Donegal, situated in the beautiful rugged mountain landscape of Ireland's North West is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country. This huge county's supreme appeal lies in the natural beauty of its coast, with windswept peninsulas, precipitous cliffs and a host of golden beaches that rival any in Europe.
With 9,000 years of history behind it any trek through the furrowed countryside will bring the traveller on the sites of monastic settlements, traces of the Vikings in Raphoe and Donegal town and ancient pre-Christian forts of the High Kings of Ulster. And along your way you are bound to come across some of what makes Donegal so unique.
Irish culture has survived and thrived here in a way it has failed to do elsewhere. Language and culture are still vibrant throughout the Gaeltacht areas of the county and foremost among these traditions is the one of welcoming strangers.
The more active might want to consider one of Donegal's famous links courses or any of the watersports popular around the coast of the county like surfing and water-skiing. For the younger visitor there's Waterworld at Bundoran and Leisureland in Moville, one of Ireland's leading activity centres offering a range of activities and rides.
One of Donegal's most famous historical landmarks is Grianan Aileach on the Derry Road. The fort is 5,000 years old and the award winning Interpretative Centre located there can take you back in time to a day when the lords of Ulster watched their kingdom from Grianan. A more modern fortress is Fort Dunree in Inishowen; built to defend Ireland during the Napoleonic wars it was used until a decade ago and was a link in Ireland's defences from Nazi Germany.
For those with a passion for wildlife the Buncrana Wildlife Sanctuary is one of many places where animals can be observed in their native habitat. Much of Donegal's unspoilt wilderness is a haven for migratory fowl and birds and its people are ever vigilant in their protection.
And it is the people that will keep brining you back to Donegal. It may be the beauty of the landscape or a love for outdoor sports that brings you to Donegal but it will be the charm and openness of its inhabitants that you will remember for years to come and that will eventually, bring you back.