Welcome to the Go Visit Donegal Blog

Donegal Launch of the National Geographic Traveller Supplement

The Official Launch of the Donegal Supplement in the National Geographic Traveller Magazine, hosted by The Cathaoirleach Cllr Gerry McMonagle and the Chief Executive of Donegal County Council and the Chairman of Donegal Tourism CLG Mr Seamus Neely, took place on Friday, 1st September in the County House if Lifford.

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Gerry McMonagle (L) and Chief Executive of Donegal County Council and Chairman of Donegal Tourism CLG Mr Seamus Neely (R)

Following the announcement that County Donegal was named as the ‘Coolest Place on the Planet 2017’ by National Geographic, the team at Donegal Tourism CLG made contact with National Geographic Traveller to explore potential marketing opportunities that would maximise the exposure Donegal would receive as a result of this prestigious title.

As a result, the 20-page travel supplement dedicated to Donegal and included in the September 2017 issue of National GeographicTraveller is just one of the elements of an extensive marketing campaign that is ongoing with National Geographic Traveller working closely with the Donegal Tourism CLG team.

The Donegal travel supplement was developed by Donegal Tourism Staff, Managing Director and Publisher, Matthew Jackson, Editor Stephanie Cavagnaro, travel writer Zoë McIntyre and photographer Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi.


In addition to online marketing activity where articles about Donegal will feature on the National Geographic Traveller blog and social media, in September 2017 the Donegal Tourism CLG team will travel to London to attend a very special online event hosted by National Geographic Traveller. This is an online live event where representatives from various regions around the world will come together to discuss their destination with a panel of experts. This is a very exciting opportunity to showcase Donegal.

A special thank you also to Zoë for writing with such passion about Donegal and to Alecsandra for capturing the most stunning photos of our beautiful county and for the wonderful representation of the various people that they encountered on their journey. The Donegal supplement is a fine example of the result of their attention to detail and professional work.



The publication can be accessed here: magazine.natgeotraveller.co.uk/donegal17

For all things Donegal visit: govisitdonegal.com 

Donegal Trade Mission to the USA

This August will see Donegal reach across the Atlantic Ocean to extend a heartfelt Céad Mile Fáilte to its nearest westerly neighbours, friends and family. As part of its ongoing marketing campaign aimed at increasing its ever-growing visitor numbers to the county, Donegal Tourism along with Harvey’s Point with Support from Tourism Ireland will embark on a highly-anticipated trade mission to the States. The delegation intends to engage with major American Tour Operators and Irish Diaspora in three States, including the largest ethnic festival in the world.

The trip will take in the cities of New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee. The New York event will take place on the evening of Tuesday 15th August and the Chicago event will take place on the evening of Wednesday 16th August. Each of these two events will consist of an evening of celebration of all that is Donegal, with members of the tourism team meeting with some of America’s major tour operators providing them with first-hand accounts and information about Donegal. The team will be looking to publicise the recent accolades that Donegal has achieved such as being voted the coolest place on the planet to visit in 2017 by top travel publication, National Geographic, while also promoting the Wild Atlantic Way initiative emphasising Donegal’s relevance to this.

In the lead up to this promotional campaign, Donegal Tourism has been working closely with Tourism Ireland in these cities to build connections with tour operators and significant stakeholders within the industry that can open up new routes and packages aimed specifically at people who may wish to visit Donegal over the coming years.

Donegal Tourism also wishes to extend an invitation to these events to all of our Diaspora that may live or work in these regions. Tickets to these events are free and there will be entertainment and refreshments at each event. To access information about either event, simply visit Eventbrite and search for Donegal Gathering New York 2017 or Donegal Gathering Chicago 2017 depending on which event may be of interest. So if you have a friend or loved one that may be interested in these events, please let them know that their support would be greatly welcomed.


On Thursday 17th August, the team move on to Milwaukee to host an area at the Irish Fest the Irish Fest is to Promote and Celebrate All Aspects of Irish, Irish American and Celtic Cultures and attracts over 130,000 attendees. While primarily a music festival, there is a focus is Irish heritage and culture with a section devoted to travel to Ireland. The festival features separate areas highlighting Travel, Genealogy, Irish Theatre, Culture and Heritage. Donegal Tourism will host a branded destination display stand only at the show.
 For three days Donegal Tourism will host this area at the festival promoting Donegal and all its glory. So spread the word to anyone you may know in the Milwaukee, Illinois region.

