly populated southern and eastern regions of Ireland. It is also commonly ignored by most Irish travel itineraries. However, this little interference makes it a perfect spot to experience the interesting Irish traditions and explore the untouched mountains and bogs in the region.
Boasts of Europe’s Highest Sea Cliffs
For most, the cliff of Moher comes to their mind once they hear the word “cliffs in Ireland.” It attributes back to the remote and unexplored nature of Donegal. Well, the region has the Slieve League Cliffs that are nearly three times the height of Cliffs of Moher.
Travellers like enjoying the view of these impressive landscapes from the Bunglas Viewpoint. However, a better way to view them is through the boggy yet worth it Pilgrim’s path. This is an ancient path leading up to the back of the cliffs through the Mass Rock.
Home to Star Wars Shoot at Malin Head
The release of the new movie “Star Wars” raised a lot of rage within most enthusiasts. If you aren’t aware, much of this movie was shot in Ireland. In the film, the Skellig Islands are the most visible parts, but much of the scenes between Luke and Rey close-ups were filmed at Malin Head.
The Malin Head is the most northern part of Ireland and feels like the world’s edge. This part of Donegal is home to colonies of sea birds, basking sharks, and dolphins.
Meet King Patsy on Tory Island
Surprisingly, Ireland has a king whom you should certainly meet during your trip. King Patsy is chosen by hundred-odd islanders and rules the small Tory Island that is off Donegal’s coast. As you step off the boat, King Patsy and his brigade will receive you warmly. The island is a good place to hike, relax, and probably for setting up your easel.
Fringed by the Lough Swilly Glacier
Firstly, are you aware of Ireland’s three glacial fjords? Well, Ireland experiences three glacial Fjords, and Donegal has one, the Lough Swilly. The beautiful glittering basin occasionally sweeps through its northern coast. It is probably the most scenic places on Emerald Isle.
You can experience the glacial fjord better on a boat. Hiking and biking on this jaw-dropping coastline are equally amazing. The beautiful Rathmullan House with the idyllic wooded setting and the Donegal Thatch Cottages provides outstanding accommodation that overlooks the shores if you can’t get enough of the view.
Learn the Traditional Hand Weaving
Ever heard of the Donegal Tweed? Well, this once created a lot of rage in the UK for their dependable, exotic, and exquisite nature. The Tweed came from Donegal’s western village of Ardara, which has a long history of hand weaving. Till date, you can find traditional weavers scattered in Donegal who still weave on various ancestral looms. Their numbers are, however dwindling due to the modern industrial methods.
Enjoy Sea Stack Climbing on the Coast
Sea stacks are a rare but fascinating geological phenomenon. They are formed by consistent coastal erosion that ultimately curves some sections of the land. This collapses the bridge between the stack and land, forming high points. A good example is the freestanding rock-island pillar that forms a perfect challenge point for travelers who want to experience new heights.
How about some traditional music?
Once you are done with the day trips, what’s your evening plan? Well, if you have nothing to do, it won’t be a bad idea heading out into some local pub, which by default, should be an original Irish pub. Once there, join a traditional Irish session that often starts around 9:30 pm for some hours of fun.
There are other intriguing attraction points and historical facts to note before setting foot on Donegal. Advice your trip planner to include every minute detail in your schedule to enable you enjoy the best experience while it lasts and this may include accommodation at the Donegal Thatch Cottages.