When we stopped off for lunch in Letterkenny, it was teaming with rain and the main street had a few parking spots available, but you needed a parking permit.
Luckily there was a big parking station just off the main street, which charged only about 1 euro per hour - problem solved!
By far the easiest way to get around County Donegal is by car.
We hired a car and were happy with the flexibility it gave us to go whereever we wanted for as long as we wanted.
Didn't see signs of much public transport....
Letterkenny is the largest city in County Donegal. The Bus Eireann Travel Centre in Letterkenny provides bus service to Derry, Dublin, Galway, and many other locations. I took a bus from Letterkenny to Galway -- and the 1-way ticket cost 21 Euros. It is Bus Eireann Service 64 -- and I have attached a link to the timetable below.
The trip took approximately 5 hours -- and there was an extended stop at Sligo where passengers were able to get off, use the restroom, and purchase food/beverages. There were many passengers on the bus -- and, for part of the trip, some of the passengers had to stand because there weren't any open seats.
There is no rail network in Donegal and the bus journey is gruelling. Your best bet would be to have a car. There's a lot to see in Donegal and it's a big county so a car is almost indinspensable.
This is our rental car the morning after we got stuck in a bogland.
Donegal airport has a flight to Dublin twice a day and a flight to Glasgow (four times a week). And that is it.
Aer Arran (one of my favourite airlines) provide the service, and you can sometimes get a flight for only 25 Euro from Dublin.
Derry airport, just into next-dorr Northern Ireland may be more useful. If has a range of Ryanair flights to Scotland, Nottingham and London.
Your only other options are flying to Knock airport in County Mayo or Belfast International. Whilst these both have a much wider range of scheduled services, you will be looking at a good3-4 drive to reach your destination in Donegal.
The airport's magazine is called 'take off', presumbly not named after the airport.
there are several small islands off the coast of Donegal that you can explore by taking a ferry. The ferry from Burtonsport to Arranmore is the one we choose. It was a lot of fun to hop on the ferry, which we shared with a dumptruck and a few other passengers! The ride is lovely, through channels with seals cavorting about.
Photo is of DoonLough . Located on an island in the middle of a lough is an impressive well preserved ring fort dating back some 3000 years. It can be seen 3km from Rosbeg, between Ardara and Dungloe.
Buses from Dublin directly into Dungloe...McGeehan's coaches. Phone....00 353 75 46150..
From Galway to Dungloe..Feda O Donnell coaches...00 353 75 48114
Local Airport...Donegal International Airport.
Flights to and from Dublin every day. You can hire a car at the airport...00 353 75 48284.
For cycle hire:
Michael McMacho, Cycle World & Baby World, 25 Roches Street, Limerick, Co. Clare.
Tel&Fax: 061 415202 and 061 314824.
They will organise bike pick-up and drop-off at any airports or major towns for you. The cost is approx £50 for 10 days, including pick-up and drop-off.
For more infomation:
Dungloe Tourist office....00 75 21254.
It is essential to hire a car, and get a map that has town names in BOTH Irish and English, otherwise you'll be like the rest of the tourists and get lost every hour!!
its cheap..well its free actually and you meet wonderful people.
I had great experiences with hitchhiking in Ireland--people would go out of their way to get me to where I needed to be. One guy even turned around and drove me to the next town that he just came from as he knew there were a few big hills that I would encounter.
The only bad thing that happened was that I fell asleep in mid conversation with an elderly fellow. I was very ashamed of myself.
There is an art to hitchhiking-I think I may write a book on it.
It's a 4-5 hour drive from Limerick with 3 restless teenagers in the back. ;)
However if you are driving from Dublin, the most direct route is via Northern Ireland (Co Fermanagh). BUT if you hold a provisional licence, you cant do this route, you have to avoid the North and go via Sligo/Leitrim. Alternatively you could just take the Learner plate off your car & hope you dont get asked for your licence at the border! (This isnt legal, btw, so dont say I didnt warn ya!)
Donegal has no train station/airport. You will either have to rent a car or rely on infrequent busses.
The Sandrock Hostel at Malin Head is by far the best hostel I have stayed in so far. It is located...more
Lough Eske, Donegal, Ireland
Good for: Solo
Derry Road, Ludden, Buncrana, Ireland
Good for: Business