Donegal Tourism would also like to ask businesses to create packages on their websites for USA 2017 trip as it is anticipated that website traffic to www.govisitdonegal.com which will in turn create traffic to businesses that are listed within this website.

To book you place at any of these events Click Here:


Chicago Donegal Gathering 2017


New York Donegal Gathering 2017
https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/donegal-gathering-new-york-2017-tickets-35814341660

Donegal Gathering - New York Registration





Cathedral Quarter in Letterkenny Launch New Heritage Map App

Cllr Gerry McMonagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, officially launched the new Cathedral Quarter Heritage Tour App in Dillon’s Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday, 12 July. The Heritage Tour App is a product of a collaboration between Donegal County Council and Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter group under the IMPROVE project.

The Heritage Tour App can be downloaded HERE onto mobile devices and computers and will give visitors the chance to explore the area at their own leisure. The app was developed by Darragh McDonagh from the Geographic Information Systems section of Donegal County Council, using information gathered by Cathedral Quarter committee member John Nee. All information available on the new Heritage Map App was validated by Kieran Kelly of Letterkenny Historical Society.

Darragh McDonagh (Donegal Maps, GIS section of Donegal County Council), John Nee (Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter), Cllr Gerry McMonagle (Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council), Paddy Friel (Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter, Chair), Gerard McCormack (President Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce), Donnan Harvey (Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter)

Speaking about the positive impact that the new Heritage Map will have in the area, Donnan Harvey, Cathedral Quarter said, “There are twenty points of interest on the Cathedral Quarter Map which include St Eunan’s Cathedral, Conwal Parish Church, Sentry Hill, Bishops Palace and Mount Southwell."


"Once the map is launched, we hope that it will be widely used and promoted by local businesses and the tourist authorities. We now look forward to seeing many tourists wandering around the Cathedral Quarter area whilst finding out about our proud history.”


Guest speakers at the official launch on Wednesday 12 July included Darragh McDonagh, Donegal County Council, Paddy Friel, Chair of Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter and representatives from Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce.

10 More Sightseeing Tours & Guides in County Donegal

Whether you are coming to County Donegal or have already arrived, there are loads of excellent Guided Tours offering tailor-made itineraries and the opportunity to see all of the fantastic attractions around the County. Here are some more of the local companies that are offering bespoke tours around County Donegal.





Get an authentic Donegal experience, by connecting with some of our many partner Sightseeing Tours & Guides. This is part Two of a 2-part listing.





The Mulroy Drive is a 45km Touring Route in north Donegal which connects the beautiful Atlantic drive to the rugged beauty of the Fanad lighthouse and the stunning Portsalon beaches and Knockalla drive. This drive offers a wide variety of walking and cycling routes, canoeing, swimming and fishing that can be seen on the route maps along the way.


Oideas Gael, based in  Gleann Cholm Cille (Glencolmcille), Southwest Donegal, has become the holiday destination of choice for adult Irish language learners and cultural holiday enthusiasts. Courses on offer include Hill-walking, Archaeology, Marine Painting, Landscape & Environment, Digital photography, Tapestry weaving, Harp, Flute and Bodhrán.



Rapid Kayaking offers the opportunity to go and explore. Get close and interact with the Wild Atlantic scenery, bird and animal life with the possibility of paddling into caves, through sea arches, to rocky reefs and along the beautiful, picturesque coastline of Donegal. Based out of Boatstrand Carrickfin, Kincasslagh Harbour, Cruit Island and at Dungloe Lake you will recieve instruction and then are issued with a wetsuit, footwear, bouyancy aid and a helmet. Each paddler is given a boat to fit their suitability and a paddle for the trip.


Iain Miller, of Unique Ascent, is a rock climber, guidebook author and hill walker living, working and playing on the sea cliffs, sea stacks, mountain ranges and uninhabited islands of County Donegal. He has explored the mountains and coastline of County Donegal since 2007 finding and climbing over 50 previously unclimbed sea stacks including Tormore Island, Ireland's highest sea stack. Unique Ascent has created a collection of unique and compelling visitor experiences for those seeking a new level of outdoor adventure.



