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Fanad Lighthouse in Donegal

Take your loved ones on a journey of discovery with these things to do in Donegal. These Donegal attractions are perfect whether travelling with adults, children, or pets.

Whether you want to get out and enjoy the green countryside or spend the day exploring the towns of Donegal, we have you covered.

You can find all you need to know about the best things to do in Donegal. Why not start planning your next Irish staycation?

See which County Donegal attractions you want to try below…

Sliabh Liag

Lookout over Sliabh Liag

Sliabh Liag (Slieve League)is a mountain 596 meters tall.

It is home to the second-highest sea cliffs in Ireland. And offers scenic views over the coast.

From Slieve League, you can look out across Donegal Bay. Here you can see parts of County LeitrimSligo and Mayo.

If you want to see this natural seascape, you have a couple of options. Walking or boating.

To Walk:

There are a few paths that explore Sliabh Liag. However, the most common is Pilgrim’s Path.

You can start this walk from Teelin Village. And if you want to extend the 3km hike, One Man’s Pass takes you along the cliffs and down to Bunglas.

To Boat:

Most of these boat trips head out from Teelin Harbour.

No matter who you speak to in County Donegal, most will recommend Sliabh Liag as one of the best things to do in Donegal.

Grianán of Aileach

Inside the Grianan of Aileach

At the top of Greenan mountain sits the Grianán of Aileach. 

The Grianán of Aileach is a stone fortress in Inishowen. Built-in the 1600’s, the fort has links to Dagda (the good God), as well as the legend of giants.

This Donegal attraction is a great place to take the kids. With the mystery surrounding its creation, you can learn much more about the area.

Errigal Mountain

Errigal Mountain

Standing at 751-meters, Errigal is the tallest mountain in County Donegal. 

If you get clear weather, Slieve Snaught and Benbulben should be visibleIt is an opportunity to forget about everything and be in nature.

Many describe the mountain as a moderate ascent. However, if you decide to brave the summit, you need to prepare beforehand.

Wear the right clothing, sturdy boots and take plenty of water for the journey.

Glenveagh National Park

The national park has many things to do. You can find walks, castles, and gardens to keep you busy.

How do you choose what to do with so much on offer? Scale one of the park’s mountains, explore the magical woodlands or wander around the castle gardens.

Check out our guide to Glenveagh National Park and discover this remote and beautiful wilderness.

Malin Head

Lookout over malin head

Malin Head is one of the starting points for the Wild Atlantic WayIt is also the most northerly point of mainland Ireland.

Taking a walk along the Malin Head coastline will present you with jagged cliffs and a dramatic landscape.

But Malin Head isn’t just about walking. You can find places to fish, swim and take jaw-dropping photos.

We recommend heading to Hell’s Hole. A narrow inlet that the waves crash into for a photo opportunity.

Plus, between September and March, Malin Head is one of the best places in Ireland to see the Northern Lights (aurora borealis).

Find out more about the Northern Lights at Malin Head here.

Fanad Head

To the west of Malin Head is Fanad Head.

Here, you can find beautiful views over the Donegal coastline and the picture-worthy Fanad Head Lighthouse.

Doe Castle

Doe Castle

Nestled in Sheephaven Bay, Doe Castle is the ancestral home of the MacSweeneys.

The castle was built in the 13th-century and is now open to wander around.

While access to the keep is limited, the grounds are open all year round. Plus, Doe Castle Coffee offers refreshments on your visit.

We love castles. That’s why there are a few on our list of things to see in Donegal.

Glenveagh Castle

Glenveagh Castle

Told you!

Glenveagh Castle is nestled firmly inside the Glenveagh National Park.

In terms of castles, this one is relatively modern, built-in 1870.

Nowadays, you have a chance to explore the castle and gardens with your family. Plus, there are tea rooms close by to sit down and rest on your day out in Donegal.

Find out more about Ireland’s Castles here.

Surfing at Bundoran

surfing at bundoran

Bundoran is one for the adrenaline junkies among us. Itis the surfing capital of Ireland.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, no tripwould be complete without surfing at Bundoran.

If you haven’t heard of this hotspot before, it first hosted the European Surfing Championships in 1985.

