Killybegs, Donegal, Ireland

Killybegs is Ireland’s most important fishing port, with a very deep and well-protected harbor and a scenic entry. The port typically hosts a number of large pelagic trawlers as well as smaller craft for other types of fishing. Although small in terms of population, the town plays an important role in County Donegal. Killybegs was a source for hand-knotted Donegal carpets, manufactured on the world’s largest hand-knotting loom. Donegal carpets found their way around the world and into important venues including the Vatican and the U.S. White House. Today the factory houses the Maritime and Heritage Centre, with exhibits and displays centered on the fishing and carpet industries. A large modern ship simulator also offers you a chance to test your seamanship skills. The Donegal region invites exploration of castles, both in Donegal town and at Glenveagh. Numerous gardens attract enthusiasts, and literary buffs can follow a Yeats Trail to Sligo town. The nearby Slieve League sea-cliffs are among the highest and most scenic in Europe. Beyond Donegal town is Belleek, home of the world-famous 155-year old pottery factory that bears its name. Its delicate parian ware is renowned for intricate basket-weave patterns and naturalistic flowers.