Saoire Mara Charters, based in Kincasslagh, County Donegal, provide boat hire with a qualified skipper for Deep Sea Angling and Coastal & Island Cruises. Their modern charter boat 'Caitlin Marie' is licensed to carry up to 12 passengers. If you have never fished before they will be happy to offer angling tuition and rod and tackle hire is also available. The Sightseeing cruises offer an opportunity to view the rugged west coast of Donegal from a new perspective.




Curran Travel & Coaches operate an efficient, flexible, reliable and economical coach and bus hire transport service. They offer a unique coach hire service in the tourism sector whereby we can collect at any Irish airport or sea port and bring any group numbers from 4 to 50 on tour to different scenic venues throughout Donegal & Ireland. Their coach drivers have a wealth of experience and can give running commentaries on historical and scenic data while travelling through areas of historic and natural interest in Donegal.



True North Bike Tours provide custom guided and self-guided motorcycle tours of Ireland covering lesser known routes along the Wild Atlantic Way, Causeway Coastal routes and Donegal Highlands. They also do guided daily tours from June to September from the tourist office at port road in Letterkenny on a Wednesday and Saturday leaving at 10am each day.



Walking & Talking in Donegal, based in Ramelton, organise 7 day walking tours and also weekend walking tours, taking in Glenveagh National Park, Ards Forest Park, Fanad coast, Knockalla, Muckish and Errigal. The walks range from easy – 3 to 4 hours over a reasonably flat surface such as Ards Forest Park – to medium difficult such as Knockalla Mountain and Muckish which involve steep inclines and uneven, soft and boggy surfaces. Minimum group size is 6 and maximum 12. Accommodation is provided with breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal.



Arranmore Sea Safari & Marine Heritage Tour is based at the harbour of Burtonport, 8km northwest of the town of Dungloe. The numerous offshore islands are havens of peacefulness and tranquility where nature and wildlife prosper without interruption.  Cliffs, beaches, rocky outcrops, sea stacks, sea caves provide perfect habitats for marine life as well as superb photographic opportunities for visitors . Bird-watching opportunities abound together with the possibility of spotting dolphins, seals and basking sharks.  Beverages provided on trip. WC on board.



Sliabh Liag Tours are a family run company, based in Teelin who offer bespoke tours around the Slieve Liag Cliffs, on the south-west coast of Donegal. The cliffs stand 600 metres above the wild Atlantic Ocean and from the viewing point you see across Donegal Bay to Sligo and Benbulben, Leitrim, Mayo, Rathlin O'Beirne and out into the Atlantic ocean as far as the eye can see! On the short journey to the cliffs our drivers and guides will point out all of the interesting landmarks and structures left on the mountain from hunderds of years ago, in the form of Napoleonic towers and some of the navigational aids used by aircraft in World War 2. You will also learn the history of the cliffs and of the people and animals who have inhabited the area throughout the ages, in a fun and exciting way.


Click Here for even more Donegal Sightseeing Tours & Guides around the county and keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog and getting updates to your email!

Sightseeing Tours & Guides in County Donegal

Whether you are coming to County Donegal or have already arrived, there are loads of excellent Guided Tours offering tailor-made itineraries and the opportunity to see all of the fantastic attractions around the County. 



Get an authentic Donegal experience, by connecting with some of our many partner Sightseeing Tours & Guides. This is part one of a 2-part listing. 


Atlantic Way Tours Ireland provide Bespoke Chauffeured Adventure Tours for Tourists and Corporate Clients to Scenic, Historical and Coastal locations throughout Donegal and the North West of Ireland. Their tours start and finish in Letterkenny, however you can request to be collected from your Hotel, Guesthouse or wherever you are staying during your visit.

Based in the historic town of Ramelton in Co.Donegal, Boyce Coaches are a familiar sight across the North-West with our fleet of top-of-the-range coaches. All their coaches and mini coaches are Fáilte Ireland inspected and fully approved.



