Nearly three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher in Clare, Donegal’s Slieve League Cliffs plunge 600 m (1,969 ft) into the ocean below. These are some of Europe’s tallest cliffs, offering views over the Donegal mountains and a series of walking trials that lead to sweeping panoramas of distant counties, an early monastic settlement and a knife-edge ridge known as One Man’s Pass. Exploring on foot with a guide brings the landscape, its history and its geology to life, as well as providing safe access to more challenging trails that are unmarked or particularly risky.
You’ll meet your guide at the Slieve League Cliffs’ parking area in Teelin. Depending on your fitness levels and the weather conditions, your guide will decide on which route to take for your walk — options include everything from straightforward walks on paved tracks to challenging hikes over rough and unmarked trails that range from two to four hours in duration.
You’ll set off for the Bunglas viewing point for sweeping views of the receding cliffs and possibly spot dolphins or porpoises in the water below. From here, continue up along the trail on a well-paved footpath that continues up and along the cliff edge. With views of Sligo, Leitrim and possibly Mayo on a clear day, sea birds reeling overhead and a fresh sea breeze, it’s a striking place to walk.
This path eventually becomes less well defined, petering out entirely in places as it progresses along the rocks. Your guide will help you navigate the route, and draw your attention to points of interest from wildflowers and marine life to ruins along the way.
On the higher slopes there’s an early monastic settlement with beehive huts and a small chapel, and longer routes continue to the highest point on the cliffs at 595 m (1,952 ft). If you have a good head for heights, One Man’s Pass is a knife-edged ridge along the highest point in the cliffs, just wide enough for one person. It’s not for everyone but rewards your efforts with magnificent views.
Beyond, the summit walk heads to the top of the cliffs and loops round onto the Pilgrim’s Path which leads down the valley back into the village of Tí Linn. Another path continues on along the cliff edge toward Malin Beg lighthouse and tower.