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Hiking the Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

  • Hike iconic Irish landscapes including UNESCO site the Giant’s Causeway, Slieve League Cliffs & Glenveagh National Park
  • Walk Ireland’s most northernly peninsula and Star Wars filming location, Malin Head, where mountains meet sea
  • Discover Donegal, voted National Geographic’s Coolest Place on Earth
  • Island hopping to Rathlin Island, in search of myths and puffins
  • 6 nights accommodation in unique and cosy guest houses and hotels
  • Most meals during the trip (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable hiking guide/driver throughout
  • Pickup and transport throughout the trip, starting in Belfast and finishing in Sligo
  • 6 days of hiking along the dramatic coastline and landscapes of Northern Ireland and Donegal
  • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary

Green Grades 1-3

Our hiking trips range from very straightforward low-level hikes to trips that include more challenging itineraries which will take you to a new mountain top each day.

Our green graded trips include shorter hikes, with few ascents, and are generally over smoother (but usually not paved) terrain. We include more cultural stops along the way and walk at a leisurely pace.

Often our green graded trips include hikes in flatter coastal areas or in valleys, and will last around 2-4 hours each day. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

Can you comfortably hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascents, over generally good terrain?

 

This trip features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort. All accommodations provide breakfast. Whether you’re looking for the liveliness of a traditional Irish music or the sound of the crashing waves, all the accommodations we use on the Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal Hiking Trip play an exciting part in your journey through the northern part of the Emerald Isle!

We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However, you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you specifically require a single room you will have to pay the single supplement charge of €250 but this is subject to availability.

You will be met by your Wilderness Ireland Guide at the Great Victoria Street Train Station in downtown Belfast at 12 pm on Day 1 of your trip. You will be dropped off at Sligo Train Station by 1.00pm on the last day of your trip, where there are regular train and bus connections with Dublin. For full details on how to get to Great Victoria Street Train Station, please see our travel section here.

 

Customer Kudos

Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 23

4 star 0

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Robert Flynn 13/05/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
The Caraween house had some issues with internet and maintenance issues with in the rooms. Our shower door didn’t stay closed. Someone’s door handle came off, another guest had troubles opening their door.
Other accommodations were excellent. Food was excellent everywhere.
Your Guide
Both Georgia and Liem were great.
The Bottom Line
I think as an advertised hiking holiday there should be a bit more hiking. We seldom did the mileage on our itinerary. In fact our itinerary was partially wrong. I know they changed the itinerary and accommodations from the previous year. Some of the listed itinerary didn’t work with this years trip. Georgia had to make adjustments. We still had a good time, but some days our hike was only 2 hours of a 8-10 hour day.

