County Donegal

Today
13°C

Photo of County Donegal

About County Donegal

Hugging Ireland’s striking north-west coast, striking County Donegal is a wonderfully off-the-beaten-track destination for a rugged, outdoorsy escape. Accommodation options are wide-ranging, with country house hotels and B&Bs to suit a broad range of budgets. Whether you’re on the lookout for a fabulous family-friendly castle or a cosy Georgian house for a foodie feast, our pick of the best places to stay in County Donegal promises beautiful views and lots to explore.

The second-largest county in Ireland, County Donegal boasts an impressive array of dramatic landscapes. The legendary Wild Atlantic Way begins in this remote region, ideal for coastal walks and scenic drives. Discover the Derryveagh Mountains in Glenveagh National Park, hike up the Bluestack Mountains near Lough Eske, or head out to the Slieve League Peninsula to look down onto Donegal Bay from the clifftops.

Donegal is a seriously cool spot for surfing, too, with a buzzing surf vibe at Bundoran, and great waves at Dunfanaghy, Rossnowlagh and on the Fanad Peninsula. Surfing aside, there’s diving to be done in Donegal Bay, rock-climbing out on the islands, and salmon fishing in the region’s rivers. For an even more secluded escape, look to Tory Island, still further to the north-west, or venture north along the winding roads of the isolated Inishowen Peninsula, site of myths and legends aplenty.

Home to ancient customs, mysterious shipwrecks, sheer cliffs, crashing waves and cosy seaside taverns, County Donegal is a fantastic destination for adventurous travellers looking to escape the crowds. Hide away in some of the best places to stay in County Donegal as you soak up the charm of one of Ireland’s most wild, enchanting and far-flung destinations as a couple or with the kids.

The Best Places to Stay in County Donegal

For a country house

  • Frewin offers five pretty rooms in an ivy-clad country house, with a well-stocked library and mature gardens. Pick this place for a charming rural escape in a calm and secluded setting. Breakfasts are delicious!
  • Harvey’s Point is a big, sumptuous country hotel set on the shores of Lough Eske, against the Bluestack Mountains. Come here for beautiful views, lots of activities — including golf, fishing and hiking — as well as great food. Think antique beds, wood panelling and lots of space for kids, family groups and pets.
  • Rathmullan House is an attractive Georgian hotel with 34 comfortable, luxurious rooms in 7 acres of wooded gardens alongside Lough Swilly. Stay here for traditional interiors, award-winning food at The Cook & Gardener restaurant and lots of relaxing country walks. Kids will love the tennis court, indoor pool, extensive grounds and family suites. Don’t miss enjoying a pint of craft beer at The Tap Room after a big day of exploring!

For Luxury

  • Lough Eske Castle Hotel & Spa offers stylish rooms and suites in a striking historic castle on Lough Eske. Explore the Wild Atlantic Way, relax at the indulgent spa and dine on creative gourmet fare. Afternoon tea is a sure-fire hit, too. Family Suites are great for those travelling with little ones, whilst this is also a romantic spot, popular for weddings!

For an intimate hideaway

  • Breac House is a super-chic, minimalist B&B with three rooms offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from atop Horn’s Head. Unplug and unwind in spectacular surroundings, enjoy hearty breakfasts and savour cocktails with locally-infused spirits at happy hour. Pick this place for bold, contemporary design and plenty of privacy.

For Foodies

  • The Red Door is a charming rural retreat near Inishowen on the Wild Atlantic Way. A lovely Georgian house with four gorgeous bedrooms, the hotel boasts a relaxed, award-winning restaurant. Herbs and vegetables are grown in the hotel gardens, whilst meat and seafood are locally sourced, and Sunday lunch draws a real crowd — including many locals.

For an apartment or cottage

If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

  • Fly to Dublin International Airport or take the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin, and hop aboard the train or drive to County Donegal. Expect a 3.5-hour drive, or approx. 4.5 hours on the train.
  • Alternatively, City of Derry Airport in Northern Ireland offers regular flights from England and Scotland. You could also take the ferry from Birkenhead to Belfast for a shorter drive on to County Donegal.
  • This is an impressive region to explore by road. Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Visit between June and September for warmer temperatures and bright, long days. Temperatures peak at around 16°C on average, so bring jumpers and coats!

STILL NOT SURE?

