Here’s how to find your Wild in Donegal hiking and biking..
Our ‘Find Your Wild’ Donegal hiking and biking tours offer you self-guided or guided hiking and biking tours. Immerse yourself for anything from 2 hours to 2 days or more outdoors in some dazzling places. Wander down laneways and trails, along hillsides and coastlines. Put your feet into a refreshing stream or lake at snack-time. And take to a bike when you want to speed it up a little.
The landscape of west Donegal is second to none. New visitors discover it every year. Every year, people come back to discover this most far-flung part of Ireland to taste a bit more. And yet the land manages to keep an intimate charm. A sense that it is lost in time. Like you are walking back into yesterday.
As enthusiasts for all things green, we are delighted to jump up and down about the amazing cycling routes and hiking trails in Co. Donegal. We want to share the wild variety of beautiful country routes with you!
Our hand-picked routes each show off a different face of Donegal landscape and culture, with many running through Gaelteacht (Irish-speaking) areas. In the Gaelteacht you can pick up a ‘cupla focal’ (a few words) of Irish easily in local shops and pubs on your journey.
You can put together your own tour to suit your schedule and energy levels on any given day. We offer guided and self-guided options on 6 iconic hiking and cycling routes, and provide all equipment, advice and maps if you decide to go self-guided.
Simply choose a tour package that suits you from the options when booking. For guided hikes and cycles we will meet you at a location you wish to start at- just add a note to your booking where you want to start and end.
For self-guided options we provide you with trail advice including maps and information by email when you book. For self-guided cycles, route maps, cycling equipment (including a car rack) need to be picked up at and returned to ‘Revive’ in Market Square, Dunfanaghy. A £50/€60 deposit and copy of identification must be presented on collection.
We recommend the best local accommodation on the routes for your overnights in the area which you can advance book (see links below).
Route 1- ‘Highland Wander’
Hike through the Donegal Highlands from sky-blue lakelands at Gartan and Glenveagh National Park and along the ‘green road’ to Creeslough. This is a glacial landscape at its best. You weave your way on trails surrounded by dramatic hill-sides. The trail is easy-moderate, so no experience is required. Lakes sparkle and you can smell the heather. Your end point is the village of Creeslough, at the foot of Muckish Mountain. We recommend a cosy night in a wooden glamping pod or bell tent at Wild Atlantic Camp! But remember to pre-book.
‘Route 2- Tour de Muckish’
Cycle on back roads and Donegal’s first converted old railway, from Creeslough to Gortahork, with Muckish as an amazing selfie backdrop. Your journey rediscovers the historic railway by bike. Scene of a dramatic crash in the 1920’s, the railway finally closed in the 1947. It now houses a great multi-use trail. Ideal for biking your way from town to town. Passing below Muckish, you will cycle unhindered on back trails that used to form the railway tracks itself. What better overnight than in the recently converted old railway station at Cashelnagore nestled in the shadow of Errigal?
Route 3- ‘Coastal and Cool’
Hike this dramatic coastal trail and get the coolest free hairstyle ever! A wind-blown trail from Cnoc Fola to laid back beaches at Bunbeg, the entire trail is a breath of fresh air, quite literally! The wild Atlantic laps your feet all the way from Greenland and North America- non-stop. Stone wall fields litter the landscape and the trail leads through quaint harbours and prized maram grass dune-scapes. Our favourite overnight in Gweedore is Teac Campbell which provides a warm welcome in the heart of Irish-speaking Bunbeg.
Route 4- ‘Rocky Rosses’
Cycle through the rocky Rosses- a lowland area unique to Donegal littered with small glacial lakes and stunning beaches. Annagry is close to Donegal’s famous and fabulous airport recently voted the best place to fly into in Europe. The minor roads you will cycle on give views of the entire north west corner of Donegal as the coastline rounds the bends from Gweedore to Dungloe. Arriving at Burtonport, you can jump on a ferry to Aranmore Island to complete this rustic tour around dramatic sea cliffs. Staying over? Check out the ultimate B&B with a view, Muldowney’s.
Route 5- ‘Wild at Heart’
Wander some of the quietest countryside from Crolly, former home of the ‘Crolly Doll’ factory, through the heart of the county. Tiny roads and occasional mountain tracks wind their way through the foothills of the Derryveaghs and numerous sparkling glacial loughs and finally to the sea at Maghery Strand.
Route 6- ‘Back to Basics’
Hike the true backcountry from Fintown on well-trodden trails to Doochary, passing old abandoned settlements, wandering sheep and the ubiquitous vibrant purple bell-heather that brings Donegal’s past fully alive to the senses. This route connects with Route 5 and is 90% off-road on single tracks or forest trails through genuinely unspoilt countryside bordering Glenveagh National Park. Stay in the cosy Greenhouse Cabins in Crolly at the end of a long day!