Inishowen Peninsula: when to visit, what to see, and things to know

Nestled in the northern tip of the island of Ireland is the Inishowen Peninsula. With its rugged beauty and endless excursions, here is all you need to know about a visit to the Inishowen Peninsula.

Inishowen Peninsula is located in County Donegal. It is home to Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head, and provides dramatic coastal landscapes for travellers eager to get off the beaten track and experience ‘real Ireland’.

Wild and rugged with an ancient soul and vibrant culture, there is much to do on the Inishowen Peninsula. From when to visit to where to stay, here is all you need to know about the Inishowen Peninsula.

Overview – a beautiful spot

Everything you need to know about the Inishowen Peninsula.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Set in the wilderness of Donegal is the Inishowen Peninsula – an 884 square-kilometre peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.

It is home to two dozen remote villages, coastal townships, and fishing harbours. A handful of islands also hug its shoreline and prove a point of interest for explorers when visiting the Inishowen Peninsula.

When to visit – very busy in the summer

When to visit.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

The Inishowen Peninsula is most densely populated during the summer months.

For those who prefer vibrant, social experiences, this is the best time to visit, and pubs, restaurants, and beaches will see the highest surge in footfall during these months.

Suppose you’re the type of traveller who prefers undisturbed vistas and the sound of silence. In that case, you may choose to visit during early spring or late autumn.

The weather can still be somewhat forgiving during these times, even balmy, and the peninsula will boast fewer crowds.

What to see – beautiful sights

What to see on the Inishowen Peninsula.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

The Inishowen Peninsula is home to impressive heritage sites such as the Grianán of Aileach stone fort and museums including the Doagh Famine Village and the Fort Dunree Military Museum.

Should flora and fauna be your calling, Wild Ireland – the country’s newest and most impressive wildlife sanctuary – is located at the foot of the peninsula.

The Curiosity Shop (Ireland’s most northerly shop) is filled with trinkets and souvenirs. It is certainly worth a visit, as is the stunning Inishtrahull Lighthouse.

Beaches come by the bucketload along this majestic coastline, and we feel that no trip to the Inishowen Peninsula would be complete without dipping your toes in the Atlantic swell from the sands of Five Finger Strand.

How long is the experience – how much time you will need

How much time you will need to explore the Inishowen Peninsula.
Credit: Micheal Gill

With so much to see and do on the Inishowen Peninsula, we would recommend at least a few days to see all of its top sights at ease.

However, those who are tight on time need not be deterred. Even a single day on the peninsula will offer enough freedom to soak up some key sights and fall in love with its wild beauty.

It’s also important to note that Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula is the starting (or ending) point of the Wild Atlantic Way coastal route. This is the longest defined coastal drive in the world at 2,500 kilometres (1,553 miles), and it is a top sight for tourists.

If time allows, we’d most recommend you to add your Inishowen excursions to a trip along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Places to eat – delicious Irish food

The Seaview Tavern serves delicious Irish food.
Credit: Facebook / @seaviewtavern.ie

The Inishowen Peninsula is a diamond in the rough, and its hospitality offering is somewhat of a hidden gem, too.

When visiting Malin Head, make sure to stop off at The Seaview Tavern for traditional pub dinner in Ireland’s most northerly eatery.

For those with a sweet tooth and penchant for good coffee, check out Tank and Skinny’s Seaside Cafe in Buncrana.

Places to stay – amazing accommodation

Redcastle Hotel is a great place to stay.
Credit: Facebook / @RedcastleHotel

For those who prefer the homely touch, the Sea Vista Boutique Accommodation B&B offers panoramic views over sea and shores.

Alternatively, the three-star Inishowen Gateway Hotel is the ideal beachside setting for sun-seekers looking to dip their toes in the ocean each morning.

The finest hotel on the Inishowen Peninsula has to be the four-star Redcastle Hotel for those keen to experience a luxury stay.

Directions – how to get there

How to get the the Inishowen Peninsula.
Credit: geograph.ie / N Chadwick

By car, the Inishowen Peninsula is located just over two hours from Belfast. It will take approximately four hours from Dublin city and Galway, or over six hours from Cork.

There are also ten airports in Ireland, making the journey more efficient if travelling cross-country or overseas.

What’s nearby – what else to see

Derry is nearby.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Touching on County Derry in the lower part of the peninsula, a trip to Inishowen makes for a great base to explore Northern Ireland.

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