The stretch of coastline surrounding Áras Ghleann Cholm Cille, Donegal, Ireland is a wondrous spot for walkers eager to breakaway from the trappings of modern living.
The entire 35km of Southwest Donegal coastline between Slieve League and Slieve Tooey bristles with jagged rock pinnacles and soaring cliffs.
Nestled in the midst of all this glorious scenery, is the village of Glencolmcille. Wonderfully remote, Glencolmcille began as a settlement for Neolithic peoples, and the area is littered with Megalithic tombs, so insights into the countryʼs heritage are plentiful.
The most renouned walk in the area of course takes the highest sea cliffs in Europe via the summit of Slieve League and the world famous “One Manʼs Pass”.
Other highlights include the walk North past the Napoleonic watchtower to Port, a deserted village on the edge of the wild Atlantic Ocean. The cliff scenery on the return route is unforgettable. Part of this route (The Tower Walk) is one of a number of Loop walks that are promoted by Tourism Ireland as being of special interest and attraction.
The more casual walker should also note that there are also plenty of lower level walks that start and finish at Áras Ghleann Cholm Cille. For instance The Ros Eoin coastal walk (called Rossan Point on the national weather forecast) gives the opportunity to see sea otters, seals, dolphins, Irish hares, foxes, choughs and a host of sea birds including oyster catchers and tern.
Donegal Joins The Appalachian Trail (IAT)
Donegal has been included in the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) – an extension of the world renowned and globally popular walking route, the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine and welcomes an estimate 2.5million hikers each year.
This new link will see the Irish section of the international trail will start at the spectacular coastal cliffs of Slieve League in County Donegal, running right past the front door of Áras Ghleann Cholm Cille !
Organisers aim to link the IAT all terrains that were once the Appalachian Mountains of Pangaea which includes Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Norway and Greenland as these regions share a common geological heritage.