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A Guide To Visiting Assaranca Waterfall In Donegal (Near Ardara)

A Guide To Visiting Assaranca Waterfall In Donegal (Near Ardara)

The mighty Assaranca Waterfall near the village of Ardara is arguably one of most impressive waterfalls in Donegal.

Often referred to as Ardara Waterfall or Eas a’ Ranca, these beautiful falls are easily accessible and they’re generally pretty quiet.

You can, quite literally, park up right next to them and soak up (hopefully not literally) the sights and sounds of Assaranca from a few feet away.

In the guide below, you’ll find everything you need to know about visiting Assaranca, from where to park to what to see nearby.

Some quick need-to-knows about Assaranca Waterfall


Although a visit to Ardara Waterfall is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

You’ll find Assaranca Waterfall along the side of a road a 15-minute spin from Ardara, a 35-minute drive from Glencolmcille and a 40-minute drive from Donegal Town.

2. Parking

There’s actually a decent amount of parking at Assaranca right on the side of the road (here on Google Maps). It’s generally very quiet during the year, however, during the summer months it can often be tricky to get parking (never block the road).


3. It’s most impressive after heavy rainfall

You can visit Assaranca Waterfall at any time of the year, but it’s at its best during or after rainfall as the water gushes with speed off the top and down into the chilly basin below.

4. Perfect for travellers with low mobility

As you can, quite literally, park right next to the Ardara Waterfall, it’s the perfect place to visit with someone with limited mobility, as you can see the waterfall right from the parking area without having to walk to it. 


About Assaranca Waterfall

Assaranca Waterfall

Photos via Shutterstock

If your Donegal road trip takes you to the mighty Maghera Beach or to the bendy road at Glengesh Pass, the chances are a stop at Assaranca / Ardara Waterfall is on the cards.

It’s natural attractions like Assaranca Waterfall that make Ireland an absolute joy to explore – there’s no fancy visitor centre and no fuss – just nature at its finest.

The falls here are stunning and they tend to take you by surprise as you approach them. From the moment you pop open your door or drop your window, the crash of the falls greets your ears.

Hop out and approach the edge of the water. On a wild day, you’ll feel the spray gently land on your face. If you’re lucky enough to visit off peak, the chances are you’ll have it all to yourself.

One of the strange and wonderful things about the Ardara Waterfall is that it’s quite literally right next to the road. So, if you arrive when it’s raining, you can kick back and admire it from the comfort of your car. 

Other waterfalls in the county, like the secret/hidden Largy waterfall and the towering Glenevin Waterfall take a little bit more effort to reach.


Places to visit near Assaranca Waterfall

One of the beauties of the Ardara Waterfall is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Donegal.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Assaranca!

1. Maghera Caves and Beach (5-minute drive)

Maghera Beach

Photos via Shutterstock

Just a 1km further down the road you’ll find Maghera Beach and the Maghera Caves.

Maghera Strand is a naturally beautiful beach that has a wild rugged feeling. Another glorious beach nearby is Portnoo / Narin Beach.


2. Glengesh Pass (20-minute drive)

Glengesh Pass

Photos via Shutterstock

Another brilliant addition to your visit to Assaranca Waterfall is the mighty Glengesh Pass, which is arguably one of the most unique roads in Ireland.

If stunning mountain scenery and an experience that you won’t forget any time soon tickles your fancy, this road is well worth taking (just drive slow – very slow).


3. Glencolmcille Folk Village (35-minute drive)

Glencolmcille Folk Village

Photos courtesy of Martin Fleming via Failte Ireland

Perched overlooking Glen Bay Beach in south-west Donegal, Glencolmcille Folk Village is a replica of a typical Irish rural village.

Offering a close-up look at daily life in the area over centuries past, this unique attraction showcases the heritage, culture and ingenuity of the local population.


4. Endless more attractions (40-minute + drive)

spring season in ireland

Photos via Shutterstock

You’ve loads more stuff to see and do nearby. The Slieve League Cliffs (40-minute drive), Muckros Head (40-minute drive) and Silver Strand Beach (50-minute drive) are all worth a visit.


FAQs about the Ardara Waterfall

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is it worth seeing?’ to ‘Is parking a hassle?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Is Assaranca Waterfall worth visiting?

Yes! It’s best visited on a looped drive/cycle where you also visit Glengesh and Maghera Beach and Caves. It’s well worth stopping off at.

Is there much parking at the Ardara Waterfall?

There’s not much, but it’s rarely busy here outside of the summer months. If you can’t get parking, don’t be tempted to block the road, even if you’re only momentarily stopping.

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