I spent the last week traveling around County Donegal in Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way — a 2,500-kilometer scenic road that stretches up to northwestern County Donegal. Locals often refer to the area as “Raw Ireland” and it just so happened to be the topic of my chat with Failte Ireland tour guide Mary Phelan on the latest Without A Path.
The thing about Ireland is that anyone with a functioning lens has a pretty damn good chance of coming back with phenomenal photos. In the case of these 18 shots, it’s all Ireland and very little of me.
Looking away from the Grainán of Aileach, spitting distance from the Derry/Londonderry border of Northern Ireland.
Walking within the ancient Celtic ruins of the Grainán of Aileach. Little else is known about these ruins.
One of the many similar views from Fort Dunree, an important military post during the Napoleonic Wars through the establishment of the Irish Free State in the early 20th Century.
The rocky coast of the Fanad Peninsula.
The Fanad Lighthouse is currently undergoing renovations to serve as a B&B of sorts for travelers who don’t mind a bit of solitude.
Chef Brian McDermott has earned a name for himself as “The No Salt Chef” after a string of heart attacks forced him to rethink his diet. His cooking calls for allowing the natural salts in food — such as the saltwater in fish — to provide your salt intake and allow the flavors of the food to come out rather than hide under a batch of salt.
A typical village’s Irish pub where it’s almost never too early for your first pint.
Hiking in Glenveagh National Park.
Overlooking Glenveagh Castle in the national park of the same name.
Some of the very not Irish art that can be found on the grounds of Glenveagh National Park.
Outside the Rathmullan House Hotel on the banks of the Lough Swilly.
Pausing during a bike ride with Grass Routes to admire this view from Arranmore Island.
A closer look at the vegetation on Arranmore Island.
Donegal town center.
The Lough Eske Castle now serves as a five-star hotel just outside of Donegal town center.
A look inside the Salthill Gardens, part of the Donegal Gardens trail.
1,000 crosses were raked across the shores of County Sligo to commemorate the 16th wreck of a Spanish Armada fleet fleeing a failed invasion of England.
Disclaimer: I traveled to Ireland as a guest of Failte Ireland. As always, all opinions are my own.