Divin' Dec Scuba Dive School is a scuba dive training & education business based in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland. They provide world class dive lessons & courses through the PADI system of diving education and standards. Divin' Dec aims to provide the highest quality training and courses available anywhere in the World.


Donegal Bay Charters cater for all fishing and sightseeing occasions. They organise 2-hour mackerel trips, half-day and full-day fishing trips within the Donegal bay area with daily fishing trips and sightseeing trips available from The Pier in Donegal Town.


The Donegal Bay Waterbus trip lasts for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and includes a full commentary on the historical, natural and geographical sights view from the vessel. Cruise around Donegal Bay in their state of the art 160-seater Waterbus. View the seal colony on Seal Island, the Bluestack Mountains and Donegal Bay's many islands with full commentary. Relax in their fully stocked bar and enjoy a cabaret show on the return leg of the trip.

Donegal Heritage Trails specialise in walking tours of Ramelton and Rathmullan. If you really want to explore Donegal, why not try one of their guided tours? And who better than a native guide with local knowledge to show you places of interest and tell you the fascinating stories behind them.

As one of Donegal's leading travel experts, Donegal Tours has put together a mix of amazing landscape, examples of real heritage and sheer excitement. Each organized tour has a different personality, covering major attractions around Donegal such as Sliabh Liag, Glenveagh National Park, Ardara, Gleann Cholm Cille and Inishowen. All tours collect passengers in both Letterkenny and Donegal Town.


With Fanad Lighthouse Tours an amazing journey of discovery awaits you as you learn about the lighthouse and other aids to navigation, past and present. Step back in time and hear stories about light-keepers in days gone by and climb to the top of the tower for spectacular views of land and sea.




Inishowen Tourism has produced an excellent information guide to enhance the experience of “what to see and do” when you visit the Inishowen Peninsula. Their Visitor Services Teams are located in both Buncrana and in Carndonagh and are dedicated to passing on their factual expertise of the area highlighting iconic attractions of scale, cultural and historical locations, niche and special interest activities to suit your needs.



MNG Ventures run customised tours and are a bilingual enterprise. They craft boutique experiences that help visitors connect with Donegal's unique culture and magical landscape. The tours are guided or self-guided with the handpicked local services assistance of Rock & Roam, Connecting Colmcille, The Whiskey Pilgrimage, Footprints, faeries & folklore!



Donegal Climbing is based in Malin Head. Your guide, Bren Whelan, is a Mountain Instructors Certificate (MIC) & International Mountain Leader (IML) award holder, who has over twenty five years of experience mountaineering & rock climbing in Ireland and across the World. Join him for an unforgettable Donegal rock climbing experience on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.


Click Here for even more Donegal Sightseeing Tours & Guides around the county so keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog and getting updates to your email!

Surfing is Hot in the Coolest Place on the Planet - Donegal!

Donegal is renowned worldwide for its rugged, stunning coastline and it's beaches that catch the full force of those wild Atlantic waves! There simply is no place hotter than Donegal when it comes to surfing… and that's a fact.

Donegal has waves for all levels of surfing skills, from beginners to experts. With our uncrowded and unspoiled beaches, it’s little wonder that many a dedicated surfer is making a dash for Ireland's surfing hot-spots such as Bundoran, Rossnowlagh, Culdaff, Fanad Head, Dunfanaghy and Bloody Foreland


 

It’s no secret that surfing is fun. It is in fact, a truly exhilarating experience. Once you've tried surfing, it's hard to fight off the bug! It can make you feel young wild and free, it takes your mind off life’s problems, frees your mind and riding that first wave ride is….unforgettable.




Whether you are a veteran surfer in search of the perfect wave, or a beginner looking to get started in more moderate waters, there is no shortage of options in Donegal. The beach at Rossnowlagh is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. More challenging waves are found in the wilds of Inishowen, Fanad Head, Dunfanaghy, Bloody Foreland and Dungloe. 


For the novice, surf lessons will open up the world of surfing to you and Donegal has no shortage of surf schools dotted around the County. If you are just beginning, instructors will teach you the essentials that will have you ‘hanging ten’ before you know it. No matter what your skill level, you can learn the basics of board handling, positioning, paddling, and various techniques for getting to your feet, surfing etiquette, ocean knowledge and water safety from dedicated, professional instructors.     

