The Inishowen Peninsula is in County Donegal. Inishowen has several harbors, some of which are used for commercial fishing purposes, including Greencastle. The village of Fahan has a privately built Marina.
Inishowen people say that if Donegal is the forgotten county of Ireland, then Inishowen is the forgotten part of the county! Its proximity to Northern Ireland has meant that is has been greatly affected by "the Troubles" there up to 1998, with many of those wanted by the authorities in Northern Ireland going "on the run" across the border into Inishowen.
English is the first language here, although some may greet you in Irish.
The easiest way to see the peninsula is by car, but touring by bicycle is rewarding, if energy sapping, due to the hilly terrain.
- Slieve Snaght (Highest point of Inishowen 615m height. Name is Irish for Mountain of Snow)
- Knockamany Bends Approx halfway between Malin village and the tip Malin Head itself. Follow narrow (single lane) road off R242 just after Lagg. Car Park at viewing point. Sea cliff looking down on Five Fingers Strand and Isle of Doagh with views of much of Inishowen and westwards to the Mountains and northern coastline of Co Donegal.
- Five Fingers Strand
- The Inishowen 100 100 mile circuit of Inishowen taking in some of the most scenic parts. Well signposted. A rewarding tour by car or a challenging day on a bike!!
- Fort Dunree Military Fort on the west side of Inishowen guarding Lough Swilly. Dates from Napoleonic times. Now a military museum with a selection of guns. Admission to the Fort is £6. However outside the fort there are a number of interesting attractions including a large number of abandoned (but not boarded-up) military buildings. There are also old bunkers and docks along the coast for those who don't mind going around closed gates.
- Malin Head Most northerly point of mainland Ireland. Marked by a sad looking derelict watchtower. Views out to the Atlantic Ocean and Inistrahull.
- Ballyliffen Golf Courses
- Hill walking There are many interesting hill walks to be done in the peninsula, often offering spectacular views over both land and sea. Sleive Snaght and the Urris Hills are just a couple of options. As usual respect farmland areas and be prepared for rapidly changing weather.
Most towns in the region have restaurants and bars that serve food and hotels, which also serve food are numerous, often located outside of the towns. Watch out for the golfclubs in the area also, as they often serve good food at reasonable prices and you don't have to play a round of golf to avail of the facilities.
The Strand Hotel in Ballyliffin
As stated above, the region's proximity to the border and Northern Ireland has created safety problems in the past. Nowadays, with the Peace Process bedding in, Inishowen is as safe to travel as any other part of the country, with the usual common-sense approach to pickpockets, etc..
Care should be taken when driving in Inishowen due to the narrow roads and sweeping bends. Young people driving too fast on these roads can cause a hazard and Inishowen has a high road accident rate in comparison to other parts of Ireland.
Inishowen has a number of attractive beaches often deserted, but the sea around this area also has strong currents. Check with locals before bathing.