From pristine beaches to the most beautiful lighthouse in Ireland — 5 must-visit places in Donegal
Brought to you by Rockshore
Mountains, castles, rugged coastlines, forests... it's Ireland's stunningly beautiful 'forgotten county'.
Don't be alarmed by the nickname. Really, it has come to mean that Donegal has its own vibe — it's dramatic, it's wild, it's beautiful and we're lucky enough to have it. It's particularly alluring for surfers, water babies, adrenaline junkies and those who relish Ireland's natural beauty.
There is an endless amount of incredible things to do and places to see in Donegal that guarantee an unforgettable trip. That's why Rockshore is giving away yet another Mate Escape prize where a very lucky group of friends will go to the incredible Fanad Lighthouse in Donegal!
Whether or not you win that amazing prize, there’s a whole bunch of weekends still left of summer, so get yourself to these must-see spots.
It's Ireland's most northerly point and whether it's walking, fishing, swimming, discovering beautiful (and rare) plants or hitting a nearby golf course that tickles your fancy — it's worth the visit.
You'll find some of Europe's largest sand dunes and you can mosey around Malin Head to reach Banba's Crown (named after the patron goddess of Ireland) where you'll find 'The Tower' (a Napoleonic lookout tower built in 1805).
From Banba's Crown, keep walking towards Inishtrahull Island — the very last headland before Greenland. You'll spot a lighthouse that's nearing two hundred years of age to the northeast and further out towards the east on a clear day, you might even see the Scottish Hills. Take in the fresh sea breeze and enjoy a picnic.
Sliabh Liag Cliffs
Very close by, in the south-west of Donegal, there's the Sliabh Liag mountain.
It boasts some of the highest sea cliffs at 596 metres. They reach almost three times higher than the Cliffs of Moher with some claiming they're the highest sea cliffs in Europe.
We like the sound of that.
Around here, there's a network of walking routes for all abilities to venture on, taking in the mesmerisingly beautiful rock formations, wildflowers, greenery and even waterfalls. Get to the access road just north of Teelin village and follow on to the main viewing area. We must say, it's best to enjoy these walks on a good day where you can avoid dangerous winds and be prepared!
There are three glacial fjords in Ireland and Donegal boasts one — that is Lough Swilly.
It's beautiful, it glistens and it's surrounded by stunning landscapes and woodlands. It's entirely worth your while exploring this magical destination by boat. If a hiking or biking experience is more your scene, take the time to enjoy all options. There's plenty of fantastic accommodation around the area if you're looking to make the most of Lough Swilly during the day but rest your head soon after.
Surf the Coast
Donegal beaches are some of the most amazing in the world. (At least we think so!)
The southern region of Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way is incredibly popular for surfing but all beaches will provide you with beautiful, scenic views.
Picking a beach to get to is pretty easy — you simply can't go wrong.
At Buncrana and Lisfannon, you'll find gorgeous views of Lough Swilly while with the likes of Silver Strand, Maghera beach (it's near Ardara town and there are caves to explore), Culdaff beach, Killahoey beach (enjoy horseback riding here too), Bundoran beach — guarantee pristine waters, clean, super-soft sand and incredible rural landscapes. You'll be keen for a dip!
Calling all adventurers! This one's for you.
We do hope you enjoy climbing because these sea stacks provide some epic views along with unspoilt summits.
The geological phenomenon was formed by consistent coastal erosion that carved out sections of land, eventually collapsing what used to lie between land and now — the sea stacks. Then someone thought, why not climb them?
And so, the freestanding pillar of rock makes for a perfect challenge while you see and hear the crashing waves below.
We can't wait to go!
Don't forget to sign up to Rockshore's Mate Escape where you'll have the chance to bring your friends along to the incredible Fanad Lighthouse in Donegal!
Fall asleep in the 200-year-old lighthouse to soothing waves crashing down below, be treated to guided walks, enjoy time spent paddle boarding, and then end the day with dinner and a Rockshore. Divine.
The winner and their mates will be kitted out with all they could possibly need, and yes, we're only slightly jealous. To find out more and be in with a chance to win, check out Rockshore online.
Brought to you by Rockshore
You need to be over 18 to enter this prize. Please drink Rockshore responsibly. For the next three months, Rockshore will reveal details of a new Mate Escape. To be in with a chance to win, keep an eye on Rockshore social media channels and www.rockshore.ie.