by Patricia Flynn 13/05/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Marion Hanbury Brown 06/05/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Suggestions for hotels and restaurants were helpful. The Gregory in Belfast was good. I got the wrong receptionist first but the next one was very helpful. I ate in Conor opposite the Ulster museum, both excellent. In Sligo, the Riverside's corporate package deal appearance image was redeemed by the down to earth evening receptionist chap who shut the party up in the room next to me, very comfortable and convenient. Marvellous Model art gallery and Tintown play by blueraincoat company.
Trip Comments
A loss for you I am sure but it was lovely for Roseanne and me. Once we got the hang of it not being a "get up in the morning and go walking" holiday and not really what either of us expected from a grade 3 holiday ( based on W Scotland ( walking-Roseanne and cycling-me) but a balance between travel, exercise and the sights I relaxed and loved it. Calliam has ideas of how to improve the first two days. There was the option of getting bit more exercise at each of the places we stayed and it was lovely to have the energy to do that, the cliff path at the Causeway in the morning, the waterfall at Glen house and the beach at Portnoo. I wanted an introduction to parts of Ireland I knew nothing about including especially Northern Ireland and could not have asked for a better one.
Accommodation and Food
I do not like boxes, it was good/excellent. I put excellent because the excellent for location outweighed any reservations. The Causeway hotel being NT was much better than ne might expect from the one right on the causeway. It was lovely being there when the tourists went away and seeing it with no one else there. The evening meal was fine although no nod to Easter day whatsoever, pagan or otherwise (just make sure there are Easter eggs next time, I had them and did not take them and bought an awful one). Easter day felt flat as no hot cross buns ( very good at the Gregory on Good Friday) or eggs at the hotel. I as usual pestered them about plain yoghurt which appeared the next day. Glen House was definitely excellent all round including sandwiches ( apart from light pollution at night outside which went off eventually I think). he location at Portnoo was marvellous. By day two our hostess had got it together, was a bit odd on day one with arrangements for "cleaning"? Good porridge with well presented berries and plain yoghurt on day two. I was fine in my room, went and read out the front. I am sure Roseanne has made a comment, she has a point, not sure how clean the hand towel was in my room but just used another as there were plenty. Arleen was lovely, sandwiches were not a success, wish I had had the lobster rolls at Slieve league, offered and I declined my mistake. Dinner was OK , not great but acceptable ( hard act to follow Nancy's) excellent sorbet and convenient to not get in the van again so fine. All the places were fine for food.
Your Guide
Calliam describes himself on your website as primarily interested in the outdoors. So I made sure I did my homework on the cultural and historical aspects of the holiday in advance. However, Calliam had a wealthy store of knowledge on the history and politics as well as the lichens and teaching us how to eat nettles and loved telling us or else he is very good actor. It was difficult for him to manage the first two days with a trainee in tow and the Easter crowds and a completely new trip to Rathlin Island. It was all fine, we saw everything me being delighted at seeing puffins, very good scone at the Manor house (where there were NO queues which Calliam logged for next time). I was pleased to see the East lighthouse as I was reading the Watch House, a novel about Marconi and Rathlin Island. The rest of the trip was easier I think and the walks more straightforward. Calliam was receptive to suggestions and enjoyed learning about new options, eg the famine village were and stopping at the Burt church a great success. Calliam never gave the slightest hint that he would rather be elsewhere than taking us round. He was very professional, kind, thoughtful, courteous and showed initiative, compromise and leadership in decision making.
The Bottom Line
We were cheaper on the alcohol front than that picture of Duncan and Paul? I am have taken the trouble as it a new holiday for you. he grading is difficult for that holiday. I am confused trying to compare the grading for the other walking holidays.

by Jullie Andersen 29/10/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I started searching and planning my trip months in advance. The hiking trip was only a portion of my holiday in Ireland and any and all questions I threw at Louise from general Ireland questions (such as bus and train schedules, recommended places to stay and eat etc.) to hiking trip specific (I'm a celiac, can this be accommodated?) were always answered quickly and very efficiently. All the help I received made me feel more comfortable choosing Wilderness Ireland for the hiking portion of my trip. As far as I am concerned there is nothing that could have been done better and you are lucky to have her as an employee.
Trip Comments
To tell the truth I was unsure exactly what to expect when I signed up as a single female for a hiking trip to Ireland with a company and other people I knew nothing about would turn out. All I can say is.... I'm sure glad I did!!!! From the first day to the last day I had a smile on my face the whole time. The scenery of the coastal route & Donegal was absolutely spectacular. I don't believe there is one view in Ireland that is not unbelievable and I enjoyed each and every one on my hiking trip. One of the highlights of travelling with Wilderness Ireland was not having to worry about anything.... from transportation, to where I would be staying, to where we would be eating... all I had to do was hike, relax and take pictures. What a holiday!!! The group of people that joined up for this hiking trip were all fantastic and Paul Quinn our hiking guide was fabulous. One of the highlights for me was the diversity in the ecosystems we got to hike through, from bogs to heather to sand dunes to mountains to oceans it was incredible. Each and every day on the hike had it's own beauty and I have and will be encouraging everyone I know to put Ireland on their bucket list, and if they like the outdoors in any way, shape or form to look into taking a trip with Wilderness Ireland. It was a blast.
Accommodation and Food
Every place we stayed at was fantastic. What was great also was that you didn't pack up your bags and move every day. My favorite place was the Murray Castle House because it was smaller and you got to talk to and know the owners. I also can't say enough how grateful I am for the places where we ate. I am a celiac and it is not easy to travel at times, and in particular finding good places to eat. The food was fantastic at every accommodation and restaurant. A BIG thankyou to Paul for always making sure I was okay at every meal and even going above and beyond for finding special snacks just for me. Very kind and thoughtful.
Your Guide
Can't say enough about how fabulous Paul was for our particular group. We were a mature (lol) group with a wide range of hiking capabilities. No one was ever not looked after from the fastest to the slowest of us. Paul would talk, laugh, educate, encourage and hike alongside each and everyone of us at various times along every route. He would always ensure everyone was okay and it was obvious he took his job seriously about trying to make our experience the best he could. I'm not even sure what would ruffle him as he even took a car accident in stride and just kept trucking right along with us. All I can say is if I ever get the chance to do another hike with you, it will be my pleasure any time, any where. Thank you very much.
The Bottom Line
I almost didn't go on this trip in the end even with months of planning in place. I am a single female, I am a celiac, I was hesitant to hiked with a group of people I had never met, and my father was going through very harsh cancer treatments at the time I was to leave for my trip. In the end it turned out to be one of the best trips I have ever had!!!! From the first questions answered by Louise to the fantastic care by Paul I would take another trip with Wilderness Ireland again any time. There was no problem travelling alone, the food was fabulous everywhere, the accommodations were unbelievable, and I met some fantastic people who I now call friends. What more is there to say except thank you very much, and I tell everyone I talk to that they should put Wilderness Ireland on their bucket list.