Surf trips make memories that you will carry for the rest of your life and once you've been bitten by the bug, we can’t guarantee any cure! Pretty soon you’ll go from being a kook to kickflips and laybacks (you'll definitely have to learn some surfin' speak!). 

For further information on surfing in Donegal check out these links below:

So grab your board - Surfing is epic and cranking in Donegal!

Search is on for the Best Cultural Destination in Ireland

Fáilte Ireland launches the 8th EDEN Competition with Cultural Tourism as this year’s theme 



The search has begun to find the destination in Ireland which has best used its local cultural assets as potential to grow visitor numbers. Fáilte Ireland, is inviting entries for the 2017 European Destinations of Excellence Network (EDEN) competition, which focuses on a different aspect of tourism each time. 

The theme for 2017 is “Tangible Cultural Tourism”.  The tourism authority is looking for applications from emerging destinations in Ireland who have developed a specific tourism offering based on their cultural assets - that balances sustaining the local environment with the promotion of viable tourism (full detail on criteria below).   

Speaking about the competition Paddy Mathews, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Investment & Innovation, said:

“Through the EDEN Competition, Fáilte Ireland wants to showcase the best examples of how cultural assets have been sustainably used to benefit both tourists and local communities.

“Ireland has long been recognised for the richness of its cultural heritage which is of critical importance to our attractiveness to visitors. We have over 5,000 years of material culture which tells an exciting and engaging story for our visitors. Communities across Ireland are fiercely proud of their heritage and culture and many have harnessed these assets through tourism to deliver real social and economic benefits for their local areas.”

EDEN is an EU project promoting sustainable tourism development across the European Union and is currently held every two years in 29 member states.  Previous Irish winners include the Burren Food Trail (Tourism & Local Gastronomy), the Great Western Greenway (Tourism & the Regeneration of Physical Sites) and Loop Head (Aquatic Tourism). 

The 2017 winning destination will receive a photo shoot of the destination, a certificate of achievement and an awards ceremony. In addition all applications will receive a written report on their application with expert feedback from the adjudicators. Also the EU will offer the winner in each Member State international promotion of the destination through the EDEN web-portal (www.edenineurope.eu), a short promotional visual presentation, and participation in the EU EDEN network.

Eligible destinations will be those:

  • that are “small” or “emerging” or “off the beaten track” or “non-traditional” (with visitor numbers from low to very low in comparison with the national average);
  • which offer authentic Tourism experiences;
  • that have a well-developed cultural offerings, characteristic of their region.

Full competition details are available at www.failteireland.ie/eden/ or by emailingeden.helpdesk@failteireland.ie. The closing date for entries is 4pm on Monday 31stJuly, 2017. 


Harvey’s Point Hotel 'The Coolest Place in Ireland' is mixing Business with Pleasure

For over 28 years, Deidre McGlone and her team have been welcoming people from all corners of the globe to their stunning luxurious lakeside hotel, located outside Donegal Town in the North West of Ireland. With a firm focus on exceptional customer service, this former farmhouse cottage has gained an enviable reputation as one of the leading hotels in Ireland. Winner of Trip Advisor's Number 1 Hotel in Ireland for five consecutive years, Harvey’s Point is a brand that is synonymous with world class hotel keeping, blended with genuine Irish hospitality.

Deirdre and her team have now opened their doors to the corporate world. Having overseen extensive renovations in recent months they are all set to place Harvey’s Point on the global map, not only as a place to come & stay for a relaxing break but as a destination to be “The Coolest Place in Ireland” to do business.

After months of construction work, from interior design to the finished product, Harvey’s Point are delighted to announce to the world that they are open for corporate business. With huge investment, they have made it the perfect location for corporate conferences, corporate meetings, corporate team building, corporate launches, corporate exhibitions, just about everything that the corporate world needs to make their brand or event stand out.

Deirdre McGlone, Harvey’s Point Hotel. Photo courtesy: John McConnell

"Adding "The Garden Suite" Conference Centre is an exciting new addition to the Harvey’s Point portfolio.” says Deirdre McGlone.

