Day 1: Dublin to Donegal Town
Our tour starts at 13.00hrs at Dublin Airport and takes us North West through some spectacular countryside. We will stop several times along the way to explore some of the quaint towns and villages. Our final destination for the day will be in the town of Donegal, where we will stay for two nights. After arriving and settling in to our accommodation your guide will give you a briefing on your week’s activities. The town is renowned for its proud heritage and culture. One of its most prominent features it has to offer is the O’Donnell Castle, which was built in the 14 Hundreds, by the first Red Hugh and his wife Lady Nuala and still stands proud today as a monument to the town and is visited by many thousands of tourists through the year. Traditional music is in abundance so you can wind down in the evening by visiting some of the many bars and pubs that are to be found here.
Day 2: The Wild Wilderness of Slieve League
Distance: 14 km/8.75 miles
Ascent: 425 m/1275 ft.
Our first walk takes us on a drive further west, to the spectacular sea cliffs of Slieve League, the highest and one of the finest marine sea cliffs in Europe. The name Slieve League is derived from the Gaelic Sliabh Liag, which literally means Stone Mountain. Despite its name the mountain is covered in a blanket of peat and heather. Our walk takes us North West along the eastern side of the mountain; offering views to our right of a wonderful wilderness over a picturesque landscape, made up of rolling mountains, a patchwork of green fields, gentle streams and rivers. To our left we will have impressive views across the sea cliffs onto the wild Atlantic Ocean.
Day 3: Castle & Lake Walk
Distance: 13 km/8.2 miles
Ascent: 290 m/870 ft.
We depart Donegal Town today and drive North West to the small village of Bunbeg, which in situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. On route we will stop off to visit Glenveagh National Park and Glenveagh Castle and Gardens, which is sheltering at the foot of the Derryveagh Mountains. One of the most noticeable features of Glenveagh is its wilderness, with a sense of remoteness and solitude that it conveys. After visiting the castle and gardens we will walk deep into the glen, along by the banks of Loch Gleann, passing old ruined settlements, through native oak woodlands and streams to reach the summit of Kinnaveagh Mountain.
Day 4: Irelands Smallest Summit Walk
Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Ascent: 520m/1560 ft
In the first half of the day we will climb Donegal’s highest peak Errigal (749 m/2457 ft). A most impressive mountain and if the day is clear we will have some fantastic views from what is known as Irelands smallest summit! The trail takes a well-defined tourist track from the car park to the top and backs the same route. So you are under no obligation to take on the whole walk, you can go half way and return or sit down, relax and enjoy the views. After climbing Errigal we will drive a little further north and do another short walk on Horn Head. Renowned for its isolated sandy beaches, costal views, wild flowers and hundreds of sea birds that nest on its 600 foot/200Mtrs cliffs to the north. This area is designated as an Irish Natural Heritage area of special Conservation.
Day 5: Giants Causeway
Distance: 10Km/6 Miles
Today we depart Bunbeg for Ireland’s most northerly county of Antrim, stopping off to visit the world famous Giants Causeway. The Causeway is often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world and declared as Ireland's first World Heritage site in 1986. It consists of 40,000 polygonal basalt columns, some of which are 6ft in height, all side-by-side. The formation of the columns dates back about 55 million years. During the early Tertiary period lava flowed from a nearby volcano and settled on the shore. Our walk takes us to the Causeway where we will take some time exploring this astonishing and wonderful place. The area is also home to over 200 varieties of plant species and birds such as the Chough and Peregrine Falcon. Our walk finished at the ruins of Dunseverick Castle. Our next two nights will be spent in the small rural seaside town of Ballycastle.
Day 6: Coves and Cliffs
Distance: 11 km/6.5 miles
Ascent 120 m/360 ft.
A very varied walk today. Starting where we finished off yesterday at Dunseverick Castle our walk takes us along a rocky section of the cliff walk, into some very beautiful and quaint coves, protecting a mass of wild flowers. Passing Ireland’s smallest church, St. Goban’s followed by 1.6 Km/1 mile of a golden sandy beach that we most likely will have all to ourselves. Our cliff walk finally ends at the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and for those of you who are courageous enough to cross are rewarded with fantastic views and wildlife. Carrick-a-Rede, meaning “Rock in the Road” the 18m chasms was an area fevered by salmon on their migration path, hence the name rock in the road.
Day 7: Glenariff Forest Park “Queen of the Glens” “A Stress Free Zone”
Distance 10 km/6 miles
Ascent: 150 m/450 ft.
We leave Ballycastle for our final stop of the tour, which is in Cushendall and visit one of the Nine Glens of Antrim, Glenariff. This is probably the most spectacular trail you are going to find in the glens, as it offers some fantastic views around the Glen, down to the Irish’s Sea and across to the Scottish Mountains. Glenariff Forest Park covers an area of 1185 ha of which 900 ha have been planted with trees. The remainder consists of several small lakes, recreation areas, spectacular trails, cascading waterfalls and open spaces. On our arrival in the park we will take a little time out to visit the small natural museum before start our walk around the Glen.
Day 8: Depart for Home. After another hearty breakfast we will depart Cushendall for Dublin, arriving at Dublin Airport at approximately 13.00hrs.
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