by Mary Kay Thomas 07/10/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Louise was FABULOUS.. I booked the trip quite late, and she made it work for me!
Trip Comments
How do I start? Everything was meticulously planned!
Accommodation and Food
Each hotel was great..restaurant choices were top notch. I especially loved the Castle Murray Inn in Killybegs
Your Guide
Paul Quinn..fabulous, knowledgeable, patient and passionate about his work!
The Bottom Line
I did a trip the following week, and decided to wait til the end to say..
I will definitely book with Wilderness Ireland again and recommend it to friends!

by Dean Rock 05/10/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Pete Harrison 01/10/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The whole experience was fantastic. The small group format really lent itself to flexibility and guest opinions were genuinely listened to not just given lip service
Accommodation and Food
Excellent accommodation and good options for meals
Your Guide
Pauls level of service was outstanding! His knowledge of both natural science and history was a real highlight. He is extremely personable and genuinely encouraging during some of the more difficult walks. He accommodated people's personal needs well and is an asset to the business
The Bottom Line
Would definitely recommend this style of trip to friends. At no stage did I just feel like a number as I have done on some other large tour groupss 10/10!

by Myriam Martinet-Philippe 01/09/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I have really enjoyed this hiking tour with Wilderness Ireland. The guide, our driver and all the group were so friendly that I wish the tour lasted longer. The landscape and the hotels were amazing. I do hope now that our guide will share the pictures he took. Improvement is necessary regarding the precision of the meeting point.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Very good meals in well chosen hotels
Your Guide
Our guide was really good and gave much information. I do hope he will now share the pictures he took.
The Bottom Line
A hiking tour with a small group is definitely an advantage

by Dave Owen 29/08/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Calliam was the best guide! Not just doing the practical things like organising the trip but explaining everything about the country, its history, culture, language, nature and people. Every day teaching us something new and finding a fresh angle on things. Simply the best!
The Bottom Line

