We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!
from £1,415 or €1,590
Included – Includes 7 nights accommodation and full board (all meals), 5 full days riding as per itinerary
Excluded – Getting there, tips & drinks
please ask for summer dates
International guests should fly to Dublin or Belfast, local guests should drive.
International guests we can organise transfers, otherwise hire a car is a great option as lots to see in Donegal. Local guests should definitely come by car.
All our horse riding holidays& adventures are price guaranteed giving our clients piece of mind. We will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.
Along Ireland’s northwest coast stretches stunning sandy beaches and towering cliffs that plunge dramatically into the foaming sea. This is perhaps the most beautiful part of the country, far from the well beaten tourist paths. Climb high into the hills overlooking the mighty sea and canter on deserted beaches as you explore this wild and beautiful area atop your trusty steed. Each day you will take a different trail where you will discover contrasting landscapes; climb the impressive Muckish Mountain, traversing old tracks built one hundred and fifty years ago during the famine and of course there will be fantastic gallops in the tidewater, wind and the sea breeze as well as splashing salty water from your horse’s hooves pounding over the long beaches. Every riders dream comes true!
The horses are mostly Irish Hunters and native Connemara and mountain ponies, all safe and sturdy with excellent stamina and gentle natures. The hotel is a delightful family-run property with everything one would expect in terms of amenities and stylish décor.
This is also an excellent place to visit with friends or family who do not ride as there are many things to see and do in the area, from hiking, swimming (in season) and biking to golf as there is a golf course just nearby.
Here at Dunfanaghy you will find the real, traditional Ireland as well as have the opportunity to enjoy the extraordinarily diverse nature of this region. Welcome to Ireland’s most beautiful and best-kept secrets of charge from tourists and crowds.
Horses –There is a good selection of horses to choose from; there are horses of various sizes ranging from 16.3hh to children’s ponies of 14.2hh. Most are Irish hunters, native crosses and ponies. All are well mannered and responsive. For less experienced riders, there are very calm and safe horses. English tack is utilised on this trail.
Level of Riding & Pace – Riders can expect full day rides (5 in the course of the week) with picnic along the way so some riding fitness is required. Riders will be in the saddle for 5-6hrs per day.
The pace of the ride is adjusted according to the group’s needs and abilities but essentially all riders should be comfortable at walk, trot and canter and be open to the idea of a gallop (this depends on the group). The minimum age for this ride is 10 years, dependent on experience. Please enquire for children under the age of 14.
Tack – English Style.
Weight Restriction – 14 stones / 210lbs / 95kgs
Group Size – Maximum 15 riders.
The accommodation on this ride is a delightful family-run hotel with everything that could be expected in terms of amenities and stylish decor. The hotel has a very good restaurant and a pub with entertainment on weekends. The rooms are nicely decorated and many have views towards the bay just outside, some of the garden. The stables are located just behind the garden and reached by a few stairs. Here there are several open fires crackling welcoming and the walls are adorned with paintings by local artists (often exhibitions of paintings for sale).
Please Ask About
How about combining this with other trails down the west coast of Ireland. Take a look at the Burren Trail in Claire and Connemara Coast Ride.
Donegal Beach Trail – Itinerary by Day
Day 1: You will arrive at the hotel with the Irish Sea, beach and harbour just in front of you. After check in, you can relax and explore the village or simply unwind with a gentle stroll along Killahoey Strand just a few minutes walk from the hotel. The quaint whitewashed yard of Dunfanaghy Stables is literally up the garden path beside the old Lookout Tower. Call up to the Stables and meet Helen and the welcoming staff who will introduce you to your horse which Helen has selected for you from the information you have provided us with. In the evening you will enjoy dinner in the restaurant overlooking Sheephaven Bay and Horn Head.
Day 2: After breakfast, stroll through the magnificent gardens of the hotel and meet your horse and guide at the stables, conveniently located in the hotel grounds. The morning is given over to assessment to ensure each rider and horse is suitably matched. This ride consists of an hour on the beach and the second hour ambling up an incline skirting the forest to the top of Horn Head allowing the rider to soak in the beautiful scenery and panoramic views of Sheephaven Bay and its wonderful patchwork of rugged coastline and sandy secluded strands, the Derryveagh Mountain Range with impressive Muckish Mountain and Mount Errigal, Portnablagh and the charming coastal village of Dunfanaghy itself. This ride is permitted by the tide as you need to be able to cross the bay to reach Horn Head. Return to Arnold’s Hotel for lunch. You will have half the day free.
