Description of Trail
Slí Cholmcille is a section of the 280km Slí Dhún na nGall that circles around the remote landscapes of south west Donegal. The name of the route is derived from that of St Colmcille, one of Ireland’s early Christian saints, who was born in County Donegal and lived for a while in this region. He is recalled in the name of Glencolmcille, Donegal’s westerlymost village, a place steeped in pre-Christian and early Christian history. The Slí Cholmcille is an 85 km route that connects the main towns and villages of the area, passing through spectacular unspoilt coastal and mountain landscape, including the lonely valley reaching down to the inlet of Port, and the dramatic valley of Glengesh. Although sparsely inhabited today, this area of Donegal was clearly well-populated in former times: the Glencolmcille area in particular is rich in prehistoric and early Christian monuments. The terrain consists mainly of tarmac roads, bog roads, and open moorland. Considerable stretches of the tarmac sections, although through wonderful landscape, are on busy, narrow roads, where care needs to be taken. Open moorland sections, which are quite isolated, can be very wet. The total aggregate ascent over the entire route is 1,600 metres. Overnight accommodation can found at Glencolmcille, Kilcar, Carrick and Ardara.