We are blessed in Gaoth Dobhair with some of the most beautiful scenery Ireland has to offer. Each day that you are here on a Gaelturas holiday we will be taking you on a guided tour of the area. The tours are in Irish and English and conducted by local people who know more about Gaoth Dobhair than anyone else. Our tours are divided up into three areas, Beaches and Inlets, Islands and Mountains.
Imposing Errigal mountain is the highest mountain in the Derryveagh mountain range. Errigal is probably Ireland’s most recognisable mountain because of it’s ever-changing conical shape due to the slow erosion of it’s quartzite slopes. The mountainous area of Gaoth Dobhair is the backdrop for much of the mythology and local history of the area. During the guided mountain walks you will hear stories of Luaigh Lámh Fhada the celtic god of light, and his evil grandfather Balor na Súile Nímhe(Balor of the Evil Eye) and how they fought a great battle in the Poison Glen(just below Errigal) from where the glen get’s it ‘s name. Other mountain walks include Loch Altan and Muckish all of which have their own stories to tell.
Beaches and Inlets
Gaoth Dobhair and the surrounding area have certainly lots of beautiful white sandy beaches where the mighty Atlantic Ocean has carved out some stunning havens for those interested in our coastline. The local beaches are fascinating areas not only to learn about the local history of the area but also in terms of the local plant life, wildlife, and insect life. During our guided tours around the beaches you will learn the names in Irish of lots of insect and plants that many of us don’t know inhabit these fascinating places. An Gaoth from where Gaoth Dobhair gets its’ name is an inlet which divides the parishes of Gaoth Dobhair and na Rossa and is an area of particular interest. An Gaoth is where the first known inhabitants of the area settled at least 6000 years ago. Also the area has a strong connection with the Spanish Armada. A well in this area is known as Tobar na Spanaigh (The Well of the Spaniards), and folklore has come down through the centuries telling stories of Armada vessels coming up An Gaoth for repairs and Spanish doubloons being found in the sand at low tide.
The Islands of the coast of Gaoth Dobhair are no longer inhabited on a full-time basis. Many local people keep second homes on the islands, which would have been left in their families after the islands were largely abandoned in the late 1950s and 60s. Many of the old houses still remain untouched since the day they were left and as a result we get a fascinating glimpse in to how life would have been for the islanders just 60 or 70 years ago. Guided tours are taken by people who live on the islands during the summer, and again they will afford you a unique perspective on life in these fascinating places in both Irish and English. The Atlantic facing sides of both Inis Meáin and Gabhla are very beautiful with cliffs and high promontories rising from the coastline.