Located in Ireland’s northwest, there are many hidden gems in Donegal to discover that are so good that the locals don’t want you to know about them!
Listed as the coolest place on the planet for 2017 by the National Geographic Traveller magazine, the large county of Donegal in the province of Ulster perfectly encapsulates everything brilliant about Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way.
From stunning beaches to towering cliffs and charming villages to excellent walking trails, there are many great things to do and see in Donegal. There are also many hidden gems when it comes to things to do and see that most tourists sadly end up missing out on more often than not.
This article will list what we believe to be the top five hidden gems in Donegal that locals don’t want you to know about.
5. Maghera Beach and Caves – a fantastic beach full of great activities
If you’re looking for a fantastic beach that is a great place to enjoy a number of activities, you can’t go with a visit to Maghera Beach and Caves.
This fantastic beach is a great place to enjoy many great activities, such as swimming, kayaking and sightseeing.
Address: Co. Donegal
4. Doagh Famine Village – experience what life was like during the Great Famine
If you have ever wanted to experience what life was like during the Great Famine, then a visit to Doagh Famine Village should be on your to-do list.
Doagh Famine Village tells the story of how Irish people lived in the village from the Great Famine of the 1840s until now.
The village’s main attractions include an Eviction Scene, Orange Hall, thatched Irish cottages, an Irish Wake House and a Republican Safe House.
The tour guides there are experts at taking visitors on a journey through time, showing how families and communities have lived through the generations and how the area has adapted and developed over time.
Address: Doagh Famine Village, Lagacurry, Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal, F93 PK19
3. Tory Island – the most remote inhabited island in Ireland
Tory Island is generally known as being the most remote inhabited island in Ireland and is located about 14 km (8.7 miles) off the Northwest of County Donegal.
Tory Island is home to just 119 residents and has much to offer visitors. From stunning and serene crystal-clear waters, which are great for diving and swimming, to many ancient and archaeological monastic sites and brilliant coastal walks, there is much to do and see at Tory Island.
Visiting the island is like taking a trip back in time, as it has retained its Celtic culture and charm over the centuries.
Address: Tory Island, Co. Donegal
2. Horn Head – a hidden gem in Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way
Next on our list of the best hidden gems in Donegal is Horn Head, located not far from the town of Dunfanaghy and a truly stunning crown in the county’s jewel.
Perhaps visitors to Dunfanaghy will know Horn Head well, offering unrivalled views of the Donegal coastline from one side, and then back on to land you have epic views of the Seven Sisters, particularly Muckish.
So, if you have an Irish or Donegal bucket list and want something that epitomises the county but isn’t as well-known, Horn Head is for you.
Address: Largatreany, Co. Donegal, Ireland
1. Slieve League Cliffs – top of the list for the best hidden gems in Donegal
In first place on our list of what we believe to be the top five hidden gems in Donegal that locals don’t want you to know about is the Slieve League Cliffs which is genuinely an absolute gem of a place.
The breathtaking Slieve League Cliffs are amongst some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs and offer tremendous panoramic views.
While the Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most famous cliffs, the Slieve League Cliffs are three times higher and arguably just as picturesque, making it the best-hidden gem in County Donegal.
Address: Shanbally, Co. Donegal, Ireland
That concludes our article on the top five hidden gems in Donegal that locals don’t want you to know about. Have you discovered any of them yet and if so, how was your experience?