7 Days glorious days of hiking and walking in Donegal to support Cancer Care West
The countdown is on for the third Donegal Camino which opens on Sunday 3rd September in Malin Head in Inishowen. Rapidly becoming Ireland’s most popular walking and hiking festival the Donegal Camino will delight walkers and hikers with a stunning network of loop coastal walks, hill and mountain hikes over 7 days when it reaches its finishing point at Europe’s highest sea cliffs, Sliabh Liag on Saturday 9th September. Led by the award winning Donegal based walking guide John McGroary and his team of professional walking guides, they will safely guide and entertain walkers as the Donegal Camino will weave its way from Lagg Church in Malin Head in Inishowen over the hills and coastlines of beautiful Donegal while also taking in the Gaeltacht region and Toraigh – the famous Tory island. Along with showcasing the beauty of Donegal as a walkers and hikers paradise, the Donegal Camino continues to raise much needed funds for Cancer Care West Services across Donegal. Registrations are getting close to filling and interested walkers are asked to check out the new Donegal Camino Website and register today on www.donegalcamino.ie.
Criss crossing along the Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way coastline and over the famous hills of Donegal, Donegal Camino 2023 has the perfect blend of contrasting landscape of coastline, mountains and hills, Gaeltacht Region along with a visit to Oileáin Toraigh (weather permitting) and a sunrise climb of the county’s highest peak Errigal. Once again the organising committee have created a 7 day Donegal walkers paradise which showcases the best trails and hikes in the North Western county and all to raise much needed funds for Cancer Care West Services across Donegal. Since the inaugural event in 2020, the Donegal Camino has to date raised €76,500 for Cancer Care West.
Walkers can choose to register for individual days, a package of 3 days or the entire 7 days on www.donegalcamino.ie. Combining the ambitions of showcasing the world class walking and hiking in Donegal along with its excellent hospitality, food, accommodation and charity angle, the Donegal Camino brings together people from all corners of Donegal, the island of Ireland, Scotland, the US and beyond. Each walker has their own personal agenda for walking the Donegal Camino, all of which contributes to the true essence and atmosphere of a Camino and pilgrimage walk.
Starting off in Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head, the opening day, Sunday 3rd of September is a stunning coastal loop path past Hell’s Hole’ to Bamba’s Crown and then heading south, it takes in some of the quieter back roads past the Coast Guard Station and back along the coast by ‘White Strand Bay’. There’s a roadway climb over the Knockamany bends which have magical views over ‘Five Finger’s Strand’ before finishing at ‘Lagg Church’. The perfect opener!
Day 2, takes walkers to a new and equally stunning peninsula, and off road on Knockalla ridge and mountain which has stunning heights overlooking Ballymastocker beach and Portsalon. Day 3 is another beauty spot as the Donegal Camino loops the spectacular vista of Horn Head, starting and finishing in the pretty coastal village of Dunfanaghy.
A sunrise hike of Donegal’s highest peak, Errigal follows on Day 4. At 751m, the summit of Errigal has incredible views and it has recently had the addition of a sustainable pathway to support hikers safety. After the Errigal hike, the Donegal Camino will later that day go off shore via passenger ferry to the Gaeltacht island of Oileáin Toraigh / Tory island for an overnight adventure. Day 5 walkers will explore Oileáin Toraigh which is renowned for its flora, fauna, incredible scenery and of course unique island culture, lifestyle, art and Irish Language.
It’s back to the mainland for the final days of Donegal Camino 2023 which travels to the south west of the county. The magnificent ‘’Assaranka Waterfall’’ awaits. This leads to a short walk along a section of road before climbing a track which brings walkers to the top of the waterfall and into the peaceful valley of ‘Minte Seisce’. Certainly a mindful walk which then takes the country road through the valley to Stravally before turning uphill towards the top of the glacial valley known as ‘Granny Glen’’. The scenery here is breath taking.
The Finalé, Europe’s highest Sea Cliffs, Sliabh Liag with the daring challenge of “One Man’s Path”. A mixture of road, track, and bog. This is a strenuous walk but a most rewarding one which is a perfect crescendo on which to finish the third Donegal Camino. Beginning at the Sliabh Liag Visitor Centre, walkers will take ‘The Pilgrim’s Path’’ at the back of the mountain which rises to a height of 595mts. We return to the Sliabh Liag visitor centre along the same route for what will be a glorious celebration of another wonderful and exhilarating Donegal Camino.
The Donegal Camino voluntary committee includes founder Peggy Stringer, former Donegal Persons of the Year, Deirdre McGlone and Noel Cunningham who’s also a patron of the important Donegal based charity Cancer Care West. The original committee are joined by Noreen D’Arcy from Galway who’s strong Donegal family connections and Donegal businessman, John Mc Namara. The committee is keen to grow its skill base while growing the Donegal Camino and they welcome all support and ideas for fundraising to increase the donation to Cancer Care West. They keenly invite Donegal Businesses across the county to fundraise or donate on www.donegalcamino.ie or to join for a days walking. In addition there are many ideas to help fundraise from bucket collections, to coffee mornings, garden parties or the traditional sponsorship cards. The Donegal Camino are very grateful for the support of partners Donegal Tourism and Gallaghers Bakehouse once again this year and welcome other interested sponsors for 2023.
All details of the Donegal Camino from each walk, accommodation, dining options and how to register and fundraise are available on www.donegalcamino.ie and regular updates will be available across social media channels Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All those who register for Donegal Camino 2023 are clearly advised to book their accommodation and dining directly and at the time of registration. All recommendations are available on the Donegal Camino website.
For further details, please log onto www.donegalcamino.ie or follow @donegalcamino on all social media. Ní neart go chur le chéile.