by Erin Marshall 29/08/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
This trip truly exceeded my expectations! Our group was lovely. I loved trekking through the sand dunes and seeing the beach all ourselves. Climbing Mount Errigal was an experience in itself. Hotels were all great. Our guide, Calliam, was brilliant. A great story teller and he really knew his stuff. Our bus driver, James was also an absolute delight! Thanks for making this a trip to remember!
Accommodation and Food
Meals were all great. Portions were just huge. I ordered starters later on in the week and that made a difference.
Your Guide
Calliam was amazing at his job! We had a lovely time with him. It was great to learn more about Ireland as a country and his stories are amazing. I highly recommend Calliam as anyone’s guide. You would be truly lucky to have him.
The Bottom Line
I loved this trip. I truly did.
Only two things I would recommend and they aren’t bad just suggestions. I really did have an amazing time!
1) Meet Up point at the train station in Belfast....perhaps just say in pre email whethe to meet at train ticket booth or bus ticket booth as there was a little confusion. We eventually all found each other :)
2) Mount Errigal climb...perhaps just a heads up on how unsteady that climb is. Some of our fellow hikers had knee and hip problems and did the best they could.

That’s all. Thanks for a truly magical experience. I plan to come back and do the Dingle way with you as it’s the only part of Ireland I haven’t seen yet and would love to cross off my bucket list. Thanks to the moon and back! I truly appreciate you making me dreams become reality.
100% satisfaction guarantee - We beleive our tours are world class. To back that up, we are the only Irish travel company to offer a no strings attached, 100% satisfaction guarantee

Trip Details

The rugged and beautiful wilderness of Northern Ireland and County Donegal is a corner of Europe that the rush of the modern world  has overlooked.

Our route takes us along the Causeway Coastal Route and the iconic Giant’s Causeway, collectively rated world’s best region to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet, along the northern edge of Ireland to the dramatic mountains and glens of the Donegal, finishing at some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe.

After exploring the wild Causeway Coast culminating in the Giant’s Causeway, we head into National Geographic’s Coolest Place on Earth, County Donegal. With its rolling mountains, soaring cliffs, white sand beaches, infinite bogs and tiny villages left to their own devices, Donegal is as romantically remote today as ever before. We’ll explore tiny islands and coastal headlands rich in wildlife, hike through vast mountains awash with myths and legends, experience the freshest of seafood, walk along the other-worldly coast and retire to comfortable, characterful lodgings each evening.

Hiking the Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

Day 1 – The Giant’s Causeway & Causeway Coastal Route 

Meeting in Belfast, we travel north to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway. Legend has it that a Scottish giant hurled abuses across at the Irish giant, Finn MacCool. To have a proper fight, Finn built a causeway over to Scotland – what we call the Giant’s Causeway. Today, you’ll hike along majestic clifftops of the Causeway Coastal Route to finish at this fascinating geological phenomena. Watch as the Causeway Coast becomes wilder as we approach the fascinating geological phenomena of the Giant’s Causeway. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Giant’s Causeway region has attracted visitors for centuries. (L, D)

Distance 3 miles/5km, approx 2hrs.

Day 2 – Rathlin Island 

Many tales of myth and mystery surround Rathlin Island, though the most famous tells of Robert the Bruce. In 1306, the Scottish King was driven from Scotland by Edward I of England and took refuge on Rathlin where he watched a spider persevering again and again to bridge a gap with its web. Eventually it succeeded. Taking heart from the spider’s efforts, he returned to Scotland and eventually regained his crown. Ferrying to the island today, our loop takes in the bird sanctuary, home to an adorable resident puffin colony in season, and the stunning west lighthouse. (B,L)

Distance 5.5 miles/9 km, approx 4hrs.

Day 3 – Inishowen Peninsula

The ancient territory (The Land of the O’ Doherty’s), of Co. Donegal is the most northerly part of Ireland. Its northern shore is on the restless Atlantic Ocean with Lough Swilly forming its western boundary and Lough Foyle to the east. This is the undiscovered Ireland, a world apart, a timeless place. Our day starts with a ferry across Lough Swilly fjord for beautiful panoramas to the start point of our hike, a World War II-era look out tower. A gradual climb takes us to the shoulder of Crocknasmug Hill for magical coastal views. (B,L)

Distance 5 miles/8km, approx 3hrs.

Day 4 – Malin Head – Ireland’s Northernmost point

We head into rugged Donegal to stand at Malin Head, the northernmost point of Ireland. A wild and windswept landscape peppered with ancient archaeological remains, Malin Head served as the backdrop for the 2017 Star Wars film. Our hike climbs over rugged hills and past dramatic coastal cliffs . (B,L)

Distance 4 miles/7km, approx 3hrs.

