A Guide To Visiting Assaranca Waterfall in Donegal

ardara waterfall donegal
Photo by Yevhen Nosulko/shutterstock

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

Often referred to as Ardara Waterfall, these beautiful falls are easily accessible on the way to the breath-taking Maghera Caves and Beach, making it a great addition to your Donegal road trip.

If you read our guide on what to do in Donegal, you’ll know that we’re rather fond of ‘chasing waterfalls’ (corny, I know!).

Our favourite is the secret/hidden Largy waterfall but, as Assaranca Waterfall is so incredibly accessible, it’s a firm contender for the top spot.

In the guide below, you’ll find everything you need to know about visiting Assaranca, from where to park to how to get there.

Assaranca Waterfall Directions

Assaranca waterfall
Photo by Monicami/shutterstock.com

Assaranca Waterfall can be found 8km southeast of the gorgeous little town of Ardara in Donegal and just 1km past the village of Leaconnell.

It’s on the way to Maghera Beach along a road off the N56. You can easily combine a visit to the falls with the popular beach and caves of Maghera, as they’re just 1km further along the road.

Assaranca Waterfall is literally on the side of the road, so you can’t miss it as you drive past and there’s plenty of room to pull over and park during the quieter seasons.

3 Things to be Aware of Before Visiting Assaranca

ardara waterfall
Photo by Yevhen Nosulko/Shutterstock

The Ardara Waterfall is a handy one to visit, and there isn’t any real pointers you need, aside from where to find it.

However, there’s a few need-to-knows that’ll (hopefully) make your trip to visit Assaranca Waterfall more enjoyable.

1. Parking at Assaranca Waterfall

There’s actually a decent amount of parking at the waterfall, right on the side of the road, which makes it a handy place to visit when it’s lashing rain, as you can see it from the car.

However, please note that, during the busier summer season, it can, at times, be tricky to get parking at Assaranca Waterfall, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.

2. 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. If you visit after heavy rain, you can witness the water plummeting down over the hill into the stream below.

3. It’s 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 at all. 

Places to visit near Assaranca Waterfall

The Ardara Waterfall is easily paired up with a number of very worthwhile things to see and do. Below, you’ll find our pick of the best.

1. Maghera Caves and Beach (3-minute drive)

Maghera Strand near assaranca
Photo by Lukassek (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. You can enjoy the white sandy beach even on a cold rainy day as the coastline here is simply stunning. 

The Maghera caves are beneath Slievetooey Mountain with around 20 or so caverns and eight natural arches on the coast. When the tide is low at Maghera beach, some of the caves become accessible from the car park with just a short 300m walk.

2. Glengesh Pass (19-minute drive)

Glengesh Pass ardara
Photo by Lukassek/shutterstock.com

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 (37-minute drive)

Glencolmkille folk village
Photo by Christy Nicholas/shutterstock

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. Silver Strand Beach (52-minute drive)

Silver Strand Beach near ardara
Photo by Milosz Maslanka (Shutterstock)

Silver Strand Beach is a bit of a hidden gem, of sorts. It’s known and loved by those in the know, but many of those visiting Donegal tend to miss it.

This is an unspoiled horseshoe-shaped beach that can be found a stone’s throw from the town of Glencolmcille. 

Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.

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