The Donegal Bay coast extends for 80km (50 miles) from Bundoran (32km/20 miles S of Donegal Town) to Glencolumbkille (48km/30 miles W of Donegal Town).

The rugged coastline around Donegal Bay is wild and beautiful. The rocky land careens toward the dark blue Atlantic, where the roads end just short of the icy water. Roads corkscrew so tightly that it will almost make you dizzy, and the main speed limit is the one you impose on yourself, as speeds much above 55kmph (35 mph) are dangerous. That's just as well, since the spectacular views will cause you to stop again and again to take in the rolling hills, jagged mountains, bright green fields, and crashing seas. There's plenty to see and do here, as there are excellent beaches and watersports, as well as seaport towns, folk museums, and craft centers.

The towns along the way are varied: To the south of Donegal Town, Bundoran (Bun Dobhráin) is a tacky seaside town with little to offer to anyone except the surfers who make the most of its famously rough surf, while Ballyshannon (Béal Átha Seanaidh) is a busy, pretty hill town that many use as a base for exploring the surrounding countryside. In the summer, Rossnowlagh (Ross Neamblach) is nicer and also has a fine beach. To the north of Donegal Town, the coastal scenery is breathtaking, especially once you pass the little town of Killybegs (Ceala Beaga). The mountains reach right to the sea, creating the breathtakingly rugged coastline for which Donegal is famed. Killybegs itself is a fishing town known for its handmade carpets, while nearby, near the foot of the striking Slieve League cliffs, Kilcar (Cill Chártha) is a manufacturing center for warm Donegal tweed.

Irish Only -- Along with counties Mayo and Kerry, Donegal is in the Gaeltacht, or Irish-language, section of the country. Increasingly, road signs in these regions are being changed into Irish only. We're including the Irish names as well as the English names for the places where you're likely to encounter this.