Day 1: Arrival in Killybegs
Your hiking tour begins in the fishing village of Killybegs. To assist you with your travel, we will pick you up in Donegal Town if you arrive there by bus, or at Donegal Airport. We will transfer you to your first accommodation, overlooking the colourful harbour. Here 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 bustling harbour full of fishing boats.
Day 2: Killybegs to Carrick
Your first hike takes you through the hills above Killybegs, with fantastic views back over Donegal Bay. Forest trails through a quiet valley lead you back to the coast. Narrow back roads take you past headlands, hidden beaches and inlets. Pass through Kilcar Village, where a visit to Studio Donegal (handwoven Irish tweed weavers) is well worthwhile. Continue along the coast, passing Celtic ring forts – believed to be the “dwelling places of Fairies” to your overnight stop in Carrick. After eating dinner in one of the village restaurants, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon one of the legendary local traditional Irish music sessions in one of the village pubs. Distance: 26 km.Altitude gain: Approx 500 metres.Terrain: Narrow paved roads, unpaved roads.
Day 3: Carrick to Glencolmcille via Slieve League (Sliabh Liag)
Few hikes you will ever do will rival the walk over majestic Sliabh Liag. You follow the edge of the cliffs from the viewing point at Bunglass to the ruins of the early-Christian monastery on top of the mountain. Descend from here to the beautiful Silver Strand beach at Malinbeg, before continuing to the historic valley of Glencolmcille where you spend the night. Glencolmcille is full of historic sites from all eras and well worth exploring. Finish your evening off with a well deserved meal in a local restaurant and if you’re not too tired, you might catch a tune or two if you decide to stop off at one of the local pubs.
Distance: 24 km Altitude gain: Approx 750 metres.Terrain: Mountain, without marked trails. Sometimes rough and wet. Proper hiking boots required.
Day 4: Glencolmcille to Ardara
If you thought that yesterday’s hike was spectacular, then today’s will be equally so. Your walk takes you along one of the most remote stretches of coast in Ireland. Pass huge sea stacks, dramatic cliffs, hidden valleys and inaccessible beaches. Prepare to be increasingly awe-struck by the evermore dramatic panoramas. Emerge at the pristine white beach at Maghera where we will collect you and bring you to your overnight destination in the heritage town of Ardara. Ardara has a great selection of traditional lively pubs, perfect for the last night of your tour.
Distance: 22 km Altitude gain: Approx 1,100 metres.Terrain: Mountain paths and open mountain. Proper hiking boots and clothing required.
Day 5: Departure
Following breakfast, it is time to depart. We will bring you either to Donegal Town for bus connections to all parts of Ireland, or to Donegal Airport.