Slieve League Cliffs
A walk among the clouds
Breathe in the salty sea air and take in the panorama of blue sky and ocean melting together: up here it’s as if you’re walking among the clouds. Look down, and you’ll see the Atlantic Ocean swirling and crashing onto the rocks below. These cliffs are among the highest sea cliffs in Europe, and standing here you’ll feel like you’re at the edge of the world. The name of these cliffs? Why, Slieve League, of course.
At nearly three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher, the Slieve League Cliffs offer incredible views from their peaks. Are you ready to scale their heady heights?
Start your adventure
As you make your way to this stunning corner of County Donegal, you’ll first come across the Slieve League Cliffs Centre. This family-run spot is packed full of local history and culture, so take time to check out the locally made knitwear and artworks. In summertime, you might even catch a traditional Irish music session!
From the Cliffs Centre, you can either drive right up to the main viewing area of the cliffs, or you can use the parking lot here and go on foot to the viewpoint. A walk in Ireland’s landscapes is a walk with Mother Nature, so choosing this option will treat you to beautiful scenery before you even reach the cliffs!
Get your hiking boots on
From the viewpoint, the paths become rocky as you venture further up the wilds of Slieve League, so care must be taken when treading these paths. A guided walk of the cliffs will treat you to insights and stories about the local wildlife and landscapes, and for the experienced hikers, take the challenging journey from Pilgrim's Path along One Man’s Pass, which will bring you up to the summit of the cliffs. Try to stop your knees shaking as you look down the 609m (1,998 ft) drop below!
As you walk round Slieve League, don’t forget to stop every now and then to soak up the views around you – the wild Atlantic Ocean, the rugged landscapes, and the racing skies which can change quickly from wispy white clouds to dramatic greys at a moment’s notice. Due to these unpredictable skies, we recommend bringing suitable clothing for all weathers – a raincoat, suncream and plenty of layers are a must, as well as suitable footwear, of course.
As you walk the wilds of Slieve League, know you walk in the footsteps of pilgrims and monks: the mountains hold the remains of an early Christian monastic site, including a chapel and beehive huts. It is also believed that Slieve League was a place for pilgrimage before the arrival of Christianity to Ireland, with ancient stone remains dotted around the area. There is certainly a spiritual feeling as you journey up these mountains, surrounded by nature at its purest and most raw.
From down below
From up at the main viewpoint, the boats in the sea below look like ants. Well, from down below looking up, the cliffs look even more impressive than ever! On a Slieve League Boat Tour you will be guided around the waters by your friendly skipper, who will tell stories as you look up in awe at the cliffs piercing the skies above. Stop in one of the many coves under the cliffs for some sun and a swim, and you might even be joined by friendly visitors – basking sharks, dolphins and seals often swim these waters too!
To learn more about the history of the area, head to nearby Glencolmcille Folk Village, where you will get an intimate experience of a past way of life, in cottages crafted by locals to reflect how their ancestors once lived. Back in Donegal Town, you can continue your outdoor adventure by kayaking in Lough Eske. Afterwards, treat yourself to a fine dining experience with lakeside views at the award-winning Harvey’s Point!
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