Donegal & Antrim – Guided Walking Tour – 8 Days
Guided Walking Tour – Donegal & Antrim
This is a unique guided walking tour where you will be hiking in the two most northern sections of Ireland. You will need two forms of currency, Euro € for Donegal and Sterling £ for Antrim. Both counties boast unique accents, intense history, strong legend, spectacular landscapes, and a great atmosphere and are well known for their love of good-cheer with pints of your favourite tipple, traditional music, and storytellers. The Donegal walks are part of the Wild Atlantic Way and with added adventures on this guided tour to showcase the hidden gems of both Donegal and Antrim.
Donegal (Dún na nGall), which means the fort of the foreigners, most likely got its name from the Danish invasion of the 850s but has long been a stronghold of Irish tradition. To this day, the most northerly county retains 30,000 people who speak Irish in their everyday lives. Donegal’s countryside is moulded for the walking enthusiast and visitors will note the relaxed atmosphere and slower pace of life for which the county is known.
The second part of our trip is through the incredible County Antrim in Northern Ireland. There are not many places on earth that can outshine the Antrim Coastline and its glorious Nine Glens. Along the coast is the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Giant’s Causeway, a geologic wonder of 40,000 basalt columns. The guided tour then moves inland to discover the famous Glens of Antrim. Most of our walking will be in Glenariff “Queen of The Glens”.
These areas will astonish you beyond belief with outstanding natural beauty, towering sea cliffs, remote inlets, sweeping bays, wide bogs, rusted grasses, lush valleys, cascading waterfalls and ancient ruins all along the way.
Tour Pricing & Dates
|8 Day Tour||€1,122 per person sharing
Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday
|Tour Dates 2020||
Saturday, 11th July to Saturday 18th July 2020
Saturday, 29th August to Saturday 5th September 2020
Sunday, 11th October to Sunday 18th October 2020
|Tour Grade||Easy to Moderate|
|Accommodation||Family Operated Guesthouses|
|BOOKING||BOOK THIS TOUR|
- Day 1 / Dublin to Donegal Town
You will be collected at 1 pm from Dublin Airport. We will then drive Northwest through spectacular countryside and will stop several times along the way to explore some of the quaint towns and villages. Our final destination and home for 2 nights will be Donegal Town, protected by the proud O’Donnell Castle. Built in the 1400s by the first Red Hugh and his wife Lady Nuala, the castle is an excellent introduction into this region's tradition, strong heritage and abundance of culture.
Overnight in Donegal Town
- Day 2 / The Wild Wilderness of Slieve League
Our first walk takes us on a drive further west to the sea cliffs of Slieve League, covered in heather, the sight is always colourful, always changing and always spectacular. Our walk takes us Northwest along the eastern side of the mountain offering views of rolling mountains, patchwork fields and gentle streams on one side and the sea cliffs with the backdrop of the wild Atlantic Ocean on the other side.
Distance: 8 to 10 km / 5 to 6.75 miles, Ascent: 425 m / 1275 ft (The distance will depend on what we actually do on the day, but a max of 10 km / 6 miles)
Overnight in Donegal Town
- Day 3 / Castle & Lake Walk
We depart Donegal Town today and drive to the small village of Dunfanaghy, situated right on the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, we stop to visit Glenveagh National Park with its remote and mysterious Glenveagh Castle. Directly situated in the Derryveagh Mountains, Glenveagh will immediately conjure up thoughts of Gothic literature and a sense of freedom in the midst of this true and impressionable remote wilderness. After visiting the castle and gardens we walk deep into the glen along Loch Gleann. We will pass ruins of settlements abandoned before and during the Great Famine and through native oak woodlands.
Distance: 13 km / 8.2 miles, Ascent: 90 m / 295 ft.
Overnight in Dunfanaghy
- Day 4 / McSwyne’s Gun Loop Trail
Our walk starts outside the beautiful seaside village of Dunfanaghy, located on the shores of Sheephaven Bay, entrance to the spectacular Horn Head Peninsula. The trail takes us through magnificent sand dunes which are part of a designated Special Area of Conservation due to the rare grasses, wildlife habitats and seabird colonies in the area.
We will continue across part of Tramore Beach, a golden sandy beach that stretches over 2 km and is very rarely visited by tourists. We then loop around through lush farmland, dotted with ruined dwellings and stone walls, finishing up back in Dunfanaghy. The afternoon is free to explore Dunfanighy Village or the old famine workhouse and hear the story of Wee Hannah.
Distance: 10 km / 6 miles, Ascent 120 m / 360 ft.
Overnight in Dunfanaghy
- Day 5 / Giant’s Causeway
Today, we depart Dunfanaghy for Northern Ireland’s County Antrim and the world famous Giant’s Causeway.
The Causeway was declared the Emerald Isle’s first World Heritage site in 1986. Some of the 40,000 polygonal basalt columns are over 6 ft tall, neatly standing side-by-side. The formation is over 55 million years old. Our walk takes us along the beautiful shore to the astonishing Causeway where we will explore the landmark. The area is home to over 200 varieties of plant species and birds such as the Chough and Peregrine Falcon so we will have good company as we walk to our finishing point at the ruins of Dunseverick Castle.
Distance: 10 km / 6 miles, Ascent 80 m / 240 ft.
Overnight in Ballintoy
- Day 6 / Coves and Cliffs
We start today’s varied walk at Dunseverick Castle, working our way along a rocky section of the cliff walk into an area of beautiful quaint coves, some of which have been used during the filming of HBO's “Game of Thrones”. These coves vary in geology and protect masses of wildflowers. We will pass Ireland’s smallest church, St. Goban’s, on the way to walk upon a golden sand beach. Our cliff walk will end at the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The 18m chasm translates to “Rock in the Road” and has traditionally been an area favoured by salmon during migration.
Distance: 11 km / 6.5 miles, Ascent 120 m / 360 ft.
Overnight in Cushendall
- Day 7 / Glenariff Forest Park "Queen of the Glens"
Our final stop of this guided walking tour is in Cushendall to visit Glenariff, Queen of the Nine Glens of Antrim. This is the most spectacular trail in the glens with fantastic views of the Glen, broadleaf woodlands, the Irish Sea, and the Scottish Mountains across the sea. On our arrival to the park, we will take some time to visit the natural history museum before our exploratory walk around the Glen.
Distance 10 km / 6 miles, Ascent: 150 m / 450 ft.
Overnight in Cushendall
- Day 8 / Departure
After another hearty Irish breakfast, we will depart Cushendall for Dublin, arriving at Dublin Airport at approximately 1 pm.
- Meals to include 7 breakfasts and 6 packed lunches
- All accommodation is approved and all rooms are en-suite
- Pickup and return to Dublin Airport
- All transport to and from walks and evenings out
- 6 guided walks
- Evening meals
- Lunch on day 1 and day 8
- Entry fees to Carrick-A-Reid Rope Bridge