“We have put a lot of thought into the entire process & know what the corporate world needs from a Hotel that places emphasis on their team, brand & event to ensure that the venue will not only be their home for a day, weekend or a week, but a place that they can put their own mark on to ensure their corporate, launch or event is a memorable one. We have designed & constructed our corporate venue, so that our clients can have their own private entrance and car park. With natural daylight shining through this part of the hotel "The Garden Suite" blends in with our stunning natural surroundings from outside to inside.”

"We have had increased demand for meetings and conferences from our guests & the corporate world for years & we realise that now was the time to reinvest and deliver to customer demand. We identified a gap in the market in Ireland for an exclusive corporate venue like this and acknowledging the hard work that organisations like Fáilte Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Donegal Tourism, The Wild Atlantic Way initiative & Donegal County Council to name but a few are doing to promote Ireland and Donegal globally, Donegal is now recognised as an attractive destination for both leisure travellers and for business corporate events. We at Harvey’s Point are delighted to add value to their hard work.” say’s Deirdre McGlone.

“We were once a seasonal business, but we are now open all year round and know that in addition to our existing leisure and wedding business, there is huge potential for growth in the corporate market, particularly midweek and off season."

Harvey’s Point have an enviable reputation globally for excellence in customer service. The owners and the team at Harvey’s Point are passionate about ensuring that each guest is made to feel welcome and that each experience is exceptional in terms of hospitality, food and attention to detail and this will be exactly the case for their corporate offerings.

Harvey’s Point is located in a truly inspirational setting and the perfect place to plan & meet, so when they say they provide "Blue Sky Thinking” it is most definitely the ideal hideaway location for think tanks and brainstorming without any distraction. In addition, the high-speed Wi-Fi network is exceptional and each client will have with their own personal conference facilitator who will be on hand at every stage of the corporate event, to ensure that it runs smoothly & successfully.

Commenting further, Deirdre says, “Our promise is that of a first class service & attention to detail, blended with our expertise of a friendly & professional team. We will present any corporate team with a unique experience for organisers & delegates alike. We already have had return business from global corporate brands, who have already booked to return every year."

"Setting a new benchmark in corporate event excellence for Harvey’s Point, Donegal and Ireland, our promise is to give every corporate event the personal experience that our team have perfected in the hospitality industry for over 28 years. We intend Harvey’s Point to become Ireland’s leading & most exclusive place to do business for many years to come.” concludes Deirdre.

Visit Harvey's Point Hotel website: harveyspoint.com

Let’s ‘rally’ together for an incredible weekend

Donegal International Rally, 16th - 18th June 2017 https://donegalrally.ie/

With Rally fever well and truly underway in the county, Donegal Joint Policing Committee has teamed up with the Donegal International Rally and Donegal County Council to launch a new initiative urging visitors and locals to ‘rally together’ for an incredible weekend. 

Last year’s Joule Donegal International Rally winners Manus Kelly and Donal Barrett lending their support to the “Let’s Rally Together” for an incredible weekend at this morning’s launch in Letterkenny. Picture also includes Cllr. Gerry McMonagle and Superintendent David Kelly along with members of the Donegal International Rally committee, Donegal Joint Policing Committee and Donegal County Councils Litter Management Team.
“This initiative is all about welcoming rally enthusiasts to Donegal and making sure that the rally can be enjoyed by spectators and locals in a safe and respectful way” says Cllr Gerry McMonagle Chair of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee.

“This rally is unique to Donegal and is the only 3 day tarmac rally in Ireland and the UK.  The rally organisers do a great job year in year out organising this top class event and we in the Joint Policing Committee and Donegal County Council want to lend our support to them by helping to share a few simple messages so that the rally can be thoroughly enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.”

This initiative is about asking spectators to be responsible about their driving, their drinking and their rubbish.


Let's 'rally' together


Drive responsibly
Donegal Road Safety Working Group has been to the fore in promoting the Keep the Race in it’s Place road safety message and will be out in full force over the rally weekend.  Drivers are being asked to slow down and to drive with extra care and attention and never ever drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

Large numbers of visitors are expected and traffic will be heavy so motorists are being asked to leave more time for their journeys and to drive with extra care.  Gardaí have confirmed that there will be an increased number of Gardaí on duty over the weekend and that bad driving behaviour will not be tolerated in any way.