Day 5 –  Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park is a hauntingly beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains, pristine lakes, tumbling waterfalls and enchanted native oak woodland. Wander along the quiet shores of the lake to the mystical Glenveagh Castle, idyllically set amongst the mountains. Here we get the opportunity to explore the gardens before continuing our walk beyond the castle walls, passing abandoned settlements on a winding path through the Derryveagh Mountains.  (B,L)

Distance: 5 miles/8km, approx. 4hrs

Day 6 – Slieve League Cliffs

Our final hike along the Slieve League Cliffs is possibly the most impressive. Some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, hike in the footsteps of pilgrims of yesteryears by following the ancient Pilgrim’s Path. Impressive from a historic perspective, you’ll also drink in terrific views of the Atlantic Ocean, the mountains of Sligo and the shimmering Donegal Bay. Meet locals such as tweed-makers still practising their craft on a traditional handloom. After saying goodbye to the windy Slieve League cliffs, enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Distance 4 miles/6km, approx 4hrs.

Day 7 – Yeats Country & Departure 

This morning, we shall say goodbye to the Wild Atlantic Way coast in Donegal to transfer to County Sligo, nicknamed “Yeats Country” named for WB Yeats, Ireland’s national poet who was greatly inspired by Sligo’s landscapes and natural beauty. Along the way, we will stop at Yeats’ grave, tucked under the shadow of Ben Bulben Mountain, Sligo’s iconic table mountain, before making our way to Sligo town in time to catch regular train connections to Dublin. (B)

*This itinerary is subject to changes and improvements. 

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Prices and Dates

2019 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
1st Jun - 7th Jun 2019
€1,710
4 place(s) left
22nd Jun - 28th Jun 2019
€1,710
5 place(s) left
20th Jul - 26th Jul 2019
€1,710
Trip Full
31st Aug - 6th Sep 2019
€1,710
1 place(s) left
14th Sep - 20th Sep 2019
€1,710
8 place(s) left

2020 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
25th Apr - 1st May 2020
€1,710
8 place(s) left
9th May - 15th May 2020
€1,710
8 place(s) left
30th May - 5th Jun 2020
€1,710
8 place(s) left
20th Jun - 26th Jun 2020
€1,710
8 place(s) left
4th Jul - 10th Jul 2020
€1,710
8 place(s) left
18th Jul - 24th Jul 2020
€1,710
8 place(s) left
1st Aug - 7th Aug 2020
€1,710
8 place(s) left
29th Aug - 4th Sep 2020
€1,710
8 place(s) left
12th Sep - 18th Sep 2020
€1,710
8 place(s) left
Get a group of friends together and make this trip private
100% satisfaction guarantee - We beleive our tours are world class. To back that up, we are the only Irish travel company to offer a no strings attached, 100% satisfaction guarantee

Price from: €1,710

Next trip: 1st June

Duration: 6 night(s)

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Location: Northern Ireland – Giants Causeway & Belfast

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 3

23 review(s)

Trip Photos

Giants CausewayDSC_9696_optBushmill’s DistilleryCauseway Coastal RouteHiking along Causeway coast_optMalin Head hikingHiking behind Malin HeadCliffs at Horn Head DonegalHorn head cliffs in DonegalGlenveagh Castle from the hillMount ErrigalMount ErrigalPilgrim’s Path at Slieve LeagueSlieve LeagueSlieve League
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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
I think as an advertised hiking holiday there should be a bit more hiking. We seldom did the mileage on our itinerary. In fact our itinerary was partially wrong. I know they changed the itinerary and accommodations from the previous year. Some of the listed itinerary didn’t work with this years trip. Georgia had to make adjustments. We still had a good time, but some days our hike was only 2 hours of a 8-10 hour day.

Robert Flynn
13/05/2019

5

Patricia Flynn
13/05/2019

5

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 23 review(s) of Hiking the Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

5 star 23

4 star 0

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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