Exploring the Wild Atlantic (County Donegal, Ireland)

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 We decided to go to county Donegal in Republic of Ireland to spend the first weekend of May. We were celebrating 24 years of a beautiful common life together. The place we booked to stay overnight had a lot of excellent reviews and now I understand why. Join me and have a small taste of the wild Atlantic. I’ll take you through spectacular views, dramatic scenery, golden desert beaches, green mountains and picturesque places that will overwhelm your feelings and with an urge of go there and see it through your own eyes.

The Rusty Mackerel

A traditional Irish bar that also offers accommodation, a restaurant and live music. We booked the place in advance and based on the reviews we read we thought this would be the right place to stay. And it didn’t disappoint, on the contrary it excelled our expectations. Located in Teelin, Carrick, this beautiful bar is in a location surrounded of natural beauty. The beautiful murals will strike your attention. The staff is very welcoming and nice. The room was very comfortable and provides all the amenities you need. The price is affordable, we paid €80 per night. We had lunch there and I truly recommend. It was one of the places where I had the best fish ever. Truly fresh and tasty it seemed it came straight from the sea into my plate. Delicious! The Rusty Mackerel has a beautiful terrace overlooking the mountain. The sense of being embedded with nature is amazing. I took my time to listen to the sounds surrounding us: birds, water running, sheep gloating…it’s paradise!

At night you can appreciate the bustling life of an Irish bar: people gathering, drinking and talking and enjoying good live music.

The location of the Rusty Mackerel is excellent. Check out some of the places you can visit close by:

  • Silver Strand Beach (17 Km)
  • Sliabh Liag Boat Tours (1,8 Km)
  • Slieve League (3,6 Km)
  • Fintra Beach (16,6 Km)
  • Glencolmcille Woollen Mill (10,9 Km)
  • Glencolmcille Folk Village (11,9 Km)

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Slieve League

Despite Cliffs of Moher close to Galway in County Clare are the most visited ones, the Slieve League Cliffs are the tallest in Ireland with a height of 596 metres.

Though I’ve been here before I can’t stop being amazed with the beauty of this place. I truly recommend you do the walk to the top and enjoy the breath-taking views that culminate with the astounding view you have at the top overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Sligo Mountains with the bay below.

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Sliabh Liag Boat Tours

One of the highlights of this trip was the boat trip we did with our host, Paddy. The trip has a cost of €20 per person (it’s recommended you book in advance) and it gives you a different perspective of the gorgeous cliffs. We were really lucky as the weather was amazing. The boat runs smoothly, and you will have the chance to take gorgeous pictures. The boat goes close to the shore and you can enjoy the formation and erosion that created this fantastic dramatic scenery. Despite sometimes apparently during May and June it’s possible to see dolphins, whales, seals and basking sharks we weren’t fortunate enough to see them, even though we had a great time and Paddy is a good host. He offered some explanations and shared some of his adventures with us. If you are brave enough, you can also swim in the crystal-clear water of the wild Atlantic.

The first trip starts at 10 am. Boats leave every 2h until 8pm.

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Silver Strand Beach

I think a new adjective must be invented to describe the beauty of this beach, probably the most beautiful beach I ever saw (and believe me, there are plenty of beautiful beaches in this island). It has a shape of a horse shoe, surrounded by green cliffs, with a golden sand, tranquil waters (at least during the time we were there) and completely desert. This is the good thing about Ireland, you come across with outstanding places unspoilt by tourists. 200 stairs take you to the sand, but it’s worthily. The beauty of the place is so powerful that makes you feel overwhelmed. There is even a waterfall to the left that goes straight to the sea. What a stunning place.

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Glencolmcille Woollen Mill

In an island populated with sheep which other better place to buy an excellent quality knitwear. Yeah, I couldn’t resist it. Come on don’t judge me, I’m a girl who likes clothes and particularly if the cloth guarantees fine quality. If you want to give a quality gift to someone this is the place. You can see the same items sold at Dublin airport or in city shops though the price is twice higher.

This is a small traditional family business where you can also see the weavers in action.

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Glencolumbkille

This charming village has a lot to offer you from outstanding beaches, mountains and cliffs, picturesque walls…that will make you want to stay.

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Glencolmcille Folk Village

This rural village is a replica of what life used to be during the 18th and 19th century. People have the chance to visit those thatched roof houses and their inside. An opportunity to go back in time and wonder how this people used to live. There is a fee of €6 per adult.

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Fintra Beach

Another beautiful beach with an extensive sand and dunes. With superb views to Donegal Bay and the mountains in County Sligo.
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As I said this is only a small taste of the Wild Atlantic. I can’t wait to find out more. In a meanwhile I leave you some more pictures of this amazing place.DSC_0379DSC_0386DSC_0391DSC_0394DSC_0395DSC_0396DSC_0400DSC_0401DSC_0402

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