Pictured at this morning’s launch of the “Let’s Rally Together” for an incredible weekend and hoping that these are the only donuts they see this weekend was Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, Chair of Donegal Joint Policing Committee, Martin Roarty, Donegal County Council Litter Warden, Superintendent David Kelly and Eamon McGee Clerk of Course for the Joule Donegal International Rally.

Drink responsibly
This initiative is also about highlighting the importance of drinking responsibly.  While the vast majority of rally spectators will be responsible when they are drinking, a small number will not.  All rally spectators who are planning to drink are being asked to know their limits and to plan ahead. 

Past experience shows that the majority of incidences of anti-social behaviour during the rally weekend are alcohol related.  Those who plan to have a drink, are being asked to drink responsibly and to be respectful of those around them especially those living in the area.  This is to ensure a safe and respectful environment for visitors and locals alike.

Cllr. Gerry McMonagle and Superintendent David Kelly with Eamon McGee, Clerk of the Course for the Joule Donegal International Rally along with Donegal International Rally organisers, members of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee and Donegal County Councils Litter Management Team promoting the message ‘Let’s Rally Together’ for an incredible weekend.

Take your rubbish home
This year’s rally will be taking place in some of the most outstanding scenic areas in the county and those following the rally are being asked to be mindful of leaving litter behind.  It won’t be possible to have bins available in all areas so spectators are being asked to simply take their rubbish home. 

Donegal County Councils Litter Management Team will be out and about over the weekend of the rally and if you are caught dropping litter or leaving rubbish behind you could face a substantial on the spot fine of €150. 


Cllr. McMonagle added “this initiative is about making sure that the Donegal International Rally is an event to be enjoyed by everyone.  We want our visitors to have a positive and memorable experience of their trip to Donegal while at the same time ensuring a safe environment for both visitors and locals alike”.

Top Tips for Families Visiting Donegal

Summertime in Donegal; Lots to See and Do!



The summer is almost upon us! Yes folks, summer time is definitely here so it's that time of year when we need to start thinking about getting out with the kids making some space in our lives for some quality family time. Here are some top class suggestions to start you off and what better time than the present to make the most of the Summer Holidays and sample some of the variety of first rate family activities available to us here in Donegal. Our list has indoor and outdoor activities so you can enjoy Donegal with the kiddies whatever the weather!


Oakfield Park (Click for details)



A lush landscape containing parkland, mature woodlands, formal gardens, lakes and breath-taking vistas surround the beautifully restored Oakfield House which dates back to 1739. Oakfield Park includes beautiful walled gardens with deep flower beds, a kitchen garden, flower meadows, ponds, streams, wetlands, a par-terre, a castle, a classical lakeside Nymphaeum, garden sculptures, heritage listed trees and a newly established international collection of oaks. The gardens can be explored on foot or by train on the 4.5km narrow gauge railway.

Portsalon Luxury Glamping (Click for details)





A great opportunity to let your children roam free and enjoy the outdoors while the entire family gets back to nature and get to enjoy a great family adventure that should live long in the memories of all. See Donegal from a unique perspective among unspoiled countryside and a stunning beach just a walk away. 

Portsalon Luxury Camping has stunning coastal views and mountain scenery. Each of the yurts have a king sized bed (all bed linen provided), double sofa bed and wood burning stove inside. There is a barbecue area and firepit outside. 

Bicycles are available to rent. Eggs from free range hens on site are available, as are excess vegetables from the vegetable garden. Wood for the wood burning stoves is also available. 

The world renowned blue flag beach ‘Ballymastocker Strand’ is approximately one mile from the site. Nearby Portsalon village offers one general shop, two restaurants, one pub, and the famous Portsalon golf club with clubhouse facilities.


Tropical World at Acorns (Click for details)


An ideal day out for kids of all ages. Tropical butterflies in free flight along with lemurs, meerkats and coatimundis make this mini zoo a must see destination in Donegal. With tropical birds, owls and its own reptile house, Tropical World has something for everyone. Being 90% indoors, its perfect whatever the weather.


