Associating the term “World Class” when describing Donegal is partly what inspired me to start mng – a bilingual community tourism enterprise that combines our outstanding natural resources with local service providers to create world class adventure and culture experiences. In an area with little infrastructure, mng is a solution. The adventure potential in Donegal is world class and coupled with the culture, we've got something very special.
There is no doubt something is happening in Donegal at the moment, especially here in the Northwest, a revival of culture, innovation of enterprise, a revitalised community involvement and a renewed interest in what is on our doorsteps. Donegal is undiscovered and untouched by predictable tourism - Irelands best kept secret, and this county is bubbling hot. Donegal can boast endless world class claims but here's just a few reasons to really believe that Donegal is world class.
1 - Take this weekend for example and lets look at the The Race. This is one of the toughest single day endurance tests in the world – 250km across the rugged landscape of Northwest Donegal. The organisers said they wanted to create a race that would rival the toughest in the world and they chose Donegal for its consistent beauty and range of terrain. In awe of each and every one who took part, and especially proud of the women especially as its International women's day. This is The Race's second year with 63 competitors – The Race is world class.
2 - Lets take rock climbing for a world class example, Iain Miller of Unique Ascent, says there is more climbable rock in Donegal than anywhere else in Ireland and the UK. The Atlantic coastline around Cruit Island has a very special type of rock, perfect for climbing, sea cliff climbing to be precise. The mighty sea stacks that are scattered around the Donegal coastline, are world class. Climbing a sea stack is a world class experience, you will stand on a place where few have stood before you.
3 - Lets go to WAAR - the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race or Rása Slí an Atlantaigh Fhían. This spectacular race is particularly unique and special, this route has been chosen by the locals and they invite you to run, bike, hike and kayak as they showcase this stunning corner of Donegal. This is a world class adventure race and a journey along the Wild Atlantic coastline, with mountains, golden sandy beaches, breath taking views and undoubtedly the best cycling routes in the world. The community involvement in this race is just inspiring, WAAR is one of the most anticipated events in Donegal this year. Sign up today!
4 - mng’s signature adventure and culture experience Rock agus Roam is an adventure and culture experience like no other. Guests are invited to try rock climbing, sea kayaking, hill walking, island hopping, all with bilingual guides - An bhfuil gaeilge agat? Rock agus Roam takes you off the beaten track to mind blowing locations in a place where ancient traditions survive. Join us for the Spring Extravaganza in April 2015! We hold many events throughout the year but Rock agus Roam can be especially arranged for groups of 6 or more. Since inception over 400 people have travelled to this unique corner Donegal to get a taste of Rock agus Roam – comments have included:
That’s us Donegal, the real Ireland and tourists from all the world are searching for what we've got, our secret is getting out but don’t panic we’re a long way off competing with Kerry, but we’re definitely on the way!
5 - Speaking of the way, Halaleuja for the Wild Atlantic Way - Donegal is finally on a worldwide map. A world class driving route – thank you Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland for the most exciting tourism initiative that has ever happened to the this side of Ireland, ever! Its here to stay and it begins in Donegal! It's up to each and every one of us to make the most of it and the time for that is now. Think big Donegal, think very big, forget days gone by because 'these are the days'. To put this in perspective we're now in the same category as the The Great Ocean Road in Australia, California's pacific coast and these routes have been developing for 80 years! Out of 159 viewpoints Donegal host a healthy 36! Thats 36 world class viewing points, and lets be honest, that's not even half of what Donegal has to offer. There's also the secrets of the Wild Altantic Way, Rock agus Roam are delighted to be one of 150 along the route.
If you're thinking of starting a tourism business in Donegal right now, do it. The potential is undeniable. mng can help develop your tourism business ideas and create them we are also hiring! See bottom.
6 - Our Donegal legends are universal, look at saint Colmcille – who was born here in Donegal, there are churches, monasteries and schools worldwide named after this saint, whatever about St Patrick, Colmcille's influence is imprinted all over the world. If you want to learn everything there is to know about Irelands mythological and historical giant, check out the Connecting Colmcille tour - A world premier event taking place in Donegal and Derry June & August 2015!
7 - St Crones / Naomh Cróna a female saint, yes, a female saint and she’s no mythological character either. Dr. Brian Lacey has traced her genealogy back to 653! It is one thing to have a saint, a whole other shebang for the saint to be female and furthermore, to have traceable genealogy back to 653. This saint's existence has been proven – is this world class or what? Take a drive around Maghery some day, 5km's from Dungloe, the area is simply breathtaking and alive with history and archaeology. Call into the heritage room at the Ionad in Maghery for more information and Discover the Rosses have a brilliant new map too, check it out.
8 - The Irish language, one of the worlds oldest languages – it’s ours, lets cherish it, nourish it, and use it. Tá go leor leor imeachtaí le Seachtaine na Gaeilge, glac páirt! Tabhairt cuairt ar an Ghaeltacht agus cleachtaigh do theanga dhúchais. When I first moved home 3 years ago, having not really spoken Irish for 15 years, to speak Irish on a daily basis and do business in Irish was one of the biggest challenges. It has improved only with thanks to the wonderful Gaeltacht community in which I gratefully live and work (which is referred to as Ireland's cradle of culture on Wikipedia) and yes this blog will be available in Irish.
9 - Our Gaeltacht Islands. Donegal has 6 stunning Islands, one even has a King, how many places in the world can say that? I personally think he a makes a wonderful king and does his best for tourism by personally welcoming every visitor off the boat every day. Hup Patsy Dan! A visit to any one of our Islands is a world class experience, sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear of our next secret Islands experience.
10 - And last but most certainly not least, we must mention the musical adventure in Donegal, with Enya, Altan, Clannad, Daniel O’Donnell, Caberet Craicailte, Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhride to name but a few. How many places in the world could boast such a backdrop of musical talent from just one corner? World class!
Now is the time for Donegal. Lets do it. Lets really do it! Lets work together to ensure our Diaspora have a thriving Donegal to return to, alive with adventure and culture, innovation in business and vibrant communities! That's the thing about Donegal once your connected –you’re connected for life, you'll always return. That's world class!
Do post your own world class examples in Donegal in the comments below.
Click on any of the links buttons for our suite of experiences, to join our team or if you would like help starting a tourism business.