Killybegs (tours to Donegal), Ireland cruises

Killybegs is a natural deep-water harbor on the dramatic and rugged northwest coast of Ireland’s remote County Donegal. Striking hills roll inland from the cliffs and coves sculpted by the Atlantic.

Killybegs is an important fishing harbor, the largest in Ireland, and the majority of the country’s most sizable trawlers operate from here. The town is also famous for its excellent tapestries and carpets, known as Donegals. They are made using a Turkish hand-knotted technique and can be found in some of the most prestigious address around the world, from Buckingham Palace to the White House. While it’s no longer a manufacturing hub, you can still learn the secrets of the process at the Killybegs International Carpet Making and Fishing Center. It is home to the largest hand-knotted loom in the world, where you can even put your own skills to the test.

For more acclaimed local craftsmanship, you could visit the Belleek Pottery in the county of Fermanagh. Since 1857, it has produced the world-renowned Belleek fine Parian china, known for its thinness and subtly iridescent surface.

County Donegal features some of Ireland’s most spectacular coastline, including the dramatic sea cliffs of Sliabh Liag, among the highest in all of Europe. You could venture along part of the Wild Atlantic Way which spans a total of 500 miles. The route showcases the sheer magnificence of stunning headlands, Blue Flag beaches such as Fintra's, and charming villages infused with a sense of maritime history, heritage and tradition.

Many visitors venture across to Donegal Town to admire its fifteenth century castle, while the Blue Stack Mountains provide an impressive backdrop. You could also explore one of the area’s geological wonders, at the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, southeast of Killybegs and close to Eniskillen. It’s one of only two UNESCO designated sites in Northern Ireland, an underground world of rivers, waterfalls and glistening rock formations, which includes a subterranean boat ride.