An island fit for a king
Donegal is Ireland’s second-largest county (after Cork), so perhaps all of this diversity is not so surprising. Take the Inishowen Peninsula. This isolated idyll took the glory from our more northerly neighbours recently by welcoming the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) to its shores during a peak in the sun’s activity. Perhaps these mystical lights are what inspired Hollywood to bring the stars to earth, and film parts of Star Wars: Episode VIII here!
Then there’s hiking in the Bluestack Mountains, ancient forts, seaside taverns and several Irish-speaking Gaeltacht regions that await those who take to the roads in this far-flung county.
And it can get very far-flung: 14.5 kilometres off the northwest coast, Tory Island is a place where islanders still talk of “travelling to Ireland.” Shipwrecks, poitín (Irish moonshine) smuggling and violent storms have all been drawn into folklore here. And ancient customs are still in place – including the appointment of the island king, or Rí Thoraí.
Make the trip, and you can expect a royal welcome, too.