Donegal 12-Day Self-Guided Hike

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Key Details
12 days
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What You'll Do
  • Immerse yourself in this distinctive land and hospitable people exploring the pilgrim sites of Glencolmcille
  • Explore the sheer cliffs of Slieve League, the peaks of Mount Errigal and the stately gardens of Glenveagh National Park
  • Discover Donegal's spectacular coastline, with safe, quiet, sandy beaches hiding amidst its rugged shores
Donegal has a spectacular coastline, with safe, quiet, sandy beaches hiding amidst its rugged shores. Inland lies a tranquil land rich in heritage and folklore with a wealth of culture and a strong sense of its own identity and uniqueness.
What to Expect
Day 1

Arrive in Donegal town where you will be spending your first 2 nights. On arrival at your first accommodation, your hostess will give you your full Detailed Information pack. She will also be able to recommend places to eat in the town & suggest some of the pubs where you may find Irish music.

Day 2

Walking from your accommodation you follow the “Blue Stack Way-Marked Way” around the shores of the beautiful Lough Eske, along the foothills of Banagher Hill, beside the Eglish River to finish in the little village of Letterbarra. On your arrival to Letterbarra you can phone for your taxi to come & collect you (unless you have already arranged this ahead of time). Return to Donegal town for your 2nd overnight.

Walk Details: Distance: 16kms. Duration: 5 hours. Max. Height: 250m. Most of today’s walk is on quiet back-roads & tracks with the last 2kms going across bog land before re-joining road to Letterbarra. The “cross-country section can be muddy and wet underfoot so we recommend boots for this walk.

Day 3

Leaving your Donegal accommodation, you will be driven back to Letterbarra to start walking off the road from where you finished yesterday. Following across old bog roads & through farmland, you then have a lovely walk over the foothills of the Bluestacks to arrive into the village of Glenties. This is your highest walk of your first few days. From Glenties you can ring your taxi to bring you on to Ardara for your next 2 night’s accommodation.

Walk Details: Distance: 16 kms. Duration: 5-6 hours. Max. Height: 400m. Some road walking, muddy and rocky grass tracks, open mountains & bogland which can be wet underfoot. Boots essential.

Day 4

You will be driven back to Glenties to start your walk from this lovely village. From here you follow along a quiet back road to arrive at the banks of the Owentocker River. Following along beside the river, a beautiful walk brings you into the village of Ardara where you return to your accommodation for your 2nd night.

Walk Details: Distance: 11kms. Duration: 3-4 hours. Max. Height: 150m. Roadways & tracks, river banks which can be rocky and uneven in places. Then back to track & road walking into Ardara. Boots essential.

Day 5

Today you will be leaving Ardara to walk to Kilcar & from there transfer to your accommodation in Carrick. This walk follows along the magnificent Glengesh Pass an amazing V-shaped valley with some of the most spectacular scenery you could wish to see. Continuing over bogland & through forestry you then descend to the village of Kilcar with wonderful views over Donegal Bay. Kilcar is famous for its woollen & tweed industry & your walk finishes just across from one of the factory shops here where you can get a welcome cup of tea or coffee as well as an opportunity to see their beautiful range of clothing. From here you can ring for your taxi to bring you on to your accommodation for the next 2 nights in Carrick. Your luggage will already be here.

Walk Details: Distance: 20kms. Duration: 5-6 hours. Max. Height: 350m. Road walking, grass and muddy tracks, bogland & rocky paths. Can be very wet underfoot. 75% road walking today but boots are essential for the section off road.

Day 6

Starting from your accommodation in Carrick – or if you wish – you will be driven back to Kilcar where you start walking from where you finished yesterday to follow a lovely coastal track out of the village & around Derrylahan hill to continue on to Crockunna. From there you parallel with the road to Glencolmcille with fabulous views as you get closer to this wonderful corner of Ireland. Descending into Glencolmcille village – you can then ring for your taxi back to Carrick for your 2ndnight. Overnight in Carrick.

Walk Details: Distance: 15kms with optional extra 5kms. Duration: 5-6 hours. Max. Height: 220m. Road & track walking, also grass tracks – rocky and muddy in places, open hillside & bogland. Can be wet underfoot – boots essential.

