What’s New?

Come to the waters and the wild on the latest version of the Donegal App

The 2017 Donegal App is now available for free as a native app on Apple and Android devices as well as sat nat devices. With a funky new logo, it enters its fourth year with a new found gusto. Eight different tours covering over 600 places in the whole county and beyond with audio and visual features, turn-by-turn directions and text with a point of interest’s overview together with their social media and contact details – click a button and you’re ringing say Ballyliffin golf club or following say The Village Tavern on Twitter. It’s all here. A big thanks goes to Kelly Group in Wembley for generously sponsoring the overall travel app.

2015 was a big year for W.B. Yeats fans as it was 150 years since the poet’s birth, so we overhauled our Donegal Bay and Yeats Country tour to salute this great milestone. This tour offers a full racontour® audio guide as you drive along all of the famous Yeats places in both Sligo and Leitrim. That’s right – enjoy the wonder of this enchanted countryside and let our audio tell you automatically about Yeats’s time here as well as offering you some of his poetry. We also include a few YouTube videos that will be of interest to those doing the tour. Besides Yeats sites, you’ll find the tour offers host of hidden gems right along the Donegal Bay coast as far over as Slieve League sea cliffs. We recommend basing yourself in Donegal Town for this tour allowing you easy access to all of the points of interest.

Our tour of Inishowen now features links to our original audio pieces to enjoy. The pieces cover all sorts of topics from mythology to customs to history and folklore – the place has a lot to offer and we recommend that you get there at some point on your tour of the county. If coming over by ferry from Northern Ireland, make sure you stop off and enjoy the best restaurant in the area, Kealy’s Seafood Bar in Greencastle – just turn right after coming out of the ferry port.

Donegal Airport has been good enough to come onboard as sponsors of our Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Gems tour. With Aer Lingus now operating flights to and from this picturesque airport, you can be in Donegal in less than an hour – book a hire car and the Wild Atlantic in all its glory is a lot closer than you thought.

We’re delighted to welcome the likes of Kennedy of Ardara, Mountcharles Pottery and The Rusty Nail in Clonmany to the new App amongst others and we’re delighted to have a lot of familiar businesses back once again. Annual membership covering marketing and production of the badges we send you is only €12, but alas quite a few businesses either wouldn’t pay this or didn’t respond despite reminders. This is a real shame – this travel app is like nothing else in Ireland and has a wealth of multimedia information available around the clock and around the globe for free. It is produced as a way of letting the world know about the many wonders of the area – it includes only the best places. If you’re not up to scratch, you don’t get in, sorry!

Finally, with a little more grace than was ever shown to us by either the Council or Failte Ireland (sadly true!), we welcome Donegal Tourism’s new tourism app for the county launched in mid March 2015. All resources that help get people to the county need to be encouraged and supported by all Donegal folk around the globe, so pass on their link and no doubt they’ll have a few things we don’t. However, we won’t sell ourselves short. We know we’ve put something special together and will continue to prosper, despite the begrudgers out there. Donegal needs to move beyond personalities and all club together in a united effort to get the message across that we are truly blessed to come from such an amazing location. If you have not been, you’re in for a treat. Visit our website, follow us on social media and have that free app on your GPS device for your visit to the coolest of places possible – a good time just became a little bit better because of it. Have fun and safe travels.

John Ward, Producer, Donegal App
March 2017

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Our 2014 What’s New blog:

Two years on from the 2012 Leap Day that it first appeared, the Donegal App’s 2014 offering has been launched with significantly increased material for the north west tourist to enjoy. New additions include tours of Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Gems, a Best of Ulster guide and a Best of the Donegal Bay area. We’ve also produced an exciting new promo video for our 2014 app and we have a new website coming in early March! Not bad for a free app.

We’ve had a complete rethink into how we can offer the tourist the ultimate chance to sit down and plan a truly exciting visit to Ireland’s most beautiful region. Picture the scene, you download the new 2014 app onto your iPad and with it, you not only get to read about where the great places are (and Favourite them for your itinerary), you find out all you need to know about them, their contact details and finally you get to see a YouTube video on why you would want to go there. That’s right, where available we have found the most original YouTube video to allow you to savour the wonder of that place. There are hundreds to view***. Later on in 2014, the mapping system will move from Google to Apple Maps allowing for turn-by-turn on IOS devices.

Coming in at just under 50 meg, the new 2014 app is extraordinarily detailed in what it offers the visitor to the north west. The big news in 2014 is the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Cork. We have included all of the discovery points that Failte Ireland refer to along the Donegal coast and have augmented those Points of Interest (POIs) with a host of other hidden gems we know of to ensure you don’t miss a single treat along the Way’s most picturesque section – 97 POIs in total. We’ve included the best places to eat, visit and stay along the way with all restaurants having won awards or acclaim for their efforts, with seafood a speciality of course. Accommodation ranges from glamping in Creeslough to a castle by Lough Swilly.

In our preparation for 2014, we felt we were being a bit narrow in our focus on just Donegal in previous years – is that really the way a tourist works? Of course not! We needed to ensure that the curious tourist based in Donegal had the material on the app to go to the Giant’s Causeway or Toddsleap Adventure centre or Yeats Country down in Sligo. With our new guides, we have added all of the information needed to make that happen. To that end, we are delighted to announce a full audio tour of Yeats Country containing a comprehensive audio guide on both his poems and his favourite haunts. Drive along and be told as you round a corner about Dooney Rock or the Sally Gardens of Ballysadare. Sticking to the northern half of Donegal Bay? You’re in for a treat – all of the hidden gems along the coastal route to Slieve League cliffs are there for you to discover.

This cross-platform app offers a comprehensive travel app where audio, visual and social media platforms are incorporated into the information for your convenience. Not only can you connect to a place’s website, send them an email or call them with a click, but you’ll see any interesting YouTube video that exists out there on them. Best of all, the service works offline so that you will not be charged roaming charges when exploring the county*.

There are a total of eight tours within the one app, namely: –

1. Donegal’s Arts and heritage – 82 of the best places to visit from trad music to festivals, theatres to museums and the pick of the county’s crafts artists.
2. Donegal’ Activities – a guide featuring 75 places for water sports, golf courses, adventure, horse riding & places for children to enjoy.
3. Best of the Donegal Bay area – 91 POIs from Slieve League to a Yeats Country audio tour, find all of the bay’s treasures.
4. Best of Inishowen – the northern peninsula that rewards you with 105 hidden gems.
5. Best of Ulster – enjoy 68 of the very best attractions of the province’s other eight counties from causeways to Nevin’s cuisine.
6. Donegal’s Greatest ‘shrines’ – from the sacred to the sublime, here are 24 special parts of the county that are worth discovering.
7. Great Outdoors – here’s a special guide of 80 POIs just for birdwatchers, fishermen, hill walkers and lovers of scenery.
8. Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Gems – nearly 100 of the very best places dotted along the coast of Donegal.