Slieve League Cliffs
Tucked away in the wilds of Donegal, the Slieve League Cliffs are the less fashionable sibling of the world-famous Cliffs of Moher. Both are awe-inspiring spectacles of nature, dramatically towering out of the destructive Atlantic Ocean below, and both are certainly amongst Ireland’s highlights.
Slieve League would be on a parr in terms of international recognition if it were on the tourist circuit like those in County Clare, just ninety minutes from Galway City. These 609 metre (1,998 foot) high cliffs however, are in the south-western corner of County Donegal, far removed from civilisation at the end of a series of miniscule roads.
One of the great advantages that Slieve League has is that it puts the sense of adventure back into the Irish nature. The Cliffs of Moher seem a little sanitised with the concrete security barriers, safety wardens and the large visitor centre. At Slieve League there is a viewing point which then leads on to a number of cliff-side walks at varying degrees of terrifying. One Man’s Pass leading up to the summit of Slieve League tells its own tale.
There are three ways to get to the cliffs' viewing point. The first is to stop at the small visitor centre and cafe and take one of the official minibuses up the one, tiny winding road. Alternatively, the brave can drive right up to the small viewing point car park in the comfort of their own car. Be warned, there are large parts of the gravel road that are only accessible to one-way traffic and some skilled reversing will be required. And then the fact that in summer the car park will probably be full and furthermore there’s those vertical roadside cliffs...
The most rewarding way to see the cliffs are to walk from the bottom car park. The walk is 1.5 kilometres (almost a mile) and there are some spectacular views and excellent photo stops all along the route.