Donegal ‘fourth-best region to visit’ in world - Lonely Planet

Travel media company praises county’s ‘unspoilt coastal hiking trails’, ‘ancient forts’ and ‘musical traditions’

Donegal is among the best regions in the world to visit in 2024, according to Lonely Planet, the leading travel media company.

Lonely Planet announced Donegal as the fourth-best region to visit, ahead of South Thailand, the Swahili Coast in Tanzania, and Montana in the United States.

The announcement was made as part of the travel guide publisher’s Best in Travel 2024 collection. The western Balkans’ Trans Dinarica Cycling route was named the top region in the world for 2024, ahead of Kangaroo Island in Australia and Tuscany, Italy.

Seacliffs at Sliabh Liag – the highest in Europe – and “miles of unspoilt coastal hiking trails along the Wild Atlantic Way” are listed among the reasons for Donegal’s inclusion on the list.


“Its ancient forts, musical traditions and rich heritage of the Irish language also make it an immersive experience for the curious visitor.”

Alice Mansergh, chief executive designate at Tourism Ireland, said that the announcement will “help to inspire international travellers to put Donegal and Ireland on their holiday wishlist for next year.

“It’s another well-deserved accolade which will help position us well for 2024 and set us apart from competitor destinations.”

Ms Mansergh congratulated those working in Donegal’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

Tourism Ireland said it would work to promote the region’s accolade in the coming weeks.

Other destinations in Ireland have previously been included in Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel series.

Dublin was named the seventh-best city in the world to visit in 2022, and third-best in 2016. In 2020, Galway was declared fourth-best in the same category.

Belfast and the Causeway Coast topped the Best Region category in 2018.

The Burren Ecotourism Network was recognised as one of the world’s best community tourism projects in 2021.

Ireland itself was named fifth-best country in the world to visit in 2015.

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher is an Irish Times journalist