Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs – Ireland’s Gem



Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs - Ireland's Gem

Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs - Ireland's GemBorn and raised in Ireland. I like many of my 18 year old counterparts left in the late 80’s because of the recession and lack of choices. For me it was a countdown until the last day of school. I couldn’t get away quick enough. It was only in 1998 when I returned for 2 weddings yes two in the same week that I happened upon Donegal. A large group of us decided to fly from Texas and spend a week.  This was one of the best decisions I ever made. Come out of Dublin airport and head north not south. Donegal is a bit of an enigma even for many Irish people. I’ve heard so many Irish residents say, oh it looks beautiful but it’s so far away. Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs - Ireland's Gem

They are right of course and this often means that Donegal gets left off many tourists must see lists, but on this most recent trip August 2012 the new motorway took 90 minutes off my drive.  Happy Days as they say. There was of course ‘the troubles’ as we Irish call them, when I moved to America many people asked me how was Ireland with the war? They must have thought I was stupid because I always answered “what war?” I wasn’t being at all facetious we just never referred to it as a war. It’s called the troubles, I do remember having to stop at the border, turn off all radios etc., and wait for the British Soldiers to inspect under the cars walk up and down with machine guns and then wave you through. You could of course avoid all of this and go from Dublin via Sligo to Donegal or even fly directly into Donegal airport. I always go via Enniskillen where I love to stop have a coffee and stretch my legs here as it’s such a beautiful town on the water. Those days of soldiers are long gone and today it’s a straight trip and the only indication you have entered Northern Ireland are the speed limits in miles not all modern like us in the rest of Europe embracing the metric system with gusto. I then make my way across the mountain to Pettigo and on to Killybegs. A place I refer to as Heaven.

Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs - Ireland's GemHow to get to Donegal

Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs - Ireland's Gem

Donegal is accessed by road sea and air, you get there by boat, plane to Donegal airport or road.  There is no train service to Donegal in fact the Irish nation bus service Bus Eireann doesn’t service all of Donegal either but local bus companies can be found in most cases.

Ireland is a beautiful country no doubt about it. Greener than a lot but at a price. Rain is to Ireland what drought is to Africa. This summer it feels like it will never stop. To quote Mrs Brown a much loved TV character: – “the bible says at the end of the world it will rain for 40 days and 40 nights, in Ireland we call that summer”. Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs - Ireland's Gem One thing about us Irish, we are an optimist bunch. The minute the sun shines, we strip down to vests and shorts. Blue white skin is exposed, queues outside the butchers buying every bit of meat in stock. The very small ice supply runs out almost instantly as lest face it in our climate it’s not really a must have item. We pull out the barbecue, race to the beach, and for 2 hours we feel like we are in the Caribbean. Really sometimes it’s one whole day. If God has been really good to us we get two. One thing for certain, when the sun shines, there’s no place like Ireland.

Why is Donegal special?

I think what makes Donegal so special apart from its rugged landscape,its stunning views, fabulous white sandy beaches, seals, boats, dolphins and small fishing villages is the lack of tourists. Prices aren’t tourist driven like in parts of Kerry or Cork, Dublin or Galway. As if all this isn’t enough, the people here are some of the friendliest in Ireland with sayings like “aye you can surely” “the buck” “feshing” oh my God what’s feshing? Yep it’s fishing. Yes the weather can change in an instant and you have not heard wind like you hear in Donegal on a stormy night and like all fishing ports and villages around the world the locals have had more than their share of loss. Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs - Ireland's Gem Boats have been taken by Mother Nature and the community too many times has come together in grief but also in joy. I have had some of the best nights out in Ireland in Donegal and made to feel so welcome by locals that it has drawn me back many times.  Whether it’s the live music playing in pubs, the festivals and the Gaeltacht – Irish speaking schools drawing people of all nationality’s with a desire to learn our native tongue.

Surfing in Donegal, not for the faint hearted 🙂

Donegal boasts some of the best surfing in Europe.


Donegal is home to the highest cliffs in Europe. Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs - Ireland's Gem

Killybegs today

These days the town of Killybegs is not as busy as it once was. European fishing quota’s have had a serious impact on the local economy. Many of the people I met have had to go abroad to find work. Yet you see a Spanish Trawler in the bay fishing to its hearts content. You wonder what genius make’s the decisions in Europe, but that’s another story.


Donegal remains the number one place I recommend in Ireland. Don’t miss Donegal. For more information check out

Donegal Reasons we love Killybegs - Ireland's Gem



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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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