Lough Derg and its many islands lie about 16km (10 miles) east of Donegal. Legend has it that St. Patrick spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting in a cavern at this secluded spot, and since then it has been revered as a place of penance and pilgrimage. From June 1 to August 15, thousands of Irish people take turns coming to Lough Derg to do penance for 3 days at a time, remaining awake and eating nothing but tea and toast. It's considered one of the most rigorous pilgrimages in all of Christendom. To reach the lake, take R232 to Pettigo, then R233 for 8km (5 miles).

Donegal Town Summer Festival -- If you’re heading this way in early July, check out www.donegaltown.ie for details of the town’s laid-back annual Summer Festival. The program is an enthusiastic mixture of free concerts (from local bands that, in all probability, you’ve never heard of) and family-friendly fun and games. The festival lasts 4 days, with the biggest events scheduled over a weekend. And if you’re heading this way later in the summer, you might be able to catch the Donegal Food Festival. Held over a weekend in late August, the festival brings together chefs, restaurateurs, and artisan food providers from all over Ireland. Visit www.atasteofdonegal.com for more details.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.