Whether you prefer short strolls or energetic hikes, the following loop walks should be on everyone's Donegal bucket list.
This route takes you to the most northerly tip of Ireland, where you can see Scotland on a clear day. The 8km Inishowen Head Loop starts at the old World War II lookout tower on Banba's Crown and takes in rough tracks through quiet bogland, winding back roads and a newly-developed coastal cliff path.
You'll pass the place from which St Columba set sail for Scotland in 563 to set up his abbey in Iona. Other notable landmarks include Stroove Lighthouse but the real attraction here is the amazing views you'll see along the way.
Tory Island is a mystical place a 45-minute ferry trip off the Donegal coast in the Atlantic. One of the most enchanting things about the island is the islanders themselves, who know how to extend the warmest of welcomes.
The 4km Tory Island Loop starts in West Town and brings you around the edges of the island, taking in some magnificent cliff scenery and ancient relics. It's also an important international bio-diversity area and a breeding site to the rare corncrake so you might even hear its distinctive call.
If you're looking for something a little bit more challenging, this 6km loop walk takes in a trek to the peak of Donegal's iconic Errigal Mountain. The top of the mountain includes a narrow ridge between its two peaks that's not for the faint-hearted but you'll get incredible views of Dunlewey Lough (Lough Dunlewy), the Poisoned Glen and the nearby majestic mountains.
This enjoyable 7km walk in West Donegal starts out in Burtonport Harbour and takes in a reclaimed railway corridor that was once the main Burtonport to Derry line. Many of the original railway line features remain intact so you'll see stone pillars, gateposts and gatehouses dotted along the way. It's a peaceful walk down country lanes that anyone can enjoy.
This area's pilgrimage past is in evidence as you leave St. Columba's Church and cover the coastline between Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) to Slieve Tuaidh. From cross-inscribed pillars to megalithic tombs, the Glencolmcille Loop is dotted with historical and religious landmarks. Of course, the biggest attraction is the heavenly views of the soaring sea cliffs, making it a special place to visit.
Bundoran might be best known for surfing but the seaside town also has some great walking routes that show off its coastal charms. The Rougey Walk takes in gorgeous views of the dunes at Tullan Strand, Mullaghmore and even Slieve League on the other side of the bay. Get a photo at the distinctive rock bridges known locally as the Fairy Bridges and make a wish on the famous stone Wishing Chair.
Once you’ve ticked these six walks off your list, there’s plenty more dramatic coastline and mystical mountains to discover. If you want to go off the beaten track, you can even create your own route to hidden spots with local expert Seamus Doohan who was raised in the shadow of the Derryveagh Mountains in the Gaeltacht area of Falcarragh.
Head over to our Donegal destination page and discover more scenic treks and trails to tackle on your next visit to this picturesque place.
Subscribe now to receive destination inspiration, travel tips, upcoming events and all the best things to do around Ireland!