Step out onto one of nature’s most iconic sites as you explore a wonderful corner of Ireland.
Discover some of Northwest Ireland’s finest scenery – a land of stunning coasts, rivers and loughs, towering mountains and sheltered glens. Based in the lively town of Letterkenny, you’ll visit the astonishing rock formations visit County Antrim’s astonishing UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway, wander historic Donegal town and visit beautiful Glenveagh National Park and its castle. A day on the Inishowen Peninsula, a timeless, remote area steeped in heritage and antiquity, completes a magical break.
What You’ll Love
- Five nights’ dinner, bed and Irish breakfast accommodation at the three-star Station House Hotel, Letterkenny
- Excursions to Donegal, the Inishowen Peninsula and Glenveagh National Park
- A trip to the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle
- Entry to the fascinating Doagh Isle Famine Village
- Return flights to Belfast
- Comfortable coach travel and transfers
- The services of a friendly, knowledgeable tour manager
- Flights also available from Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool John Lennon, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester & Newcastle. Click here to check availability.
Following your flight to Belfast, meet your tour manager, and board the coach for the transfer to Letterkenny.
Depending on your arrival time, you’ll be able to spend the rest of the day exploring the town. Visit imposing St Eunan’s Cathedral, which dominates the skyline, wander through the charming Market Square or take a stroll along the picturesque Swilly River walkway. Alternatively, simply relax in one of the town’s colourful pubs. You’ll find several within walking distance of your hotel.
Today, you’ll head to Donegal town. Centred on its ancient marketplace, the Diamond, Donegal has a rich history reflected its imposing Jacobean castle, which sits above the River Eske. The 70-minute waterbus trip (payable locally) around Donegal Bay offers another scenic perspective on this attractive town – especially on fine days. See the seal colony on Seal Island, the Bluestack Mountains and the many islands dotted around the bay. Back on shore you’ll find no shortage of pubs and restaurants where you can grab a spot of lunch.
Today’s fascinating excursion takes you to the remote Inishowen Peninsula, a typically northern Irish landscape that includes Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head (familiar to listeners of the Shipping Forecast everywhere). Bordered by the waters of Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly, and the pristine beaches of the Atlantic coast, its towering mountains rising from a landscape dotted with ancient Celtic crosses and crumbling churches, Inishowen is a scenic delight.
Your day includes a visit to the Doagh Isle Famine Village, an outdoor museum where the sights, sounds and stories of Irish life, from the famine of the 1840s to the present day, are recreated. The attraction is built around original thatched houses that were inhabited until 1983.
From here, you’ll travel through the beautiful, timeless landscape, and on through the remote peninsula town of Carndonagh, to wild, windswept Malin, to enjoy the stupendous views, which stretch to the distant west of Scotland on clear days.
The highlight of the whole tour for many will be today’s excursion to the breathtaking Giant’s Causeway. Long associated with legendary Irish hero Finn McCool, this astonishing collection of closely packed basalt columns, which rise like stepping stones from the Atlantic to the wild, windswept cliffs above, was formed after a volcanic eruption 60-million years ago.
Your visit will include entry to the Visitor Centre, where you’ll receive a free audio-guide to take to the stones, and have the chance to explore the exhibits in the active interpretation area. Take the short minibus trip from the visitor centre to the Causeway (small charge, typically payable locally), or walk the mile or so along the cliff path to take in the breathtaking views and sea air.
Photo opportunities abound at your next stop, Dunluce Castle. One of the most extensive medieval castle ruins in Northern Ireland, Dunluce rises dramatically from a sheer rocky precipice that looms 100ft above the waves. Separated from the mainland by a deep chasm crossed only by a narrow bridge, this precarious fortification occupied a position of great strategic importance, and remains a wild, beautiful and astonishingly atmospheric place.
Today, you’ll head to Glenveagh National Park. This remote area of outstanding natural beauty is home to herds of wild deer, and a sanctuary for the endangered golden eagle and many other species of wildlife. By contrast to most of the rugged landscape, Glenveagh Castle, which overlooks the peaceful waters of Lough Veagh, comes as something of a surprise. A guided tour of the castle’s keep and mismatched towers offers a real glimpse into a lifestyle of an earlier age, and you’ll also have time to explore the spectacular gardens.
Your route back to Letterkenny takes you back to the coast, via Mount Errigal and through Dunlewy village to Bunbeg. Here (weather permitting) you may like a stretch your legs with a stroll along the sandy beach before continuing up and around the Bloody Foreland (named for the red hue of the rocks at sunset), for a final stop in one of the area’s quaint villages, such as Dunfanaghy.
Bid farewell to Donegal, today, and return to Belfast airport to catch your flight home.
Donegal & the Giant’s Causeway
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