Killybegs has offered mariners a safe haven from the churning waters of the Atlantic Ocean for centuries. Its sheltered deepwater harbor opens out into Donegal Bay and the vast northeastern Atlantic. In ancient times, the town consisted of no more than a huddle of small beehive-style huts called “Na Cealla Beaga,” a Gaelic phrase from which the town takes its current name. Fast-forward to today, and the maritime theme is just as strong. Modern-day Killybegs is a tight-knit seafaring community with Ireland’s largest fishing fleet.
This part of County Donegal is also home to a number of traditional industries and artisan workshops, where craftspeople specialize in carpet-making, weaving and knitting. Killybegs is surrounded by some of the most scenic landscape Ireland has to offer. As a stop along the 2,500-kilometer-long coastal route known as the Wild Atlantic Way, there are several stunning spots you can’t miss, including the white, sandy expanse of nearby Fintra Beach and the vertigo-inducing cliffs at Slieve League. Come here to soak up the small-town atmosphere and drink in the natural beauty that abounds.