Northern Headlands: top tours

Slieve League cliffs, County Donegal

Scale the rugged heights of Donegal's epic cliffs, discover maritime secrets of lightkeepers past and explore the crafts and heritage of this stunning region of the Wild Atlantic Way with these seven top tours

Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park

Donegal Heritage Tour

Beginning at Donegal Town every Thursday and Sunday, the Donegal Heritage Tour brings visitors on a bus ride around some of the region's most scenic sights. The first stop is Glenveagh National Park where your informative bus driver/guide gives fascinating insight into the region followed by a tour of the historic castle, perched on the edge of Lough Veagh.

This was a fantastic tour with wonderful sightseeing and interesting stories from our driver who even gave us a little piece of Ireland (turf) to take home!

CAROL, TRIPADVISOR

The coach weaves its way through some of the most beautiful locations on this stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way, including stunning views of Tory Island, Mount Errigal, Bloody Foreland and a stop at the charming village of Dunfanaghy overlooking the shores of Sheephaven Bay.

Fanad Lighthouse
Fanad Lighthouse

Fanad Lighthouse Tour, Fanad Head

Fanad Head Lighthouse has guarded this rugged headlands for over 200 years. Built to prevent further tragedy after the fatal shipwreck of the HMS Saldanha in 1811, this beacon holds fascinating tales of maritime adventure and lightkeepers’ secrets. 

The guides are marvellous and we had a lovely time learning from their terrific oral history, stories and knowledge.

MARY, FACEBOOK

Your tour guide takes you back in time, as you climb the 76 narrow steps to the top of the tower for superb views of the northern coastline. Hear the stories of shipwrecked parrots and lost gold and even opt to stay overnight in one of the quaint lightkeepers’ cottages. It’s a truly magical experience!

Sliabh League Boat Tours
Sliabh League Boat Tours

Slieve League Boat Trips, Slieve League

There is nothing quite like standing 609m above the sea on top of the Slieve League cliffs. But another way to survey some of Europe’s tallest sea cliffs is from the ocean. Enter Sliabh Liag Boat Tours – a breathtaking boat ride that offers a totally different vantage point.

The captain tells you all about the area and stops the boat different places and lets you take a dip in the ocean – and he even hops in himself!

ARIA, TRIPADVISOR

Passengers are welcome to have a swim in the clear waters, where dolphins, whales and seals are often spotted peaking up from beneath the waves. Birds swoop overhead and nest in the nooks of the cliffs and your knowledgeable guide will regale you with tales of the area you won't find in any guidebook.

Donegal Tweed Visitor Centre
Donegal Tweed Visitor Centre

Triona Donegal Tweed Visitor Centre

The heritage of tweed production is literally woven into the story of Ardara in County Donegal. Triona Donegal Tweed Visitor Centre is a hub of activity, and a guided tour really immerses you in the history of the area.

Watching Connell and Dylan working on the traditional looms was just fascinating. Thank you for such a terrific and hospitable visit!

ALISON, TRIPADVISOR

Witness master weavers work on looms that are centuries old and enjoy a warm welcome from fifth-generation hand weaver Dennis Mulhern and his family. And best of all – you can purchase some tweed and take home a piece of Donegal with you.

Star Wars Tour, Image: Bren Whelan
Star Wars Tour, Image: Bren Whelan

Star Wars Tour, Malin Head

The elemental other-worldly feel of Malin Head made it an ideal filming location for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This unique Star Wars Tour is operated by Bren Whelan – tour guide and personal safety assistant to Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill during the filming sessions at Malin Head.

This fantastic tour is ideal for the family and definitely one not to be missed if you are a fan of the Star Wars movies!

TRISH, TRIPADVISOR

Malin Head was transformed into the planet of “Ahch-to” in the movie and scenes featuring the iconic Millennium Falcon were shot here. The tour merges the breathtaking natural beauty and heritage of the area with fascinating behind-the-scenes insights from the Star Wars universe.

Glencolmcille Folk Village
Glencolmcille Folk Village

Glencolmcille Folk Village, Dooey

After soaking up the glory of the Slieve League cliffs, take a short drive to the fascinating Glencolmcille Folk Village. Here in Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) territory, the local community built a cluster of traditional thatched cottages on a hillside overlooking Glenbay beach.

The hospitality was amazing, the soup was delicious, and the sites and smells gave us an idea of life in Ireland in times past.

AMY, FACEBOOK

Embark on a guided tour, where a well-informed local will walk you through centuries of rural living, exploring homes, a school house, a fisherman’s dwelling and the quintessentially Irish pub-grocer building – where customers could stock up on food essentials and socialise with a pint after!

Brísti Sea Stack
Brísti Sea Stack

Unique Ascent Tours

Donegal is home to some of the most stunning cliffs and mountains in Ireland. And thrill seekers can reach new heights of adventure by rock climbing with Unique Ascent Tours. Mountain instructor and guide Iain Miller offers an array of exhilarating trails and activities, including rock climbing, abseiling and hill walking.

Once we got to Berg Stack we got harnessed up to begin our climb. Not many people can say they had a picnic 54 stories or so up on top of a mountain!

MARCIA, TRIPADVISOR

Whether you're scaling Ireland’s highest sea stack – Tormore Island – or hiking to the summit of the rugged Slieve League cliffs, you’re bound to leave with memories to last a lifetime.

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