The Inishowen (Inis Eoghain) Peninsula reaches out from Lough Foyle to the east and Lough Swilly to the west toward Malin Head ★★, its farthest point.

From Donegal Town, take N15 through the scenic Barnesmore Gap—a vast open stretch through the Blue Stack Mountains—to N13 and on to Letterkenny (Leitir Ceanainn), the largest town in County Donegal, set on a hillside overlooking the River Swilly. From there, head north on N13, then east on R238, to Buncrana, an excellent place to rest and have a meal. Near Buncrana are a couple of worthwhile stops—Fort Dunree Military Museum ★★ to the north, and the much more ancient hilltop fort known as Grianan of Aileach ★, a short drive south of Buncrana.

Ascend a corkscrew road (R238) from Buncrana through the Gap of Mamore, a mountain pass that rises 240m (787 ft.). Head east to the beach town of Ballylifflin and on to Malin (Málainn), with its picturesque stone bridge and village green. From there, it’s another 20-minute drive north on R242 to Malin Head (Cionn Mhélanna), a satisfyingly remote place at the end of the road.


From Malin Head, head back on R242/238 to Culdaff (Cúil Dabhcha), a sleepy waterfront village with a pretty beach. On its main street, the Clonca Church is a solid 17th-century structure with a fine carved high cross. The coastal road leads from here to picturesque Inishowen Head (follow signs off the R241 onto a side road, follow that to its end, and walk the rest of the way to the headland.) It’s eerily isolated, but the views are stupendous—on clear days, you can see all the way to the Antrim Coast.

Continuing around the peninsula, follow coastal road R241 southwest to Greencastle (An Cáisleá Nua), site of the quirky Inishowen Maritime Museum and Planetarium ★.

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