About Killybegs

The charming working town of Killybegs, in Donegal, has a long tradition of fishing and is Ireland's largest fishing port. You'll get a good overview of the town's history at the Killybegs International Carpet Making & Fishing Centre. Set in the factory of Donegal Carpets, whose rugs adorn the White House and Buckingham Palace, you can sometimes see its hand-knotting loom (the world's longest of its kind) at work.

Wander along Shore Road and try to spot resident seals in the harbour. Or take a stroll on the secluded Fintragh Beach, where you can see the lighthouse at St John's Point. Don't miss the spectacular cliffs of Slieve League! They are some of the highest in Europe and plunge over 600m to the sea (although they're not vertical).

If you are looking for some excellent tweed items, don't miss Studio Donegal - there's been a hand-weaving tweed mill there for more than a century.


Shore excursions in Killybegs

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Belleek Pottery and Donegal Town

Activity medium

Duration: 4¾ hours

Visit the Belleek Pottery and discover a world of fine craftsmanship, combined with a visit to Donegal town.

Nestled on the banks of the River Erne in the county of Fermanagh is the Belleek Pottery, home to world-famous Belleek fine Parian china. Founded in 1857, it is one of Ireland’s oldest attractions and the methods and techniques that were developed by the very first craftsmen are still followed today.

Upon arrival, you can peruse the audio visual room that displays each step of the pottery production process. Your Belleek Pottery guide will then take you on a fascinating tour that shows you how the Chinaware is intricately put together. You’ll see how tiny petals, stems and twigs are created by hand and discover the secret that gives the fine china its distinctive pearly glow. The tour will also pass through the furnace area, and the painting rooms, where the delicate colours of nature are applied. There will be an opportunity to visit the gift shop and perhaps purchase an item as a souvenir of your visit.

Afterwards, you’ll take a drive through the countryside that will encompass both northern Ireland and southern Ireland and arrive at the town of Donegal. Here, a stop will be made for you to enjoy some free time, before the return drive to Killybegs.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and by foot. The tour involves around 1 hour of guided walking over relatively flat ground. Walking during free time is at passengers’ discretion. Flat, comfortable shoes are advised. The free time in Donegal is around 45 minutes. Local currency is accepted for purchases.

Donegal Town On Your Own

Activity lowShopping

Duration: 4 hours

An ideal option for those who want to explore Donegal Town at their own leisure.

The historical and charming town of Donegal is located at the mouth of Donegal Bay and is surrounded by the vista of the Blue Stack Mountains. It’s an ideal place to while away a few hours independently.

A local guide will accompany you on the drive to the town and offer information on things to do and see. Perhaps head along to Magee of Donegal to buy some famous Donegal tweed. Founded in Donegal Town in 1866, the original Magee store has developed from a small draper’s into an historical attraction. You may choose to relax in a local café and admire the surroundings or if time permits, visit Donegal Castle that dates back to the 15th century.

At the designated meeting time and place, you’ll rejoin your coach and guide for the return journey to Killybegs.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. The drive time to Donegal town is around 45 minutes and the free time is around 2½ hours. The level of walking is at passengers’ discretion. Local currency is accepted for purchases. Donegal Castle requires at least 1 hour to visit and may be subject to close without notice. Please ensure you take note of the pick-up time and place, as coaches cannot be held for latecomers.

Landscape Drive and Folk Village

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Discover the rugged and wild scenery of Donegal and visit the Glencolmcille Folk Village that depicts a bygone era.

Donegal is Ireland’s most remote county and is surrounded by rugged and wild scenery. A lovely drive from Killybegs along the west coast will allow you to take in the spectacular views.

Your drive will bring you to the Glencolmcille Folk Village, a delightful attraction that will take you on a journey back in time to an era of poverty and hardship. The open-air folk village allows you to hear, see, and even smell what it was like in days gone by. View the replica thatched cottages and enjoy a talk on old Irish cures and view the ‘shebeen’ which were unlicensed bars back in the day. You may also have an opportunity to drop into the old school house for some Irish language tuition. Donegal is renowned for its tweed and a spinning and weaving demonstration will also take place.

During your visit, you can relax in the tearooms as tea or coffee and a scone are served and local musicians will ring out some traditional Irish music.

The return drive will allow you to further enjoy the rugged wild scenery, before arriving back into Killybegs.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and by foot. Please note that the activities taking place on the day at the Folk Village may vary and are subject to change. The scenic drive to and from Glencolmcille Folk Village is around 1 hour. To derive full enjoyment of this tour some walking is required. Passengers must be able to negotiate the step on to and off the coach. There is some uneven ground at Glencolmcille Folk Village. Flat, comfortable shoes are advised.

Landscape Drive, Irish Coffee and Music

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 4½ hours

Capture the beauty of the Donegal landscape and enjoy an Irish coffee and traditional Irish music!

Donegal offers a unique picturesque landscape of mountainous beauty, long valleys, rugged and rocky headlands and sweeping sandy beaches.

Travelling north from Killybegs, your drive will take you through an area known as ‘The Rosses’ or ‘Na Rosa’ in Gaelic, meaning ‘the headlands’. Admire the rocky and baron coastline, where a scattering of villages sit and where aspects of traditional Irish life have remained. Continue through the spectacular surrounding scenery, before reaching the small village of Crolly. The village is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of internationally acclaimed singer Enya and her siblings who formed the traditional Irish group Clannad.

Here you’ll visit Leo’s Tavern, which was owned by Enya’s late father Leo and is run by his youngest son. Relax and enjoy an Irish Coffee and soak up the local atmosphere, whilst listening to the sounds of live traditional Irish music.

Afterwards, you’ll rejoin your coach for a leisurely drive back to Killybegs to admire more of the wonderful scenery. Enjoy some photo opportunities along the way, before arriving back into Killybegs.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach.This tour is predominantly by coach and the drive is around 1½ - 2 hours each way.

The Essence of Ardara

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 3½ hours

Experience a touch of Irish tradition in the town of Ardara.

Ardara is situated in the south west region of Donegal and its name translates to ‘ring on the hill’, derived from the earthen ring-fort which crowns the hill to the northeast of the town. Its long association with the tweed and knitwear industries dates back to the 1870s, with home spun and hand dyed woollen and tweed items being created.

Visit the John Molloy Woollen Mills, where you’ll learn about the tweed industry and see a fascinating demonstration. At a traditional local pub, be entertained by local musicians and witness ‘craic agus ceol’, as you sing along and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a homemade scone.

To round off, a little free time will be given for you to perhaps browse the shops or visit the Heritage Centre. It’s well worth dropping into the shop of local character and weaver Eddie Doherty, to admire the array of hand-woven tweed that he produces.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. To derive full enjoyment from this tour some walking is required. Guests must be able to negotiate steps on to and off the coach. Local currency is accepted for purchases.

The Essence of Ardara

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