You will find the two cottages some 4km east of Kilcar, and 7km west of Killybegs, off the main R263 road, on the quieter lower coastal road. Nestling on the slopes of the hill after which they are named, the cottages face directly south onto the broad panoramic expanse of Donegal Bay. Benbulbin in Sligo county is visible on the horizon, and on a clear day, it is said that the sacred peak of Croagh Patrick can be seen in county Mayo. The nearby offshore rocky isle is called Inishduff.
Both cottages are identical, so for convenience, we list the details and interior photos of one (the lower one). Three bedrooms to sleep six. Upstairs are two spacious bedrooms, each with double beds. Downstairs, a bedroom with two single beds, a fully fitted kitchen, the bathroom with a separate shower, and a large lounge with an open fireplace. All forward facing rooms have magnificent sea views. The cottages are double glazed, and have oil fired central heating. In a quiet and peaceful location, as well as an ideal touring base for Southern Donegal and the Gaeltacht.
A short walk away, gets you to a lovely secluded, sandy beach, - and a seven minute drive east will take you to the Blue Flag Beach at Fintra. The Blue Haven Hotel, with its Bar and Restaurant are conveniently close for a drink or a meal if you dont feel like cooking, or just a little further on, where a bend in the road slows you down, is Kitty Kellys. - A converted, 200 year old farm house, now a popular restaurant, with fresh seafood and a selection of pastas. Open from 6.00pm to 9.30pm.
Killybegs is an important fishing port, and is situated in a fine natural harbour which opens out into McSwynes Bay. (The McSwynes were a warlike clan who came to Ireland from Scotland in the 13th century as gallowglasses or mercenary soldiers. A branch of the clan had a castle in Killybegs harbour where Mooneys boat yard now is.) The town has some fine hotels, pubs and restaurants, and it is also gaining a reputation as a water sports centre, with sub-aqua diving, sea and river fishing, and sailing to mention a few. An international sea angling festival is held in August.
The town has the only dedicated tourism college in Ireland, offering courses in culinary and hospitality skills. Killybegs is also famous for its fine tapestries and carpets, once a thriving industry, the carpets are now made to order. The unique carpets are hand knotted in the Turkish style, and they adorn the walls and floors of many important buildings, - in Ireland and abroad, including the Vatican, The Whitehouse, Downing street and Buckingham Palace. One can visit the carpet factory, and see the worlds biggest carpet loom. The Maritime and Heritage Centre is here too, where you can learn about the history of fishing in Ireland.
To the west is Kilcar, a smaller, picturesque village, lying in a valley between Crough Muckross and Cronarad. Kilcar is said to be the centre of the Donegal hand woven tweed industry, along with embroidery, knitting and other flourishing cottage industries in the area. It is also known as Donegals southern gateway to the Gaeltacht or Irish Speaking area of the county. A number of archaeological and historic sites of interest are to be found, including St Carthas church, after which Kilcar is named.
Drive further west on through Carrick then head south towards Teelin, then follow the signs that point to the road leading to Slieve League, the tallest sea cliffs in Ireland and possibly Europe. They are awe inspiring. The more adventurous may want to try the walk along the ridge called the One Mans Path. You dont want to try it on a windy day.
Hill walkers will love this area, and it is worth finding out more about all the different paths and trails open to the public.
Golfing enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the Narin and Portnoo Golf Club is not too far. Described as another Donegal nugget.. by Greg Allen of the Irish Times.