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COASTAL HIKES

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of hiking in Donegal is experiencing the coastal scenery that is on offer. From Inishowen, right along the North West coast to Bundoran, spectacular beaches and rugged coastline offer opportunities for hikers to witness the wild North Atlantic in all its glory. Forming part of the Wild Atlantic Way, this coastline is becoming ever more popular with tourists and is receiving global recognition as a must see place to visit.

Hiking Donegal will talk you through some of the more popular coastal routes and places of interest, while also giving some local history and listing other activities for those a bit more adventurous. 

For ease of reference, the maps below have split Donegal into sections from North to South, coastal hiking routes have been listed and can be accessed below.

Moville to Greencastle.png

OSI Map 3, Grid ref: C612 383

Distance: 4.4km (8.8km return) 

Est. Time to complete: 2hr - 2.5hr (return walk)

Difficulty level: Easy

Inishowen Head loop.png

OSI Map 3, Grid ref: C682 436

Distance: 9.24km

Est. Time to complete: 2 - 2.5hrs

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, some steep climbs that require a good level of fitness. Hiking boots recommended.

Culdaff coastal walk.png

OSI Map 3, Grid ref: C533 494

Distance: 3km

Est. Time to complete: 1hr

Difficulty Level: Easy - Short walk that takes in the local nature reserve and Culdaff beach

Malin Head walk.png

OSI Map 3, Grid ref: C397 595

Distance: 3.26km

Est. Time to complete: 1 - 1.5hr

Difficulty: Easy to moderate - This walk takes you along steep cliffs so care should be taken. 

Urris lake loop walk.png

OSI Map 3, Grid ref: C307 437

Distance: 6.1km

Est. Time to complete: 2 - 3hrs

Difficulty: Difficult - Good fitness levels required as steep climbs in parts. Appropriate hiking footwear advised.

Dunree Head walk.png

OSI Map 3, Grid ref: C286 390

Distance: 2.23km

Est. Time to complete: 30min - 1hr

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate - Some short climbs depending on which route you choose.

Buncrana to Stragill strand.png

OSI Map 3, Grid ref: C343 324

Distance: 5.82km (Returning to starting point)

Est. Time to complete: 1.5 - 2hrs

Difficulty: Easy - Coastal walk along a defined pathway

Fanad Head.png

OSI Map 2, Grid ref: C232 477

Distance: N/A

Est. Time to complete: 1 - 1.5hr (Tour of lighthouse)

Difficulty: A notable landmark that offers great photo opportunities. Steep cliffs surrounding lighthouse so care should be taken

Murder hole beach via Tra Na Rossan.png

OSI Map 2, Grid ref: C118 419

Distance: 6km

Est. Time to complete: 2 - 2.5hrs

Difficulty: Difficult - steep climbs and descents in sections. Good level of fitness needed. Dangerous cliffs in small section also. Appropriate hiking footwear necessary.

Boardwalk & Tra Mor beach.png

OSI Map 2, Grid ref: C104 335 

Distance: 8.9km

Est. Time to complete: 2 - 2.5hrs

Difficulty: Easy - Walk initially takes you along a boardwalk amongst the sand dunes which then leads to the expansive Tra Mhor beach.

Horn Head cliff walk.png

OSI Map 2, Grid ref: C014 409

Distance: 2.82km

Est. Time to complete: 1hr

Difficulty: Moderate - Undefined route on heather and bog land. A safe distance should be kept from the nearby cliffs. This is an exposed area and strong winds are to be expected

Picture1.png

OSI Map 2, Grid ref: C009 375

Distance: 4.82km

Est. Time to complete: 1 - 1.5hrs

Difficulty: Moderate with some ascents necessary. 

Nb. An updated version of the original Mc Swynne's Gun Loop hike

Tory Island walk.png

OSI Map 1, Grid ref: B856 464

Distance: 9km

Est. Time to complete: 3hrs +

Difficulty: Easy - Majority of walk is conducted on roadway/pathway. The east side of the Island is known for its cliffs so care should be taken.

Dooey peninsula walk.png

OSI Map 1, Grid ref: B889 331

Distance: 6km

Est. Time to complete: 1.5 - 2hrs

Difficulty: Easy - Nature walk along sand dunes

Bloody Foreland coastal hike.png

OSI Map 1, Grid ref: B868 327

Distance: 14.25km

Est. Time to complete: 4 - 4.5hrs

Difficulty: Moderate - Limited climbing , however the route takes you over rough ground in sections. The route itself forms part of the larger Sli an Earagail, more details of which can be found in the hiking routes and walk ways section.

Derrybeg - Bunbeg coastal walk.png

OSI Map 1, Grid ref: B810 250

Distance: 7.47km

Est. Time to complete: 2hrs

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate - Marked coastal walk with some sections on roadway, beaches and sand dunes.

Sli Ghabhla.png

OSI Map 1, Grid ref: B771 271

Distance: 3.54km

Est. Time to complete: 1 - 1.5hrs

Difficulty: Easy - Marked coastal walk on Ghabla Island

Access to Island via Bunbeg pier

Sli Arainn Mhor.png

OSI Map1, Grid ref: B681 159

Distance: 19.12km

Est. Time to complete: 5hrs +

Difficulty: Moderate - Hike that takes you around Arainn Mhor island. Majority of this hike is on road/pathway with some ascents and descents. Good level of fitness required.

Sheskinmore Nature Reserve.png

OSI Map 10, Grid ref: G684 964

Distance: 7.72km

Est. Time to complete: 2 - 2.5hrs

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate - The walk listed above takes you through the nature reserve and involves walking amongst undulating sand dunes. There is also a section of the walk that takes you along the beach. There is no defined path for this route, so individuals are encouraged to explore at their own pace.

Sli Cholmcille Ardara to Glencholmcille.

OSI Map 10, Grid ref: G734 905

Distance: 31.25km

Est. Time to complete: 6 - 8hrs

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult - This walk forms part of the larger Sli Cholmcille walk (see hiking routes and walkways). This is a signposted national walk with varying terrain, sections of the walk are on local roads and over farm land. There are significant climbs in places with exposed sections.

Glencolmcille.png

OSI Map 10, Grid ref: G530 847

Distance: 12.5km

Est. Time to complete: 3 - 4hrs

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult - Marked looped walk with ascents and descents. Terrain is a mixture of minor roads, mountain tracks and pathways. Care should be taken when close to steep cliffs. 

Slieve League.png

OSI Map 10, Grid ref: G558 756

Distance: 10km

Est. Time to complete: 3.5 - 4.5hrs

Difficulty: Difficult - Coastal cliff walk with steep ascents in sections. Extreme care should be taken as these cliffs are some of the highest in Europe and are exposed to the elements.

The above route takes you from the Slieve League viewing point and finishes in Teelin. If you are returning to the viewing point from the summit, the journey is around 8.5km and will take around 3.5hrs.

Roguey Cliff Walk.png

OSI Map 16, Grid ref: G818 590

Distance: 4.25km

Est. Time to complete: 1 - 1.5hrs

Difficulty: Easy - Marked coastal walk from Bundoran tourist information office

West End coastal walk.png

OSI Map 16, Grid ref: G818 590

Distance: 4.16km

Est. Time to complete: 1 - 1.5hrs

Difficulty: Easy - Marked coastal walk from Bundoran tourist information office