Slí Cholmcille Donegal – Slí Cholmcille is one of the main sections of the 280km Slí Dhún na nGall that circles around the remote and rugged landscapes of south west Donegal. The coastline along the route is spectacular with many inlets, bays and cliffs together with stretches of sandy beaches providing beauiful coastal walks.
This route derives its name from the legendary St Colmcille, one of Irelands patron saints.He is recalled in the name of Glencolmcille, Donegal’s most westerly village, a place steeped in pre-Christian and early Christian history.The Slí Cholmcille covers 85km and connects the main towns and villages of the area, passing through spectacular unspoilt coastal and mountain landscape, including the lonely valley reaching down to the inlet of Port, and the dramatic valley of Glengesh.
The small villages that lie along the route including, Ardara, Carrick, Kilcar and Glencolmcille. Ardara is a heritage town and is renowned for its homespun tweeds, handknits and handloomed knitwear. The villages of Kilcar and Carrick and the surrounding area provide excellent landscspes of mountains and glens, beaches and bays. Gleann Cholm Cille (Glencolmcille) is an area which is rich in folklore and traditional music.
The terrain along Slí Cholmcille consists mainly of roads, bog roads, and open moorland. Considerable stretches of the road sections, are on busy, narrow roads, where care needs to be taken. Open moorland sections, which are quite isolated, can be very wet. The total aggregate ascent over the entire route is 1,600 metres. The waymarked Way grade is moderate.
Outline of Main Route
Kilcar – Carrick – Glencolmcille – Port – Ardara – Glengesh – Kilcar.
The Slí Cholmcille route will play a major part in a major new heritage and cultural tourism initiative to be launched in Spring 2011 and linking sites in Ireland and Scotland. The Columban Heritage Trail is a celebration of the life and traditions of Saint Colmcille and an opportunity to highlight the long-standing historic and linguistic connections between Ireland and Scotland.