You can find a big surfing community here, where you can meet some locals and get to know more about the area.

Surfing lessons are available year-round that usually include equipment hire.

Doagh Famine Village

Doagh Famine Village

In Lagacurry, the Doagh Famine Village is an interactive exhibition with animated guides.

The museum is a chance for children and adults to learn how Irish and Donegal residents have survived since the 1800s.

One of the main focuses of Doagh Famine Village is to explore the Great Famine between 1845-1852.

You can explore the traditional thatch cottages, how families send-off their loved ones at an Irish wake and how evictions affected people during the famine.

What makes this one of the best things to do in Donegal is how interactive each exhibition is for children and adults. A worthwhile stop for anyone.

Donegal Town

If you are only in Donegal for a short time, Donegal town is one of the best places to visit.

That is because there are several attractions close by to the town centre. There is another castle to enjoy, shops, restaurants for the whole family.

If you want to stay close by, self-catering in Donegal gives you the freedom to explore the county at your leisure.

Work your way through the list of Donegal attractions and settle down at the end of the day in your very own private holiday cottage.

Why not check out where to eat in one of these Donegal restaurants.

Wild Ireland

Wolf at Wild Ireland

Wild Irelandcan be found in the town of Dundrain on the Wild Atlantic Way. 

It is a place for children to learn more about some of Ireland’s native animals. As well as some others.

You can find bears, deer, monkeys, wolves and many more magnificent animals.

At the park, there is so much to keep children entertained. As well as the animals, they can learn more about ancient Irish folklore, run wild on the playground and find a snack at the Wild Ireland shop.

Tickets for Wild Ireland are available online.

Newmills Corn & Flax Mills

Located on the River Swilly, Newmills Corn & Flax Mill is an insight into Irish heritage.

Some of the buildings are over 400 years old and once a supplier of eggs, bacon and butter.

Tory Island

Just of the northwest coast of County Donegal, Tory Island is one of the most remote, inhabited islands in the whole of Ireland.

To get to the island, you will need to take a short ferry across. The ferry is open to foot passengers only.

As well as a variety of walks, you can find out about the King of Tory Island, try your hand at diving or visit the Cloigtheach Bell Tower.

Plus, if you want to feed your family after a day of discovery, there are several small pubs on the island that offer heart-warming meals.

Doon Fort

Doon Fort

Doon Fort should be on your list if you want weird and wonderful things to do in Donegal. What makes it so unusual is its unique location in the middle of a lake.

There is a lot of uncertainty about when the fort was built. But many believe it could date back to medieval times.

You can get great views from the hills that surround the fort. However, there are a few boats that can access the island if you want to get closer.

Glengesh Pass

Glengesh Pass

If you want to see one of Donegal’s most scenic roads, the Glengesh Pass is for you.

The road connects the towns of Ardaraand Glencolumbcille. Whether you want to drive, cycle, run or walk, anyone can travel along Glengesh Pass.

On each side, you are surrounded by a sea of mountains. One side is the Glengesh mountains, and the other is Mulmosog.

The pass is a highlight for many trips, but it is rarely busy with tourists. Just take care and keep an eye out for traffic.

If you are walking, make sure to wear sturdy boots and take plenty of water. And don’t forget your camera. There will be plenty of opportunity for an insta worthy photograph.

Assaranca Waterfall

Just outside Ardara is Assarance Waterfall.

It is a beautifully scenic waterfall, perfect for a photograph. To maximise the photo opportunities, try visiting after heavy rainfall.

The river will be pushing more water over the waterfall, giving you a more spectacular photo.

What makes this waterfall unique is the Maghera Caves and Beach close by. Plus, if you have or are travelling with someone with limited mobility, the waterfall can be seen right from the car park.

There are so many exciting things to do in Donegal. The countryside is stunning and gives you a chance to get closer to nature. 

If you want to get out of County Donegal, there are many places to visit in Ireland.

Choose your favourite things to see in Donegal on this list and start planning your ideal getaway with your loved ones.

Image Credits – Seamus McMonagle – (CC BY-SA 4.0); IrishFireside – (CC BY 2.0); Bart Whelan – (CC BY-SA 2.0); Joseph Mischyshyn – (CC BY-SA 2.0)