Donegal Bluestack Way – 8 Days – Self-Guided Walking Tour

8 Day Self-Guided Walking Tour Donegal Bluestack Way

Our 8-day Donegal Bluestack Way self-guided walking tour takes in 96 km of stunning natural landscapes in Ireland’s northwest county of Donegal.

On this tour, you will get to experience the peaceful Bluestack Mountains, a chain of gently rolling hills, unchanged for centuries.

From our starting point in the town of Donegal, we will hike to some of Ireland’s most enchanting beauty spots, enjoying time by the banks of Lough Eske, discovering the magic of Glencolmcille, and exploring stretches of windswept coastline where magnificent birdlife can be observed. Our adventure will finish in the picturesque village of Kilcar.

Guests considering a longer stay in Ireland or wishing to hike in other parts of the country should browse our full range of Self-Guided Walking Tours in Ireland.

Prices / Dates

Price:  €759 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +€380

Solo Traveller Supplement: +€90

Tour Dates: 1 April to 15 October

Tour Grade: Easy to Moderate

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Included / Excluded

Day 1 - Donegal Town

Take public transport from Dublin to Donegal Town where you will spend your next two nights. Public transport takes approximately 3 hours 30 minutes from Dublin. 

Day 2 - Owenboy to Donegal Town

Your independent walking tour of the Donegal and Bluestack Way starts with a taxi transfer to the townland of Owenboy. The trail takes you back across the foothills of Banagher to cross the River Eglish and along by the beautiful shores of Lough Eske, finishing back in Donegal Town.

Distance: 19.2 Km/11.9 miles, Ascent: 477 m/1565 ft, Approximate walking time: 5/6 hours

Day 3 - Owenboy to the village of Glenties

Today's scenic walking trail takes you along an old bog road, through farmland and across the foothills of the Bluestacks Mountains to finish your day in the village of Glenties. 

Distance: 21.6 Km/13.4 miles, Ascent: 624 m/2047 ft, Approximate walking time: 6/7 hours

Day 4 - Glenties to Ardara

From the village of Glenties, you will walk along quiet country roads to arrive at the banks of the Owentocker River. Following the bank of the river, this meandering walk takes you into the village of Ardara. Ardara is a designated Heritage Town and also a well-known centre for the manufacture of Donegal Homespun Tweeds.

Distance: 12.3 Km/7.6 miles, Ascent: 132 m/40 ft, Approximate walking time: 3/4 hours

Day 5 - Ardara to Glencolmcille

Complimentary taxi to the start of your walk.

Today’s trail takes you further west along by the base of Slievetooey Mountain to follow the Glen River to the townland of Port. Port is one of the remotest and least visited corners of Ireland. From here, the trail takes you South over the side of Faugher Mountain where you will have some wonderful mountain and sea cliff views. Your day finishes in the village of Glencolmcille, a Gaeltacht area (Irish speaking).

Distance: 24 km/15 miles, Ascent: 659 m/1977 ft, Approximate walking time: 7 / 9 hours

Day 6 - Rest Day

On your rest day, there are plenty of places of interest in the area of Glencolmcille.

There are 80 archaeological sites to explore in Glencolmcille dating back as far as 5,000 BC. Also, the wild and remote stretches of coastline in this area, with its cliffs and headlands offer unrivalled opportunities for dolphin and bird watching.

Day 7 - Glencolmcille to Kilcara

From Glencolmcille, the trail takes you between the hills of Contycro and Screggacula, passing Lough Unshagh and Lough Unna and into the small village of Carrick.

Carrick is situated in the Gaeltacht area of South West Donegal, an area renowned for river fishing, sea angling and is rich in folklore and archaeology. It has a long tradition of hand-woven tweed and knitwear and many festivals take place here throughout the year.

From Carrick, the trail takes you South-East to the village of Kilcar, a quiet village that is also part of the Gaeltacht. While you are in Kilcar, you will have a chance to visit one of Donegal’s finest hand-weaving and clothing manufacturing company, a unique skill that has been handed down in this area from generation to generation.

Distance: 17.5 km/10.8 miles, Ascent: 680 m/2230 ft, Approximate walking time: 5/6 hours

Day 8 - Depart

After a hearty Irish breakfast, you will depart for home.

A few words from our customers...

I joined a couple of friends who were going on this tour and I am so happy that I did because we had a wonderful time! The hiking was absolutely beautiful, some of my favourite places to hike were at Slieve League, the beautiful Cobh of Port and into Glencolmcille. All in all, I had wonderful vacation with Footfalls, and I hope to return to Ireland in the future to do another one of their walking tours.
We just spent a week hiking gorgeous Donegal and Antrim. We've been on several cycling tours, but this was our first walking trip and we're hooked. The days presented one beautiful vista after another and all those blue skies and sunshine were a very pleasant surprise. Really loved the little villages at the end of every day. Thank you to the great team at Footfalls, you made it all so easy.
Beth & Arthur