SELF GUIDED TOUR
The perfect way for the independent explorer to see our hidden gems & discover the many paths less travelled.
4 nights stay, 3 days hiking
Participants need to have a good level of fitness and previous hiking experience is recommended.
“Warm welcome, perfect organisation, excellent guides. 5 stars.”
– Lindsay, USA, 2016
For a totally unique Irish experience, enjoy a North Donegal Hike. Exploring its hidden treasures along the Wild Atlantic Way. Donegal is a county of contradictions: it contains the northernmost point in the whole of Ireland – Malin Head. On the remote Inishowen Peninsula and yet it is in ‘the South’ (Republic of Ireland). It is in Ulster (i.e. the nine-county province), but not in Northern Ireland. That said, it is a region that is very sparsely populated. With large tracts of land that are uninhabited and a good deal of open land and blanket bogs. Hence making it ideal for walkers & hikers alike.
The north-western tip of Donegal is a paradise for outdoor lovers. Most noteworthy it is home to majestic mountains, terrific coastlines & the iconic Errigal mountain in view from all around. The colours formed by the interplay of light and water on the rocks give a magical pink or reddish hue when sunlight falls on them. You will notice this particularly at sunset, and the northern lights can sometimes be seen from here. The Irish language is spoken in some of the regions you will be visiting. Enjoy the culture & friendliness of these amazing people in this fantastic corner of Ireland.
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Your holiday starts in the beautiful village of Bunbeg – right in the heart of the “Gaelteacht” an Irish speaking area of Ireland. This lovely little place is on the shores of the Wild Atlantic Way & if you are lucky enough to arrive early in the day, you may be able to take a boat trip out to the beautiful Gola Island or perhaps visit Tory Island. A private bus service can be taken from Donegal town to the village of Bunbeg – situated just north of Donegal Airport. Alternatively, you can take a private bus service from Letterkenny to Bunbeg.
You will be driven to the start of your walk this morning at Clady Bridge near Gweedore. From here, you will be following 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. Alternatively, today – you may prefer to avail of the opportunity to take a boat & visit the beautiful GOLA Island – a walker’s haven and 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.
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.
Today you have a choice of walks from Dunfanaghy. If the weather is good – then we 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 arrange 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.
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.
Please note, you can combine this tour with the 5-Day Donegal South and/ or 5-Day Donegal West Hike to make your visit and 8 or 12-Day.