Visitors can also learn about the environment and conservation as they enjoy their walk through Tropical World. Tropical World aims to engross children and adults alike, all the while educating them about the beautiful world we live in. This area is fully covered and ideal for family, youth and school trips, come rain or shine.

Waterworld Bundoran (Click for details)


It currently has the fastest slide in Ireland, The Whizzer (9.2 degree drop), a Tornado slide (50m long) and a Twister slide (a separate aqua catch landing and a yellow scute shute slide and surf slide for the younger kids). 
Waterworld currently has two 24 metre swimming pools, one is a slide pool (the slides finish into this pool) and the other is a wave pool, which has beach entry water features, with five different wave patterns and two speed rapids. A sure delight for children regardless of age! 



Lurgybrack Open Farm (Click for details)



This centuries old farm building is home to a range of friendly farm animals that children can come face to face with. There are a large variety of animals to see and enjoy, baby kids and lambs can be bottle fed. The rabbits can be handled and cuddled in the pet corner. Kids can enjoy the large playground and sandpit area, have fun on the barrel train run, and feed the ducks. The variety of animals living in harmony in Lurgybrack is sure to amaze and delight little minds. There is ample space to play safely, wander by the riverside, walk or just sit back and unwind with a tasty snack from our tea room or bring your own family picnic.

Ards Forest Park (Click for details)

Situated on the N56, between Creeslough and Dunfanaghy in Donegal, Ards Forest Park is one of the most beautiful and varied of Ireland's Forest Parks.
At Ards Forest Park there are a number of signposted walks incorporating the main features of the park. These include the Arts Heritage Trail which is 3.5km long, the nature trail and the green trail which are both 3km long and the Red Trail which is 13km long. This walk does incorporate some provision for shortcuts back to the starting point should the weather change.
The park is 480 hectares in extent and contains a large diversity of plant and wildlife forms. Sandy beaches, rivers, viewing points, nature walks, picnic and play areas. Hours can be spent here in complete relaxation, be it on the many nature walks or on its golden beaches. It is a place for everyone to get away for a while.
There is also a car park and a children's play area.

 A trip with a difference on board The Donegal Bay Waterbus (Click for details)



The tour includes a full commentary on the history and geography of Donegal Bay by an experienced and fully trained crew, combined with a sprinkling of Irish humour, which ensures that passengers are kept both informed and entertained during the voyage. Highlights on the tour include a close encounter with Seal Island and its 200 strong seal colony and unparalleled views of the Bluestack Mountains and the gorgeous Donegal coastline. 
Live musical entertainment is provided on the homeward leg of each tour and there is even a dance floor for those who wish to ‘waltz on the water’. With easy access for all from the pier and plenty of parking on the quayside, this tour is ideal for old and young alike and is perfect for families, tour groups, and independent travellers. 


Gartan Outdoor Adventure Centre (Click for details)

Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre is situated on a large 87-acre woodland estate and on the shores of beautiful Lough Gartan. The secluded location in the heart of Donegal, makes for an ideal base for a wide variety of adventure activities. For over a quarter of century Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre has been providing courses at all levels in a wide range of outdoor pursuits. From Outdoor Learning and Adventure Sport training courses to holidays and guided trips, there are activities to suit all levels of experience on offer. Activities available include Archery, Canadian Canoing, Coasteering, Gorge Walking, Hillwalking, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Mountaineering, Orienteering, Power Boating, Raft Building, Rock Climbing, Sailing, Sea Kayaking, Surfing, Whitewater Kayaking, Windsurfing. 

Play Centres(Click for details)

If you prefer your fun-times under cover then you’ll discover an abundance of options for entertaining kids indoors throughout Donegal and below are a few ideas.

There’s no shortage of indoor play centres, with Dizzy’s Den in Bundoran, Wain’s World in Buncrana, and Arena7 in Letterkenny, Craic@Jacks in Ballybofey  to name a few.Perhaps one of the county's cinemas is the ideal spot to treat the kids to a movie and popcorn, or maybe some swimming pool fun in Bundoran, Letterkenny, Buncrana, Redcastle, or Ballybofey.

For more information on all things Donegal, check out www.govisitdonegal.com