Though not part of Northern Ireland, Donegal is still one of the counties of Ulster. And its
location, almost entirely cut off from the rest of the Republic, means that it sees very few
tourists. Donegal is not easy to get to, and not used to large numbers of tourists, but it's one
of the most beautiful parts of the island, and still a relatively undiscovered gem of hiking,
coastlines, and Celtic culture.
(photo credit: NUIGMC via Wikimedia Commons)
The most populous town in this sparsely populated countryside is Letterkenny (pop.
18,000) at the mouth of the River Swilly. It's something of a student town and has easily
the best shopping and nightlife in Donegal. It's also just 10 miles or so from the National
Park, making it a decent base of operations for hikers. There are also a couple of clubs in
Glentiles , but frankly if it's the mix-and-mingle experience you're looking for, Donegal is
probably the wrong destination.
Those interested in surfing and water sports should head for the village of Bundoran on
the shores of Donegal Bay. In addition to a sandy beach (a rarity for Ireland), it also has