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Donegal beats world-famous destinations to be named 'coolest' place to visit in 2017

By Denise Calnan

Published 01/12/2016

The majestic Slieve League cliffs in Co Donegal, a stop-off point on the Wild Atlantic Way
The majestic Slieve League cliffs in Co Donegal, a stop-off point on the Wild Atlantic Way

Donegal has topped National Geographic Traveller's 'Cool List: 17 for 2017'.

The list declares itself to capture "top culture capitals, hipster hotspots, wild escapes and places generally keeping it cool”.

The list also recommended Santiago, Helsinki, Greenland, Peru, Aarhus, Canada, Portland, India and South Africa.

Described as "undiscovered", the county is described as; "With a weather-nibbled coast spotted with sea stacks, Blue Flag beaches and offshore islands, Donegal is a land that feels undiscovered.

"Last summer, scenes for Star Wars: Episode VIII were filmed on the Inishowen Peninsula.

"But this area of Ireland is also expecting 2017 to be a big year; there’s an array of reasons to visit, from surfing beaches in Magheroarty and Ballyhiernan Bay to Horn Head — a driving, walking or cycling loop that squeezes the 1,600-mile Wild Atlantic Way into a 4.5-mile nutshell," it read.

Fáilte Ireland have since welcomed the accolade, reporting the Wild Atlantic Way to be going "from strength to strength".

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Director for the now-famous tourism route, Orla Carroll, said:

"The Wild Atlantic Way goes from strength to strength and it is starting to pick up a large amount of global recommendations," she said.

"We are delighted  that National Geographic Traveller are particularly praising Donegal as one of our key objectives for 2017 will be to boost visitor growth in the north west stretch of the coastal route.

"We know Donegal is cool and now we’re delighted that the rest of the world is hearing the same.”

Irish Independent

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