Weather

Monthly Weather in County Donegal

Best Hotels in County Donegal

  • The Red Door Co Donegal, County Donegal 4 rooms from £104

    Country Escape  -  A quaint country house occupying a secluded spot near the coast
    Foodies  -  The Red Door is a must for any foodie visiting the area.
    On the beach  -  Situated just 250 yards from the golden sand of Lisfannon beach
    Sights nearby  -  View the the Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern Lights

    A charming Georgian country house boasting a secluded spot right on the coast. The four suites are each individually styled with soft hues and contemporary furniture; the best offer wonderful sea views. The restaurant is a real draw and serves particularly good seafood. A friendly rural escape. See More

    Check Availability
  • Lough Eske Castle Hotel & Spa County Donegal 96 rooms from £157

    Families  -  The perfect spot for a rural getaway, with plenty of space and lots of activities to keep the little ones busy!
    Local exploring  -  In a superb location on the shores of Lough Eske and only a ten minute drive from the town.
    Spa  -  Cara Organic Beauty Spa with thermal suite, infinity pool and extensive range of restorative treatments.
    Fishing  -  Great place for fishing, bring your catch back to the hotel and learn how to cook from the experts!

    A magnificent castle set amidst the abundant beauty of rural Donegal. Rooms are luxurious and spacious, adorned with comfortable, tasteful furnishings. In the day unwind in the hotel's extensive spa and at night enjoy delicious locally sourced seafood in the Cedars Grill. A rural Irish gem. See More

    Check Availability
  • Frewin Donegal, County Donegal 5 rooms from £139

    Country Escape  -  A tranquil country house complete with open fireplaces, library and a very warm welcome.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 10 are welcome
    Full of character
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide

    A beautiful country house with five immaculately designed rooms in pretty County Donegal. Offering warm Irish hospitality, an extensive library, indulgent breakfasts and roaring fires. Surrounded by mature gardens and not a neighbouring house in sight - this is the ideal rural hideaway. See More

    Check Availability
  • Rathmullan House Co. Donegal, County Donegal 26 rooms from £156

    Back to Nature  -  In the beautiful Glenveagh National Park, with lush greenery rolling down to Lough Swilly and the blue hills of Inishowen.
    Hideaway  -  An elegant and chic country retreat with splendid grounds, massage treatments and fantastic food.
    On the beach  -  Rathmullan beach is one of the finest in Donegal and can be access directly from the garden!
    Great walks  -  Take a hike into the mountains or walk along the beach.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    A charming boutique hotel surrounded by forests, with lawns rolling down to the shores of the Lough Swilly. Rooms are decorated in traditional-style with high ceilings, period furniture, fireplaces and elegant interiors. With a choice of two restaurants,a bar, a pool and tennis court. See More

    Check Availability
  • Breac.House Co. Donegal, County Donegal 3 rooms from £195

    Back to Nature  -  Set on a headland overlooking the Atlantic, on the wild coastline of Donegal, this hotel offer a serene back-to-nature retreat
    Hideaway  -  With a remote location and just three guestrooms, this hotel makes a perfect choice for an unplugged holiday
    Romantic Break  -  This boutique design bolt-hole is popular with couples; enjoy a seaweed bath after a couples' sauna
    Great walks  -  Explore the dramatic coastline on a long walk; ask your hosts for their favourite routes and a picnic to take with you

    This contemporary nature retreat is located in the rugged landscape of northwest Donegal. Interiors champion local materials and artisan furnishings; each guestroom offers panoramic sea views and doors leading to a sit-out terrace. Escape from the world in the cosy wood-fired sauna. A chic escape. See More

    Check Availability
  • Harvey's Point Donegal, County Donegal 60 rooms from £225

    Active Holiday  -  There is lots on offer here for active guests, with golf, hiking and fishing among some of the activities available at the hotel
    Back to Nature  -  Set in a dramatic landscape against the backdrop of the Bluestack Mountains, this hotel makes a unique back-to-nature retreat
    Hideaway  -  Set in a remote natural setting on the banks of Lough Eske, choose this hotel for your next hideaway holiday
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Scottish Baronial-style Glenveagh Castle, an 1870s manor house renowned for its Victorian-era gardens

    This hotel has a fairytale setting on the banks of Lough Eske in the Bluestack Mountains. Elegant rooms have rich, dark wood furniture and plush linens in a regal palette of crimson and gold; Italian marble bathrooms complete the luxury experience. Dine at the lakeside restaurant; a unique stay. See More

    Check Availability