The Sliabh Liag Peninsula Hiking Tour. Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Killybegs
On the first day of your tour you arrive in the fishing village of Killybegs. To assist you with your travel, we will pick you up in Donegal Town or at Donegal Airport. Once you are settled in your first accommodation, we will give you your maps and notes, along with all the advice you need for the week ahead. You are then free to wander around this pleasant town with its harbour full of colourful fishing boats.
Day 2: Killybegs to Kilcar
The first day of your walking holiday takes you through the hills above Killybegs. You follow a series of unpaved roads as you climb above the town. As you climb, the views over Donegal Bay become more and more spectacular. Walk through a quiet peaceful valley – once destined to become a hydroelectric dam. You pass through forests and over boglands. Emerge once again with great views of the Atlantic as you reach your overnight destination overlooking Donegal Bay.
Distance: 16 km. Altitude gain: Approx 300 metres.
Terrain: Narrow paved roads, unpaved roads.
Day 3: Kilcar to Carrick
Follow the coast past rocky headlands, hidden beaches and small inlets through the village of Kilcar. This is a centre of traditional weaving. A visit to Studio Donegal will let you see this traditional craft, handed down through generations. Follow more spectacular coast, overlooking the ring forts that once guarded the coast to the pleasant village of Carrick, nestled at the foot of Sliabh Liag (Slieve League).
Distance: 12.5 km Altitude gain: Approx 220 metres.
Terrain: Narrow paved roads, unpaved roads.
Day 4: Sliabh Liag
A day of hiking you will never forget. See the cliffs in all their glory, with a breathtaking hike above the ocean. Follow the edge of the cliffs, from the viewing point at Bunglas to the summit. Take in the jaw dropping views. You will want to spend some time here, before descending to the little village of Cappagh in Teelin. Your route is by way of the Pilgrim’s Path, the route taken by the faithful who followed in the footsteps of the early monks.
Distance: 12 km Altitude gain: Approx 580 metres.
Terrain: Mountain paths and open mountain. Proper hiking boots and clothing required.
Day 5: Carrick to Glencolmcille
Leaving Carrick – follow Slí Cholmcille (The Way of St. Colmcille) towards the valley that bears his name. Hike over boglands, where locals still harvest turf (peat). Stop at the 5,000 year old Cloghanmore Court Tomb. Follow a gravel path over the hills to Glencolmcille, where yet more wonderful coastal views over Glen Head are waiting for you. Descend into the historic valley of Glencolmcille, famous for its numerous archaeological sites and traditional culture.
Distance: 12 km Altitude gain: Approx 350 metres.
Terrain: Grassy trails – sometimes wet, Secondary roads, unpaved paths. Hiking boots required.
Day 6: Glen Head and Port Loop
From Glencolmcille, climb to the Napoleonic era signal tower on Glen Head. The views here are truly stunning. The cliff on which the tower stands drops straight into the ocean far below, while the views over the rugged Donegal coast stretch out in all directions. From the tower, follow the breathtaking coast to the deserted fishing hamlet of Port. Return to your starting point in Glencolmcille via “Slí Cholmcille”, and lovely peaceful Faugher lane.
Distance: 16 km Altitude Gain: Approx 490 metres
Terrain: Open grass and boglands, paved and unpaved roads.
Day 7: Glencolmcille to Ardara
In the morning, we will transfer to a remote area north of Glencolmcille, from where you again follow “Slí Cholmcille”. Hike through beautiful Granny Valley to the white strand, caves and waterfall at Maghera. From here you follow Loughros Beg Bay to the heritage town of Ardara where you spend your final night. Ardara is a centre for both traditional tweed production and music. Traditional music or folk sessions are commonplace in the pubs in this friendly village.
Distance: 16 km Altitude Gain: Approx 280 metres
Terrain: Unpaved and paved roads, Open rough mountain sometimes wet, hiking boots essential.
Day 8: Departure After Breakfast
After your final breakfast of the tour, we will collect you at your B&B and, to assist you with your onward travel, we’ll bring you to Donegal Town or to Donegal Airport.
Time to leave Donegal, taking with you your memories of what we’re sure will have been an unforgettable adventure.