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The Wild Atlantic Way - a remarkable 1,500 mile long coastal driving route, stretching along the stunning west coast of Ireland. The best way to explore it is by car. Here is our Donegal and Sligo package on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Out at the very edge of Europe, the Wild Atlantic Way stretches along Ireland’s western seaboard. From Malin Head in Co. Donegal to Kinsale in Co. Cork, through regions like Connemara, Galway Bay and Kerry, it’s the longest defined coastal drive in the world. This package is the Northwest part of the Wild Atlantic Way. There’s wilderness, and then there’s Sligo and Donegal. Welcome to Ireland’s Wild Northwest.
Donegal’s coastline is miles of zigs and zags with deserted white sand beaches. Along it you’ll also find the ancient stone fort Grianán of Aileach, high above the Inishowen Peninsula; its origins date back to 1700BC.
The coastline then dips into the Gaeltacht seaside towns of Gweedore and Dungloe, and soars up to the Slieve League cliffs, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe.
Donegal’s coastline isn’t just pretty – it’s functional, too. The waters here have become nirvana for surf-seekers. Bundoran is championed by CNN and National Geographic as one of the world’s top surfing towns. Above the surf, rock climbers are regularly seen scrambling up Donegal’s cliffs.
Many people find inspiration on Ireland’s northwest coast. The wild side can be found further south, in County Sligo. Two Irish men define Sligo: artist Jack B Yeats who painted it and poet William B Yeats who wrote about it.
Before delving into Yeats Country, though, dip into the beaches. Easkey, Rosses Point and Strandhill mark out the county’s coastline.
Now sheltering WB Yeats’s final resting place at Drumcliff, Ben Bulben Mountain is Sligo’s most impressive natural sight. The area is also home to Classiebawn Castle, which was once owned by British royalty.
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Tel: +44 (0)1592 752990
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Travel to Magilligan Point. Take the ferry from Magilligan Point, Limavady to Inishowen then travel onto Culdaff and have lunch at the front bar, Mc Grory’s, which has a great selection of food highlighting local produce with seafood a specialty. Their Seafood chowder, mussels or Inishowen oysters washed down with a perfect pint of Guinness is famous far and wide. Travel onwards to Doagh Village. On route to the Isle of Donagh you will be rewarded with stunning views.
Visit Doagh Famine Village, Isle of Doagh, Inishowen, which is an outdoor museum that tells the story of life in the area from the famine back in the 1840s, through the 1900s to the present day. Different to any other tourist attraction in Ireland the Famine Village depicts life in Ireland as it was, not commercialised, interdenominational, and interspersed with humorous anecdotes of Irish life.
Travel onto Donegal town. Drive through the Gap of Mamore on the way; descending from Mamore Gap offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Overnight Letterkenny.
Depart for Ardara Heritage Centre, based in what once was Ardara Courthouse. The main theme of the centre is a profile of the traditional Donegal tweed industry and describes the stages in the manufacturing chain. Visitors learn how sheep are shorn of their wool, before it is woven into the cloth that is made into the durable tweed garments that are famous around the world. Go into Eddie Doherty's shop who may be giving a weaving exhibition. You may wish to purchase some of his wide-ranging hand woven garments.
Drive down the Glengesh Pass towards Glencolmcille Folk Village. See Silver Strand Beach, Malin Beag near Glencolmcille –Silver Strand beach is a spectacular hidden gem. It is horseshoe shaped, with the land circling the sea like a torc. The Folk Village Museum offers an excellent guided tour for the visitor where you will experience life as it was in the 1700’s, 1800's and 1900’s. The thatched cottages are exact replicas of those belonging to that era and are furnished accordingly.
Travel towards the village of Carrick and onto the spectacular Sliabh Liag cliff; carry on down to the harbour to take the impressive 36ft passenger boat that will bring you close to the spectacular Sliabh Liag cliffs, standing at 600 metres. Take in many wonderful sights and a wide variety of sea life including seals; will you be lucky enough to spot dolphins or whales? This trip is weather permitting; wear warm clothing and comfortable footwear. If weather doesn’t permit a boat trip take a stroll along the stunning Pilgrim’s Path up along the Sliabh Liag Cliffs. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Depart along the coast road towards Donegal Town taking in some of the stunning viewing points including Fintra Bay. Enjoy a tour around Donegal Castle, Donegal town. Overnight in Donegal Town.
Depart Donegal and stop off at Mullaghmore Beach. Mullaghmore is one of the best big wave surfing locations in the world. Arrive at Rosses point, Sligo, Co. Sligo. Enjoy a walk at Rosses Point. It is an easy walk for all ages as it is mostly flat. Starting from the Church of Ireland the walk takes you along the promenade where the Garavogue meets Sligo Bay. With the mountains to your left and the old village of Rosses Point to your right this stretch takes you to the Pier and the statue of the Lady Waiting on the Shore, dedicated to all the women from Rosses Point who waited behind as their loved ones went to sea.
If you enjoy horse riding then a visit to Island View Riding Stables, Moneygold, Grange, Co. Sligo is a must. Enjoy the sensation of trekking on the beach or sit back, relax and enjoy a trip in a carriage.
Why not have dinner in the Pub with the Well at Harry’s Gastro Pub, Rosses point promenade. The pub has been in the Ewing family for 5 generations, since 1870. Fresh, homemade seasonal fare. Overnight in Sligo town.
You travel to Strandhill and meet up at the Cannonball on the promenade in Strandhill for a walking tour. Seatrails provides guided archaeological and historical tours within and close to the Coastal zone of County Sligo. Both town, coast and county are steeped in history and Archaeology.
If walking is not for you then take a chance to relax in Strand Hill, have a stroll around then have a seaweed bath and a leisurely lunch. Imagine relaxing back into a luxurious steaming bath of fresh seawater and wild, organic seaweed. Floating effortlessly in a soothing and tranquil state, your skin feels smooth and renewed. Breathe deeply and sense the tension, aches and pains simply slip away: an ideal way to unwind any time. VOYA Seaweed Baths and organic treatments are especially recommended for those who are over worked, stressed or simply seeking an effective natural detoxifying process for the skin. Return back to Sligo and get some last minute shopping. Overnight Sligo town.
Depart for your return journey home
Your quote for the above package will include:
Not Included in the above:
The above itinerary is only a suggestion. We are happy to send you a personal quote to suit your requirements. *We can also book Stena Line ferry for those who wish to bring their own car from the United Kingdom.
All hotels will be 3 star or above.
Best of Scotland Holidays offer a variety of tours including Tours of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, Whisky Trails, Honeymoon Packages, Castle and Garden Tours, Island Hopping, Walking Holidays and much more - something to suit everyone!
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