Sleepy Donegal is a wonderful introduction to the magical and untamed landscapes of Ireland with its beautifully unspoiled tranquil beaches, majestic mountains like Errigal, dense green forests and fish-filled lakes. It is steeped in folklore and legend and rich with local music, song and dance.
Sleepy it may be but Donegal has plenty of activities to keep even the most daring of explorers happy. From fishing and golf to horse-riding, mountain climbing, trekking, surfing, kayaking and cycling, it is a hotbed of outdoor adventure! If the weather is kind, relaxing on one of the pristine secluded beaches is a must, however, these untouched shores are equally as beautiful on a wild, grey and blustery day.
Ramblers can spend hours in the thick of the Bluestack Mountains hiking to their hearts content while coastal walks along the wild Atlantic coast also awaken the senses. Happen upon eerie 17th century Donegal Castle and surprisingly cosy interiors await while Dunmore House and Gardens provide a leisurely, and rather regal, place to stroll through terraces of rare plants and flowers surrounded by 17th century stone walls.
Traditional pubs are ready and waiting to greet newcomers with the warmest hospitality. Live music is almost impossible to avoid and makes the perfect accompaniment to the lively local craic and a pint of Guinness.
The following information is correct as of November 2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
Donegal Airport is located just over 40 miles from the centre of Donegal, taking approximately 1 hour to reach the city of Donegal by car. Unfortunately, due to the remote location there is no local bus service to Donegal from the airport however there are a couple of taxi firms in operation and options to hire a car on arrival.
What you need to know
Currency: The Euro (€)
Visas: British citizens and EU nationals do not require a visa to enter Ireland. A passport or ID card valid for the duration of stay is required. Nationals of other countries may require a visa – more information can be obtained from a local embassy or from the Foreign Office website.
Laws: The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol is 18 across Ireland. Smoking is banned in all indoor public places including restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes as well as on public transport. Children under 18 are not allowed in pubs, bars or hotel bars after 9pm.
Best Time to Visit
Donegal has a temperate climate with cool, damp summers and mild, often wet, winters. Rain is common all year round however the driest months are between late June and the end of August. Donegal has many festivals and events to draw visitors in any weather. A popular choice is undoubtedly St Patrick’s Day in March where pubs and bars come alive with local craic, live music and plenty of flowing Guinness. Later in March the International Folk Song and Ballad Seminar takes place while April sees the return of the Amazing Grace Festival, taking place in beautiful Lough Swilly. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Dongal’s Climbfest in May where adventure sports take centre stage while those with a sweeter tooth can visit in time for the Strawberry Festival in June. Vintage Car rallies, cycling events, a Beatles festival, boating regatta, arts festival, agricultural show and a Heritage Week ensure there is something for everyone in Donegal. Halloween brings with it the ‘Spooky Village’ event while Santa’s Lapland bring the magic of Christmas to life.
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