Walking Hiking

Donegal Bluestack Way – 7 Day

Donegal Bluestack Way – 7 Day Self-Guided Walking Holiday

Our 7-day Donegal Bluestack Way self-guided walking tour is a 96 km route through the remotest areas of County Donegal in the north-west of Ireland. Along the way, you will experience the wild and raw nature of the Donegal countryside as you hike across the Bluestack Mountains which are a group of rolling, gentle hills. Starting in the town of Donegal, you will experience beautiful places like Lough Eske, ancient Glencolmcille, stunning coastal cliffs with all its myriad of bird and plant life, following a riverside route to eventually reach the village of Kilcar.

Tour Pricing & Dates

7 Day Tour €582 per person sharing
Single Supplement +€300
Tour Dates 1st April to 15th October
Tour Grade Easy to Moderate
Accommodation Guesthouse 
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Video

Donegal Bluestack Way – 7 Day Self-Guided Walking Tour Ireland


Itinerary

Day 1 / Donegal Town

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

Day 2 / Owenboy to Donegal Town

Your tour of the Donegal 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 / 1564 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

Day 3 / Owenboy to the village of Glenties

The scenic trail today 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 roads to arrive at the banks of the Owentocker River. Following the bank of the river, this meandering walk brings 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. You will stay overnight in Ardara.

Distance: 12.3 Km / 7.6 miles, Ascent: 132 m / 433 ft, Approximate walking time: 3 / 4 hours

Day 5 / Ardara to Glencolmcille

Today’s walk 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 to the side of Faugher Mountain where you will have some beautiful mountain and sea cliff views. Your day finishes in the village of Glencolmcille, a Gaeltacht area (Irish speaking).

Distance: 26 km / 16 miles, Ascent: 1100 m / 3608 ft, Approximate walking time: 8 / 9 hours

(Today's walk can be shortened to 20 km)

Day 6 / Glencolmcille to Kilcar

From Glencolmcille, the trail takes you through the hills of Contycro and Screggacula, passing Lough Unshagh and Lough Unna and into the small village of Carrick. Carrick is a 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 are held there 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 skill that has been handed down from generation to generation.

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

Day 7 / Depart

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

Included

  • 6-Nights B&B All accommodation is pre-booked in approved family-run guesthouses with all rooms en-suite
  • Maps and route notes, both trails have been walked and checked by Christopher from Footfalls
  • Luggage Transfers daily while you walk with a small day pack
  • All accommodation is pre-booked in approved family-run guesthouses of B&Bs with all rooms en-suite
  • All information on trains or buses needed to get to your first accommodation in Donegal Town and back at the end of the tour from Kilcar Village

Not Included

  • Packed lunches
  • Evening Meals

Testimonials

  • Hi Christopher,

    On behalf of Mary & Myself, I want to thank you for our wonderful trip. We loved every minute of it, even the wet bits.

    The B&B’s that you work with are second to none and in every place we stayed we were made to feel welcome and at home at all times. In each place, they even refrigerated our wine and provided us with wine glasses in order to enjoy our pre-dinner drinks. I would like to give a particular shout out to Donnach in The Castle B&B in Ballintoy. He told us that we were his first “Footfall” visitors so our feedback on his B&B is that it is excellent.

    Your notes and attention to detail on your trail instructions are excellent but just to note for yourself, the red trail down the side of the cliffs to the Giants Causeway is locked and not currently in use. Not sure whether the explanation is Covid related or a safety issue.

    Many thanks

    Marion

    Antrim Causeway Coastal & Rathlin Island Route – 6 Day – Self-Guided Walking Tour
  • Hi Christopher,

    Thank you again for a wonderful day yesterday.  We thoroughly enjoyed it and very much appreciated the lovely relaxed pace and all the stories and information and the fun. Thanks to Teresa also for taking us to Avondale and to the grandchildren for their patience. Truly a memorable experience.
    Terence and Eleanor
    A Day Walk on Trooperstown & the Vale of Clara
  • Dear Christopher,
    And thank YOU, our fearless leader!   You did a great job tending your flock!
    I had a most wonderful time, albeit a little more challenging than I had expected.
    But, I am grateful that the wind only knocked me down on some Valencia heather and not over a cliff! ;
    The scenery was stunning and the lodgings (particularly Casey’s and The Grand) and meals were superb!!
    And the icing on the cake was the pleasure of your company and great sense of humor!
    A perfect package all together!!
    I have more compliments to pay, but I will save them for the next time we connect.  Perhaps you, Teresa and I can
    chat via Facetime after the New Year.  I’d also like to talk a little bit more about the Wicklow Mountains Tour.
    Hope you have a wonderful and well earned holiday in New Zealand!!
    Take care and all the best,
    Carmel
    Wild Atlantic Way South West
  • Dear Christopher, thank you for another wonderful vacation! I really enjoyed seeing another area of your beautiful country. Thank you for leading us on some amazing hikes, and for taking care of everything while we were here. It was a very relaxing week, and we’re going home renewed and rejuvenated. Until we meet again!

    Nicole
  • Christopher, as the official Irish Tourism Board’s representative, it gladdens me to award you the Golden Shamrock, our top tourism award. That last part was bullshit. I had an amazing experience and I am so glad that I got to see Ireland’s most intimate spots. Thank you for a wonderful trip and all of your knowledge and humour. Looking forward to doing another trip together!

    Adam

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