Day 7

Today you will be dropped back to Glencolmcille where you start walking a beautiful and very remote route back to the village of Ardara. With glorious views across Glen Head and Donegal bay, you then descend to Port & walk through this beautiful valley before ascending Crockuna & then walking beside the Owenwee River you continue through another magnificent valley to finish close to Ardara.

Walk Details: Distance: 20kms with additional 5kms at end if you wish. Duration: 6-7 hours. Max. Height: 320m. Road & track walking, some grassy & boggy tracks – rocky and muddy in places. Open hillside & bogland. Can be wet and muddy underfoot – boots essential.

Day 8

From Ardara, you will take the bus to Dungloe (An Clochán Liath in Irish or Gaelic). You start walking at Clady Bridge near Gweedore and follow a lovely walk through forestry to Dunlewy. As you come closer to Dunlewy Lake you will have magnificent views of Errigal – the infamous mountain that is SO associated with Donegal. Descending to Dunlewy you ring for your taxi to collect you and return you to your accommodation in Bunbeg where you will be staying for your next 2 nights. Alternatively, today – you may prefer to avail of the opportunity to take a boat & visit the beautiful GOLA Island – a walker’s haven on a very unspoilt place, OR take a boat to the better known TORY island.

Walk Details: Distance: 8kms. Duration: 2-3 hours. Max. Height: 100m. Grass tracks – rocky and muddy in places. Can be wet and muddy underfoot – boots recommended. Some road walking.

Day 9

From your accommodation in Bunbeg – you will be driven to Glenveagh National Park where you can enjoy this wonderful place. No visit to Donegal is complete without a visit here. There are 2 walks available in the Park if you wish to walk – the “Glen” walk or the Lough Inshagh walk. Alternatively – you may be lucky if you ring ahead – some days the Park Rangers offer Guided Walks at a cost of €10 per person. See information in your pack or ask in your accommodation for more information. Overnight in Bunbeg.

Day 10

From Bunbeg, you will be driven to Dunlewy where you walk along very remote & small back roads to the village of Falcarragh. This is a beautiful walk under the foothills of Errigal, following part of the old railway line that ran from Creeslough to Dungloe & finishing close to the coast. On your arrival to Falcarragh, you can phone your taxi to collect you & bring you to your accommodation in Dunfanaghy.

Walk Details: Distance: 12kms. Duration: 3-4 hours. Max. Height: 150m. Grass tracks – rocky and muddy in places. Can be wet and muddy underfoot – boots recommended. Some road walking.

Day 11

Today you have a choice of walks from Dunfanaghy. If the weather is good – then it is strongly recommend you walk McSwyne’s Gun Loop on Horn Head – walking from your accommodation to Horn Head Bridge & back again. This walk is 12kms & can be extended to 21kms if you wish. Otherwise your walk today takes you around Bloody Foreland on a beautiful coastal walk & through extensive bog lands which are still harvested today for turf which is sold locally. A taxi will take you to Glashagh where you start walking & follow the coastline to Gortahork. From there – a phonecall will get your taxi to come & collect you & bring you back to Dunfanaghy for your final overnight.

Walk Details: Distance: 22kms. Duration: 5-6 hours. Max. Height: 150m. Road walking, grass and sandy tracks, bog roads & open bogland. Can be wet and muddy underfoot – boots essential.

Day 12

From Dunfanaghy there is a good bus service back to Letterkenny. On your arrival to Letterkenny you can connect with an excellent bus service that will take you directly to Dublin Airport or City or any other larger towns and cities throughout Ireland. Alternatively – you can take a taxi to Donegal Airport in Carrickfinn which has connecting flights to Dublin & the UK.
What's Included
  • 11 night’s Bed and Breakfast. Full Irish Breakfast. Private bathrooms
  • 10 days walking. Varied and interesting each day.
  • Move your luggage.
  • Give you full walking details and maps of the area.
  • Full walking descriptions of each walking day.
  • 24 hrs Emergency/Information contact number. If required.
  • Airport transfers arranged/booked if required.
  • Full pre-departure information pack to allow you to fully plan for your holiday and so get the most from this Irish walking experience.
  • Extra days/nights booking with Travel/Tourism advice service.
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Ireland Walk Hike Bike

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