County Donegal has been made 1st place on the National Geographic Traveller Cool List 2017 and has been awarded the title ‘Coolest Place on the Planet’. If you are planning to come to Donegal for the All Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships 2017 then you will get to experience the many wonderful reasons why Donegal is top of the Cool List 2017. Donegal has also been named as ‘Ireland’s Hidden Gem’ by readers of the Irish Independent Travel publication, so you will have many opportunities to discover your own special places off the beaten track, in between all the excitement of the rowing of course!


Enjoy a local craft beer at Dicey Reilly’s

Ballyshannon is home to one of the finest and most famous pubs in Ireland – Dicey Reilly’s. The hostelry dates back to 1856 when Micheal Gavigan first open the doors of the pub. Indeed the building was also the home of Margaret Delap who was later to become the wife of Thomas Barton of Barton and Guestier fame. No trip to Ballyshannon could be complete, without a visit to Dicey’s as it is affectionately known by the locals. The family run bar, off licence & microbrewery is now in its third century of trading as a Public House and has come up for mention in publications all over the Globe. Producing their own craft beers, there are plenty of opportunities to sample delicious local produce.

Take the kids to the Castle Adventure Open Farm

Located not far from Ballyshannon, Castle Adventure Open Farm is a fantastic all weather adventure center that the kids will love. With indoor soft play available, tearooms an extensive outdoor playground and lots of animals to meet at the farm, Castle Adventure Open Farm is a great place for all the family to visit during your trip to the All Ireland.

Enjoy the Creevy Experience

Your trip to the All Ireland Rowing Championships would not be complete without a visit to Creevy. Creevy is a rural coastal area is steeped in history lying halfway between Rossnowlagh – “The Heavenly Cove” and Ballyshannon, which is the oldest town in Ireland, where the mighty Erne system meets the sea. Creevy Pier is popular with divers and the Creevy area is very popular with coastal walking and hiking groups. The ruins of Kilbarron Castle can also be visited here. Creevy Pier Hotel offers fantastic food, drink and entertainment set at a fabulous location on Creevy Pier.

Take the Kids to Waterworld Bundoran

Waterworld Bundoran is Ireland’s Premier Indoor Aqua Adventure Playground is located on the sea front in Bundoran Co. Donegal. There will be unlimited time for excitement with a Wave Pool with 5 Wave patterns, 2 speed Rapids and children’s water features, Slide Pool with Tornado Flume, Twister Flume and Snake shower spray, Whizzer Slide ~ the fastest water slide in Ireland! Gravity Speed Slide, 3 lane multi slide, pirate galleon ship, toddlers pool and new children’s slide.

Surf at Rossnowlagh

With a coastline of 1235 km /772 miles, the longest on the island, Donegal is blessed with many beautiful sandy beaches, thirteen of which are Blue Flag Beaches including Rossnowlagh beach. While you are visiting Donegal for the All Ireland, don’t miss a visit to Rossnowlagh beach, famed for its excellent surf and long golden sand beach. Everything you need for surfing is available from Fin McCool Surf School. Enjoy a pint in the Surfers Bar or a delicious meal in the Sandhouse Hotel.

Shop Local Crafts

Browse the local crafts in Ballyshannon at Local Hands, which is a co-operative style fusion of Artists and Craftspeople who work together to showcase, support and sell their work and to promote the wealth of artistic talent in the surrounding region. The emphasis is on high quality unique and authentic Irish art and craft which is locally produced in the Donegal, Fermanagh, Leitrim and Sligo region. The Local Hands shop is located on Main Street, Ballyshannon and is also used as a studio space so visitors can meet the artists themselves and see them at work. They cover a wide range of disciplines including Woodturning, Crochet, Silversmithing, Blacksmithing, Glass blowing, Pottery making, Felt making, Jewellery, Soap making, Stone Carving, Painting and Illustration.So whether you are looking for a unique quality crafted gift for friend or family, or a “wee treat” for yourself, you will discover something that’s just right at the Local Hands studio shop in Ballyshannon or on

Visit Sliabh Liag

If you have time in between the rowing, don’t miss your opportunity to visit one of Ireland’s best kept secrets and a signature point on the Wild Atlantic Way Located in south west Donegal along this magnificent costal driving route are Ireland’s highest Sea Cliffs, Sliabh Liag. A visit to the cliffs and the surrounding region is a must on your Wild Atlantic Way adventure. Experience the local culture, heritage and people of Donegal against the backdrop of our spectacular and rugged coastline.