Sea Kayaking in Donegal
Venture to the northwest of Ireland and you will find the County of Donegal, an area comprised of breathtakingly beautiful coastline, perfect for sea kayakers of all skill levels. Donegal is the northernmost county in Ireland. The word “Donegal” is the English translation of “Dún na nGall”, literally “Fort of the Foreigners.” The official name of the county is the same as the town of Donegal, where the Fort of Foreigners was located.
One reason why Donegal is an ideal place to kayak is that there is more coastline there than in any other county in Ireland. At 1,134 km and constituting over 17% of the total national coastline, the county encompasses a deeply indented coastline forming natural, long and narrow coves. Furthermore, in Donegal, you will encounter the Slieve League Cliffs, which are the highest sea cliffs in all of Europe.
Sea kayaking in Donegal
If you are visiting Donegal in summer, be prepared for pleasant temperatures, but bring your umbrella. Rain is fairly common during the warm but damp summer months.
Unlike whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking involves paddling across a lake or the sea. When sea kayaking in Donegal, you can expect your adventures to take you fighting choppy seas, island hopping along the coast or perhaps just cruising down along the coastline just beyond the surf. No matter where you go kayaking, you are sure to view some of the most picturesque and unspoiled seascapes in the world.
Once you arrive in Donegal, you will find an ample number of guides to help you to get started on your kayaking adventure. Depending on the weather and the wind in particular, they may recommend you kayak off the tall and dramatic Slieve League sea cliffs. If, however, a calmer site is in order, you may be directed to one of Donegal’s many placid coves and inlets for a gorgeous outing.
When you begin, your guide might want to take you to a more protected area to ascertain your skill level on the kayak. If you do have some experience, the more open, windy waters can be as thrilling as any amusement park roller coaster. If this is not your interest, you can easily find gentle bays where you can paddle along at your own pace, taking note of the heather and the pink granite that is so common in this area.
Regardless of where you start your trip, sea kayaking in Donegal will likely be as visually spectacular as it is rigorous and challenging. There are few places in the world that offer the kind of kayaking excitement that comes with the tour of the sites Donegal has to offer.