The 9 Best Villages to Visit in County Donegal


Donegal is one of Ireland’s largest and most beautiful counties. It has many spots that travelers to Ireland should consider visiting. Some of the best villages in Donegal to drop by to include:

● Glenties

● Carrick

● Fintown

● Doochary

● Church Hill

● Falcarragh

● Culdaff

● Rathmullan

● Cloghan

Glenties

This beautiful Donegal Village is surrounded by some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. Although the village itself is small, it is also full of history. The first settlements date back to the Bronze Age. Over the centuries the village was heavily influenced by the Ulster plantation where many settlers from mainland UK, particularly from lowland Scotland, moved to the north of Ireland in heavy numbers during the 17th century.

If fishing is your thing than this village is certainly for you. The fishery is open between the start of April and end of September. You will need a fishing permit to be able to fish in the nearby Owenea River however. Some fish you can expect to catch include the sea trout, brown trout and salmon. it is one of the primary locations to fish for salmon in all of County Donegal. There are a number of beats along the river and also great pools where you can go and fish.

Carrick

Carrick is a small village located in southwestern Donegal. The village acts as a gateway to not only some of Donegal’s most jaw-dropping landmasses but also Ireland’s itself as a whole. Nearby are the massive sea Cliffs of Sliabh Liag. Unlike the Cliffs of Mohar these sea cliffs are relatively unknown internationally,  however they are almost three times as high.

One man’s pass Is located on Lake Agh nearby Carrick.  this is another geographical feature that you need to check out if you’re in the village.

Sliabg Liag is also known as Slieve League. The former is just the Irish spelling. Bearing that in mind in the town of Carrick there is an accommodation provider called the Slieve League Lodge. this is an amazing place for you to set up base and catch a few night’s sleep if you want to discover not only Slieve League, but also the beautiful surrounding hinterland.

Fintown

Beside Lough Finn is the appropriately named small hamlet of Fintown.  As the name suggests the settlement built its existence around the beautiful lake beside it. This little gem is really for those interested in exploring Ireland by walking.

You can get amazing views of the nearby Bluestack Mountains from here. Also close to Fintown is Glenveagh National Park. Here you’ll be greeted by a picturesque countryside where deers run around freely.

Interestingly enough even though the settlement is tiny it is hosted by its own railway station. This railway services a train that runs along the lake.  A nice idea for an afternoon activity would be to take a ride on it.

Doochary

A short distance away from Fintown is the village of Doochary. Doochary is close to the Beautiful Gweebara Bay.  The village is immersed in culture as it is located in the Irish speaking area of Donegal known as the Gealteach. You may be fortunate enough to hear the Irish language spoken on the footpaths there.

If you’re looking for things to do you can explore the surrounding countryside which is to put mildly absolutely beautiful. There is a well at the end of the village called Sarah’s Well that contains water from that is meant to be great for people’s skin. If you’re sceptical maybe it is worth trying for yourself.

Church Hill

Churchill is located only a short distance drive away from Donegal’s major town of Letterkenny. Although close to the town it is very much in a rural setting. Unlike most places in Donegal the village has a non-Gaelic sounding name. Previously it was known as Minalaban.

During the third weekend of July the Church Hill Fair takes place. This is an exciting little fair that is known throughout northern Donegal. If you do have a family with you and you are in Donegal at that  time of the year  then it is worth stopping by and enjoying the fun amusements.

Like many parts of Donegal the area provides great fishing locations. If you’re interested in finding out more about fishing in the surrounding areas just look into any of the nearby lakes and fishing clubs that might be located at them. You can expect to fish both salmon and trout.

Falcarragh

Another Irish speaking town in Donegal is that of Falcarragh. This is a market town that is  perfect for both walkers and fishers alike. There are a number of trails nearby where you can get lost in the amazing Donegal countryside. Muckish Mountain  is quite an exciting peak to climb. On your journey up to the summit you will have the opportunity to take in some outstanding views of the hinterlands around you.

Falcarragh It’s also great spot for those who enjoy the seaside and beaches. Nearby is the gorgeous Back Strand Beach. This is a large beach that gives you plenty of space to explore. On a good summer’s day it provides an opportunity to enjoy the waves that beat down on its shores.

For those who like golf, the town has you sorted. There is a nine-hole golf course for you to spend a day playing on.

Culdaff

The Inishowen Peninsula Includes Ireland’s most northerly points such as Malin Head. On this rural and isolated landmass is the quaint little village of Culdaff. The village is synonymous with the McGrory’s Hotel. Even though it’s in a very isolated area of the county, the hotel has a lot to offer. It provides great food,  refreshing drinks, amazing quality accommodation and  also some live entertainment.

Like Falcarragh, Culdaff has its own beach. The beach is also quite large and a great place to go for a walk or to enjoy the waves. Of course it’s not only the beach that provides pleasant walks,  but also areas such as Father Hegarty Rock, which is a great place to go for a stroll.

Rathmullan

Rathmullan Is a small village in the Fanad Peninsula. Not too far away from the Inishowen Peninsula.  It is very much a seaside village, where tourism is a big part of the local economy. Since the village has its connection with the sea there are many seaside tails that have taken place in the area.  To learn more about the history of shipwrecks and kidnappings from centuries ago around the village then make sure to participate in Rathmullan walking tour. The tours take  place every Thursday and Saturday.

I would definitely recommend this walking tour or any other activity that you can do in the village that will teach you more about the settlement’s history. This is because the area has a phenomenal history. It was the scene for the flight of the Earls. The flight of the Earls was when major players who put up a fight against English forces during the start of the 17th century, but had to flee Ireland due to continuous defeats. This flight symbolised Ireland losing full control to English  forces.

Cloghan

Returning very much to the centre of County Donegal is the small village of Cloghan.  If you just want to get away, relax and not be bothered by anything then Cloghan is the place to go to. It is a very remote village, however in saying that that doesn’t mean that you can’t find something to do if the tranquillity is a little too much for you.   

You can enjoy beautiful scenery around the village and also take advantage of some of the best fishing in the whole of Ireland. As you may now be aware from reading this article, Donegal is an amazing county for fishing.  In saying that, Cloghan however could be one of the best places in Donegal. Some of the best sea trout and wild salmon can be found in the area.

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