The seven-day Donegal Camino is set to become Ireland’s No. 1 walk

From the Urris Hills in Inishowen to the breathtaking heights of Slieve League, a Donegal Camino is about to begin – and its ambitions are as impressive as the scenery.

Our goal is to develop the Donegal Camino into the #1 walk in Ireland,” says Noel Cunningham of Harvey’s Point Hotel, one of the organizers of the multi-day walk.

The walk takes place from September 4th to 10th and is now in its second year. The aim is to showcase Donegal’s walking highlights while also raising funds for the Cancer Care West Support Center in Letterkenny.

Only 70 places are available for hikers who can participate for one day (€30), three days (€75) or seven (€150).

The Donegal Camino is a series of walks in various locations and not a single continuous route, starting with a loop walk up the Urris Hills in Inishowen.


Locations for the seven legs of the Donegal Camino

Other days range from ‘moderate’ to ‘strenuous’ including routes on the Rosguill Peninsula, in the Derryveagh and Bluestack mountains and finish on Slieve League’s Pilgrim’s Path and the infamous One Man’s Path.

Mr Cunningham developed the concept with Donegal businesswomen Peggy Stringer and Deirdre McGlone last year, and the seven-day walk is being led by John McGroary and his company Walking Ireland.

A mysterious island visit is also planned, with details “will be announced over time,” organizers say. Surprise performances from “Donegal’s most famous faces” are also promised.

“The Donegal Camino embodies the diversity of the North West’s walking landscape, but our wholesome personalities and people are also unique and you could easily meet Daniel O’Donnell or Moya Brennan,” says Joan Crawford, who works with Fáilte Ireland in the county.

“The traditional Camino ethos is at the heart of the week for all hikers,” says Mr Cunningham.

“If you want to remember a loved one who has cancer, or just want to walk to reconnect with yourself or take a break from your busy life, the Donegal Camino offers it .

“There’s also the fun factor for walkers who want to celebrate honest Donegal walking, good food and hospitality.”


Walkers on the ‘Donegal Camino’

It comes as interest in hiking and the outdoors continues to flourish in Ireland. Soccer star Paul McGrath launched the Columban Way this year, a 45km walking trail inspired by St Columbanus in Co Carlow.

A revitalized St Declan’s Way offers another ‘Celtic Camino’ between Cashel and Ardmore, while Secretary for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, this month announced nearly €1million in support of 446 trails across the country.

On the Donegal Camino, walkers must book their own accommodation and meals, and transport is not included (walks share the same start and finish points).

The conclusion of the Camino is celebrated in Killybegs with a lavish dinner at Anderson’s Boat House Restaurant, “where walking shoes and walking gear are traded for dancing shoes and glamour”.

Last year, the hike brought in €26,000. In 2022, organizers hope to top that by also inviting walkers to raise funds for Cancer Care in advance.

The Walking Week is supported by Údarás na Gaeltachta and Fáilte Ireland together with sponsors Promise Gluten Free and Vodafone Donegal, private donations and the walkers themselves.

For more information, see The seven-day Donegal Camino is set to become Ireland’s No. 1 walk

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