Day 3: Leaving the coast for a day, with a packed lunch, we head towards the impressive Muckish Mountain. Traversing old tracks built one hundred and fifty years ago during the famine takes us into eerie silence, only horses can use the tracks as they were originally built for them. Nowadays they are overgrown but serve our purpose very well. As we get closer to this mountain, we come into the now dismantled Falcarragh-Burtonport railway, made famous by Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie in the film ‘The Railway Man’. The surface is ideal for long canters. After lunch we cross three rivers by means of ancient fords. We hack amid a patchwork of stonewalls and quiet country lanes, taking us in the direction of Errarooey, where the horses overnight in a green pasture. The horses have one of the most awe inspiring wild view, (although they’d never realize it as they happily munch on the sweet grass after a long day). They overlook the Atlantic, heavenly golden beaches and Tory Island, legendary Kingdom of the Celtic cyclops Balor of the Evil Eye. Our tired riders return to the comfort of the hotel for a well deserved dinner and overnight.
Day 4: After a hearty Irish breakfast riders are reunited with their horses that have a belly full of summer’s sweet grass at Errarooey. Tidal and weather conditions permitting, the day starts with another long memorable canter on the beach. Today’s ride is a contrast from the wild and remote heather clad hills as we experience the diversity of the countryside. We walk past old farm buildings, along a small twisty country lane with grass growing in the middle of it to get to some rough pasture and farmland by the sea. We cling to the hillside as we cross a high headland, the intense beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and the high rocky cliffs, as we turn a corner the view of Tramore beach below is an unforgettable sight. As we descend the anticipation of the canter on the beach is felt. Cantering along the waters edge as the wave’s crash is long awaited. We have worked up a great hunger and so happily return to the hotel for a well deserved lunch.
Day 5: A day to relax and unwind, with plenty of things to do in Dunfanaghy, why not take a stroll around the village and visit The Workhouse and the variety of exclusive Irish Craft shops all within walking distance of the hotel. If you enjoy walking, you can choose from the many beautiful local walks in the area from the publication ‘Rambles in Dunfanaghy’ which is available at reception. We can also arrange fishing trips, bicycle hire with survey map and suggested routes, which will allow you to explore some of the scenic beauty spots around Sheephaven Bay and Horn Head. If you would prefer a leisurely round of golf around the breathtaking scenery of Dunfanaghy Links Course, just five minutes from the hotel, we can also arrange this for you.
Day 6: Today the trail ride takes us through meandering country lanes bordered by weathered stonewalls, overlooking the indescribable view of Sheephaven Bay. With Port na Blagh (the Port of Many Colours) picturesquely sheltered against the Atlantic. We have an exhilarating canter along the strand at Marble Hill to open up the pipes. As we progress through the day, we leave behind the coastal scene and approach the rugged expanse of the Derryveagh Mountains. We ride under the shadow of the mighty Muckish Mountain and its foothills, where the Golden Eagle reigns supreme. We follow abandoned railway tracks through the wilderness with nothing but sheep to block the way. We descend out of the mountains returning to the coast, to home just in time for dinner.
Day 7: As we saddle up for the final day of the Trail Ride, mixed emotions overcome the group. We head back over to the ever stretching strand of Tramore – a wild and windswept affair that impresses those who make the journey. We have a last glance of the natural beauty of Donegal, we hear the final thunder of our horses hooves across Tramore’s golden sand…
A last riders turn to return to the hotel for a wonderful farewell dinner.
Day 8 : Breakfast & departure from Dunfanaghy.
Dunfanaghys golf course can be reached on foot from the hotel or the stables. There’s also a boat trip to the beautiful bird island Tory Island (just off the coast), known for attracting artists from all over the world. The scenery is especially beautiful in the afternoon when the sun is low and warms the landscape. Here, the time is devoted to swimming, walking on the beach and exploring the wonderful dunes. Those who do not ride can walk out on the rock / Horn Head peninsula and enjoy the fabulous scenery.
Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:
If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holiday collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.