Donegal to Galway // Three Spots You Shouldn’t Miss!

By  |  7 Comments

When traveling through Ireland, I quickly realized I would have been bummed out if we hadn’t rented a car. The larger cities and towns were wonderful and I would have been grateful if that’s all I had been able to see but it was the drives in between cities that really bring some of the best memories. Driving from Donegal to Galway is a great time to visit some lesser known areas. While I could have spent several days making this drive as there were still several other spots along the way to see, here are three spots between Donegal to Galway that I think are worth a stop!

Donegal to Galway

Before you leave Donegal, I would definitely check out Donegal town. A few highlights include:

  • Cemetery
  • Donegal Castle
  • Main Square

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway


Things to Do in Sligo

The first stop to make when driving from Donegal to Galway is Sligo. Sligo is the county town of County Sligo and is located in Western Ireland. Sligo is a coastal seaport and the River Garavogue runs through the center of town.

Sligo Abbey

Sligo Abbey is a ruined abbey and was originally built in 1253. In 1414, it was destroyed by a fire. In 1595, it was ravaged during the Nine Years’ War. Again, in 1641, it was ravaged during the Ulster Uprising. The friars moved out in the 18th century and in the 1850s, the Abbey was restored and is now open to the public.  The Sligo Abbey was probably one of my favorite ruins that we visited in Ireland. While it is obviously ruins, it is still very well preserved and gives an amazing glimpse into the past. The abbey appears in literary works by William Butler Yeats as well.

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

ESSENTIAL INFO
Hours // 6 April – 18 October; 10:00AM-6:00PM (last admission at 5:45PM)
Cost // €5 ($5.90)
Address //Abbey St., Sligo, F91 K796


Walk along River Garavogue

River Garavogue winds its way through Sligo town making it a lovely walk through the town. You can cross the bridge at many points over various bridges. Along the way, you’ll find many colorful buildings (you are in Ireland after all!), spots to stop and enjoy the river, pubs to grab a pint or shops to take a peek in. I could have definitely spent a whole day wandering the streets of Sligo.

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway


Eat at Sweet Beat Café

Who would have thought that Sligo would have an extremely vegan-friendly spot? Well, they do!  Sweet Beat Cafe is a lovely little all-vegetarian spot right on the river. Not only is the name adorable but the vibe is awesome, they have a bunch of vegan-friendly food and lots of plant-based milk for coffee.

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

ESSENTIAL INFO
Hours // M-F (8:30AM-5:30PM); S (9:00AM-5:30PM); Closed Sundays
Address //Bridge St, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo, Bridge Street, Ireland

Are you lucky and get to spend more than just a couple hours in Sligo? Here’s how to spend a perfect weekend there!


Inniscrone // Kilcullen’s Seaweed Baths

By this point, you’re going to want a little relaxation right? Seaweed baths are popular in Ireland and have a long history to match. Not only is it relaxing, but there are a ton of positive physical effects from seaweed baths.

Seaweed baths consist of soaking in a bathtub full of hot seawater and seaweed that has been steam-treated to release minerals and elements.

Some of the oldest and best seaweed baths are said to be in Enniscrone so that’s exactly where we went –Kilcullen’s Seaweed Baths. I’ll be writing a full post about this experience in the future!

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

ESSENTIAL INFO
Hours // M, Th, F (12:00-8:00); S-S (10:00-8:00)
Cost // €25 ($29.48) for unlimited time.
Address //Pier road, Inishcrone, Ireland
No appointment necessary.


Céide Fields

Ceide Fields is located on the coast in North County Mayo and is the most extensive Neolithic site in Ireland. It also contains the oldest known field systems in the world – with the creation and development of the fields going back roughly five and a half thousand years. Here you can explore a museum and walk amongst a portion of the ancient field system.  You can also see Downpatrick Head from the fields which is a spot we didn’t make it to but I would definitely add to my next trip!

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

donegal to galway

ESSENTIAL INFO
Hours //Open Easter to October 29th; 10am – 6pm June to Sept;                        10am – 5pm Other months
Cost // €5 ($5.90)
Address //Ballycastle, Co. Mayo, Ireland


Where to Stay

Here are a few suggestions for accommodation :

We stayed in Lough Eske Castle and Connacht Hotel during our stays in Donegal and Galway.  Both were lovely and ended up being perfect for us!

What to Pack for Ireland

Raincoat (yep, it’s not just something people say – it can rain at any moment!)
Travel Umbrella (while I didn’t bring an umbrella and was too stubborn to buy one, I’d recommend it)
Pacsafe Cross Body Purse (I love my Pacsafe products and would highly recommend using them when traveling)
Comfortable Shoes (my feet tend to hurt pretty easily and these are the best shoes I’ve had in a while for walking a lot)

What are your favorite spots in Ireland? Tell me in the comments ↓↓↓

Looking for hotels in Donegal? Read accommodation reviews here or book here.
Looking for hotels in Galway? Read accommodation reviews here or book here.
What else have I written? 
You can find more Ireland posts here and Northern Ireland posts here.
Like this post? Have Questions? 
Hit me up on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Email

↓↓↓ PIN IT ↓↓↓

donegal to galway
donegal to galway

Also, some of the above are affiliate links and I will earn a very small percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting A Southern Gypsy!

Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.

7 Comments

  1. Jenn and Ed Coleman

    November 26, 2017 at 9:44 PM

    I’m not so sure about the seaweed bath but it probably does a lot of good. Plants have lots of natural extracts that could help with all kinds of conditions.

    I visited West Minster a while (long while) back and was fascinated by the old graves and long history. I remember making a rubbing (way back when) but I have know clue where that ended up.
    Jenn and Ed Coleman recently posted…Seventeen Strangest ThingsMy Profile

  2. Ivy

    November 28, 2017 at 1:04 PM

    Sligo Abbey is kinda creepy, but in the cool way. I like how well preserved and quiet it is. Do you smell funny after the seaweed bath? I wouldn’t mind trying that!
    Ivy recently posted…Dinner in 30min: Pork Belly Donburi RecipeMy Profile

  3. Cat

    December 1, 2017 at 12:29 PM

    Seaweed bath? I know seaweed soup is good for the body, but I didn’t know it is good for the skin! I need to try this!

  4. Allison Wong

    December 2, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Ireland is so charming I love the look of Sligo town. Ireland is still on my list to go!

  5. Susan Ripley

    December 2, 2017 at 6:44 PM

    There are so many gems in between the big cities. The Sligo Abbey looks so beautiful – I love visiting old abbeys or monasteries when I travel. Also the seaweed bath sounds so interesting!

  6. Julianne

    December 6, 2017 at 5:12 PM

    It’s so crazy that Sligo Abbey was built in 1253 — so long ago, and over 500 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed in the US. I love how colorful the buildings are, and the fences too! I especially love the blue one 🙂

  7. Jen

    December 16, 2017 at 2:03 AM

    I’ve heard that driving is really the only way to see Ireland. You managed to capture a lot of color in your photographs! So glad you got to see more than just the Guinness Factory haha, I need to make it here ASAP!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge