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Remote Northwest

Deserted beaches, sea cliffs, hiddens glens, roaring rivers and Gaelic traditions

The far northwest of Donegal is a remote part of the planet, infact, Port, a tiny village near Glencolumbcille, an ancient monastic site is Ireland's most remote point!


Isolated beach and headland on the western coast of County Donegal in Ireland with waves rolling in.
Bloody Foreland

Bloody Foreland or Cnoc Fola (Hill of Blood) in the far, far north-west corner of county Donegal did not derive its name from a bloody battle or event that may have happened here in its history. The name comes from the intense red hue of the rocks at sunset.

 

Gaelic is still the native tongue here, and Gaelic tradition is strong. Tranquil and off the beaten track, the beaches here are some of the best in the country and with any luck, you'll get one totally to yourself.

Mount Errigal on the edge of the Glenveagh National Park.
Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park is a remote wilderness with rocky mountain peaks of the Derryveagh Mountains, fresh water lakes, cascading waterfalls and native woodland in the heart of North West County Donegal, Ireland.


The park focal point is Glenveagh Castle, a late 19th century castellated mansion built as a hunting lodge and is nestled on the banks of Lough Veagh.


The park stretches over 16,000 hectares which is a large section of north Donegal. Hiking in the terrain here in can be challenging for a beginner, however, there are some relatively easy trails at a lower level.

Isolated beach and headland on the western coast of County Donegal in Ireland with waves rolling in.
Arranmore Island

Arranmore Island (Árainn Mhór) lies off the blustery, exposed coast of County Donegal on the impressive Wild Atlantic Way where land meets sea. The island has a deep and vibrant history and culture, being inhabited since prehistoric times.

 

Gaelic tradition is still thriving in this remote corner of Europe. For the hiking enthusiast, marked trails lead you from sandy coves, long deserted beaches and rocky promontories. Views are breathtaking when you gaze out over the Atlantic ocean, next stop America!

Ancient ruins near the monastic site in Glencolumbcille in Co. Donegal.
Glencolumbcille

The Glencolumbcille Folk Village Museum is definitely worth a visit. It's a cluster of small cottages called a ‘clachan’ in Gaelic. The village is perched on a hillside overlooking the Glen Bay Beach. The area is Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) and lies in the South West of Co. Donegal. Maintained by the local community it's one of Ireland's best living-history museums.


Glencolumbcille attract hikers and walkers who are drawn to the natural trails, the rugged scenery, and the fresh Atlantic air. Hike or bike up to the Napoleonic Signal Town high above the village and then on to The Sturrall, a rocky ridge that protrudes 800 metres in the Atlantic Ocean and rises over 180 metres above sea level at its highest point.

Image of Slieve Leauge from a distance, Europe's highest sea cliffs.
Slieve League

The Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) cliffs lie on the south west coast of County Donegal. They are highest sea cliffs in Europe towering a mighty 600 metres from sea level, that's almost 3 times the height of the Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare.

 

The fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay can easily be viewed via a short walk from Bunglas Viewpoint cark park. For the more adventurous hiker, One Man's Pass, a narrow 400 metre knife-like craggy edge, where the land drops dramatically on each side, has to be experienced.

Donegal Castle was built in the Jacobean style in the 16th Century in local stone.
Donegal Town

Donegal Heritage Town, lies in the in tranquil rolling hills of South Donegal. Time your trip with the annual summer festival, an eclectic mix of family entertainment and music or sample some local culinary delights at the ever popular food festival.


The focal points of the town are the Diamond, a pedestrianised shopping square with benches and trees and the beautifully restored 15th Century Norman tower house. Originally built by the O’Donnell chieftains, the castle was rebuilt in Jacobean style circa 1600s by Sir Basil Brooke after Red Hugh O’Donnell burnt it to the ground rather than let it fall into enemy hands.