Dunfanaghy, Ireland — way up in the northern part of County Donegal — is a place I fell head over heels in love with.
And I’ve babbled on about the kindness of the people.
So now I want to give you some tips on what to do and where to go in Dunfanaghy so you can have a fabulous experience there just like I did.
But remember to make this trip your own.
We’re all different and have our own interests.
Be sure to wander your way.
So here are some of the best things to do in Dunfanaghy (in my opinion):
Walk on Killahoey Beach
You simply can’t miss a walk on the town beach which is known as both Dunfanaghy Beach and Killahoey Beach.
It’s really a beautiful stretch of sand and convenient to visit.
And if the weather cooperates you can even have a picnic there.
Maybe play on the sand dunes.
Perhaps work off the Guinness from the night before and take a run.
Or simply sit and watch the waves roll in.
You can’t go wrong with this lovely beach.
Have tea at Muck ‘n’ Muffins
This is a delightful tea shop/sandwich shop with tasty treats and a delicious lunch menu.
Get comfy upstairs at a table.
And when you are finished head down to the main floor to check out the cute shop where you’ll find some beautiful gifts.
The owners, Dunfanaghy natives and sisters Deborah and Emma, are potters so there is some gorgeous pottery to purchase as well.
Watch a sporting event in the Whiskey Fly Bar in Arnolds Hotel
Now this is definitely not for everyone.
I happened to be in town during the Master’s Golf Tournament.
And I had a wonderful time watching this event on the big screen tv with other golf enthusiasts.
I also caught a Manchester United match.
And that was fun.
You’ll find some Man United fans in the area for sure.
It’s a lively place to grab a drink and watch whatever sporting event in on the tube.
Listen to traditional Irish music at Patsy Dan’s
This is THE place in town for good trad music.
And what I love about it is that the sessions are Mondays and Fridays at 6pm.
So there’s no having to wait until 10pm to hear the music.
I personally struggle to stay up much later.
But you will find other music here later on Fridays and on Saturdays as well.
It’s a wee pub with a small bar and a dark interior.
There’s a fireplace and old wooden furniture.
So, in other words, it’s a typical Irish pub that you’ll fall in love with.
It was my favorite spot in town and it’s definitely one of the top things to do in Dunfanaghy.
Shop for organic — and local — goods at The Green Man
This was my favorite shop for good food.
I found local Irish cheese here.
I bought gluten-free snacks here.
There was locally made (County Donegal) soap and other goods.
And the owners, Eileen and Neil, are so warm and friendly.
I felt like a local by my last visit. (Yes, there were multiple visits!)
Eat at The Mill Restaurant
Now admittedly, I didn’t make it here.
At the time of year I traveled to Dunfanaghy (April) it was only opened on weekends.
And one of those weekends was Easter.
So it simply didn’t happen.
Plus it’s a bit pricey for my mid-range budget.
But everyone says it is fabulous and worth the splurge.
They serve a lot of locally sourced food that is prepared to perfection.
So I have to put it on this list for the foodies out there.
Play a round of golf at Dunfanaghy Golf Course
I was staying at The Whins which is right across the street from the town golf course.
It didn’t matter what the weather was like.
There was always someone on the course playing golf.
It’s a typical links course.
And it was always busy.
While I’m not a golfer (just a fan thanks to Daddy-o), it must be a decent course if everyone is out there.
So if golf is your game, then be sure to play a round at the Dunfanaghy Golf Course.
Take surf lessons from Narosa Surf Shop and School
Surfing in Ireland?
Surfing has been around for quite a while in Ireland.
I remember my friend, Aedín, telling me about this back in 2007 on my first visit.
There is a surfing culture in Ireland.
Granted, there’s no surfing in bikinis.
Full on wet suits are pretty common.
But there are some excellent places to surf on the west coast and the north coast of Ireland.
And Dunfanaghy happens to have some fabulous spots to catch some waves.
So why not take a lesson?
This is one of the top things to do in Dunfanaghy as Narosa is quite well-known in County Donegal.
And if surfing is not your thing, then stop by the shop just to check out their merchandise.
I bought a super cute Dunfanaghy t-shirt here!
Drive Horn Head Loop Road
This was the first thing I did when I arrived in Dunfanaghy.
The weather was perfect with sunshine and blue skies.
You can’t leave without making this roller coaster drive.
It’s truly one of the best things to things to do in Dunfanaghy.
And it’s one of the best drives in County Donegal.
It’s not particularly long.
But it’s a narrow, picturesque road.
And the views are stun-ning!
Now I wouldn’t recommend this on a rainy day.
You wouldn’t get the views.
And the drive might get a little sketchy.
But if you have halfway decent weather, you have to make this drive.
And if the weather is good and you are inspired, run or walk it.
My regret is that I didn’t do this — the walk or run thing.
Walk to Tramore Beach and then walk the beach
I have to admit, this might have been my favorite thing I did.
And while I’m putting it down here at the end of the post, it might be the top thing to do in Dunfanaghy.
It’s truly a special and unique beach and my time here felt kind of magical.
First of all, from the trailhead it’s about 2km to the beach.
So it’s not a beach you drive up to, park and then walk 3 minutes to.
Secondly, it’s a good 2 mile stretch of sandy gorgeousness!
Walking from end to end is a commitment.
But well worth it.
It’s just stunning.
Walking through the dunes to get there is a kick.
It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride and is part of the charm of this hidden beach.
The locals know about it.
As do all the “adopted locals” — the folks with holiday homes in the area.
But it will never feel crowded.
It’s truly an enchanting beach.
Bonus tip: Eat or drink at Cafe Arnou
This cafe/burger bar/ cocktail bar is actually owned by the Arnold’s folks.
During the morning and afternoon they serve breakfast and lunch.
But after 5pm it becomes a great spot for a burger.
I’m a vegetarian.
But I loved their veggie burger.
One of the best I’ve had.
The chips (fries) were fab too.
And they serve up some fun cocktails.
It’s a superb spot for a casual meal.
Who’s ready to travel to Dunfanaghy?
I’d go back in a heartbeat.
It’s a charming town with a good variety of things to do and see.
And the people are some of the friendliest folks in all of Ireland — which is saying a lot.
It makes a great base for exploring northern Donegal as well.
That post is yet to come so stay tuned…