If you’re in search of the best Donegal cottages to rent for a weekend this summer, you’ve landed in the right place.
There are hundreds (literally) of different holiday homes in Donegal, from traditional and thatch to modern little homes by the sea.
In the guide below, you’ll find our favourite Donegal holiday cottages, with something to suit every budget!
Note: if you book an Airbnb through one of the links below we’ll make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.
Related Donegal accommodation guides
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- The fanciest luxury accommodation and five star hotels in Donegal
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Our favourite Donegal cottages
Section one of this guide is packed with our favourite Donegal cottages. Below, you’ll find a mix of cliffside cottages and homes by the sea.
As is the case with all of the Donegal holiday homes in this guide, we’ve check the reviews first, before adding them, and they all check out (but make sure to do your research, too).
1. The Fort Cottage
First up is hands-down our favourite of the many Donegal cottages in this guide – The Fort – and you may recognise it if you read our guide to the most unique Airbnbs in Donegal.
Boasting wonderful sea views, this high-spec cottage on the wild Atlantic Way is just idyllic and it’s a great base if you’re visiting the Inishowen Peninsula.
Tastefully furnished with quality antiques and plenty of thoughtful touches, the Fort Cottage has a comfortable double bedroom, living room with sofa, desk and more plus a scenic outdoor terrace.
The bright kitchen has a dining nook with window seats and double aspect sea/countryside views from the corner window.
2. The Wee House
This newly refurbished not-so-wee house is the perfect romantic retreat for 2 and makes an excellent base for exploring this corner of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Warmed by a cosy logburner, the well-furnished living room has ample windows, rustic beams and doors onto your own furnished patio.
This is one of several holiday cottages in Donegal that comes equipped with everything you’ll need if you’re in search of self-catering accommodation.
3. Crohy Cottage
If you’re in search of Donegal holiday cottages by the sea, look no further than Crohy Cottage. This place enjoys a picture-perfect location surrounded by rugged Donegal scenery and Atlantic views.
The well-appointed living room has wood flooring, sofa, dining table and a central logburner feature. There’s a modern kitchen with loads of space and a pine dining table for family meals.
Upstairs, three bedrooms sleep 6 in comfort with 3 double beds and an additional single if required. There are 3.5 bathrooms and outside space for enjoying this peaceful location.
This is one of a number of holiday homes in Donegal that boasts sensation views right from its doorstep. Magic.
5. Ocean Blue View
If you’re looking for Donegal cottages that can cater for a group, this next place should be right up your street as it’s one of the finest Airbnbs by the sea in Ireland.
Relax in this luxurious newly built 4 bedroom house which has 3 spacious bathrooms (one on the ground floor) and sleeps 8 guests in a king-size, two double bedrooms and a twin room.
Feature stone walls and a woodburner add character to the living room while the family-size kitchen is state-of-the-art.
Make use of the dining area or fling open the doors onto the terrace for al fresco meals in the fresh sea air.
6. Bluestack Mountain Lodge
If you’re in search of no-fussy Donegal cottages that’ll take you slightly off-the-grid and that’ll treat you to a unique experience, look no further than this place.
Whitewashed stone walls and a woodburner create a cosy ambience at the Bluestack Mountain Lodge. This remote cottage is ideal for those that love to walk, with numerous hiking routes nearby.
Bring your own logs to supplement the oil central heating. One comfy double bedroom plus a ladder loft with a single bed and a pull-out in the living room if unexpected guests drop in.
7. Mamore Cottages (some of the most beautiful holiday homes in Donegal)
Mamore Cottages are like something from a land that time forgot, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Thatch roofs, cosy interiors and white-wash walls combine to make these cottages a dream for anyone that fancies a night away with a difference.
There are a number of different cottages to choose from at Mamore and, most importantly, each is a stone’s throw from endless adventure opportunities on the Inishowen Peninsula.
If you’re in search of beautiful, picture-perfect Donegal holiday homes, Mamore Cottages are well worth checking out.
Gorgeous traditional Donegal holiday cottages
The second section of our guide looks at traditional Donegal cottages that have been either finely restored or lovingly preserved over time.
These Donegal holiday cottages are traditional, cosy and situated a stone’s throw from endless things to do and places to visit.
1. Red Bridge Cottage
Set in the beautiful hills of Donegal and surrounded by scenic walks, this recently renovated cottage has a few quirks to create a homely Irish feel.
Red Bridge Cottage has 2 double bedrooms and a fold-up mattress and can sleep 5 guests comfortably.
Snuggle on the sofa in front of the logburner and watch Netflix after enjoying a home-cooked meal or round off the day in front of the garden firepit.
2. Glebe Cottage (one of our favourite Donegal cottages)
Tucked snugly beneath its thatched roof, 200-year-old Glebe Cottage is surprisingly spacious with modern home comforts.
It has 3 bedrooms: 2 double bedrooms and a twin room for 6. There’s an open peat fire, sofa, dining table and a farmhouse kitchen with authentic Belfast sink and flagstone floor.
One of the neighbouring farm cottages is now a handy café for traditional breakfast oatcakes, tasty meals and craic with the locals. It’s a true Irish experience.
3. The pet-friendly Donegal cottage
Looking across the Gweebarra River, this traditional thatched cottage is a real property of character with bog oak ceilings and flagstone floors.
The sitting room has an open fire, TV and leather armchairs while the kitchen is well equipped including a traditional range. T
here’s a double bedroom with antique furnishings and a sofa bed. From this peaceful hideaway you’re just a short stroll from river walks and Dooey Beach.
If you’re in search of pet friendly Donegal holiday cottages, this place is well worth having a look at!
4. A cosy thatch
If you’re on the lookout for a thatched Donegal cottage to rent, check out this gorgeous little gaff that’s bursting with character.
This traditional thatched cottage welcomes up to 5 guests with a well-furnished sitting room with an electric “woodburner” stove.
Sleep well in the 150-year-old double bedroom with its timberclad ceiling and vintage character. There’s a second bedroom with a double and single bed and a modern bathroom.
There’s a well-equipped kitchen with dining table. Located on a farm, the cottage has a lawn and garden for kids to romp and play.
5. Teach Mháire Cottage
Although there are only a handful of pet-friendly Donegal cottages available to rent, this next holiday home is one of them.
This delightful whitewashed stone cottage on the Wild Atlantic Way has stunning island views. Features include squishy cushioned armchairs around a woodburning stove and a fully equipped kitchen with access to a washing machine.
Two double bedrooms sleep 4. Families (and dogs) can enjoy playing in the large lawned garden while adults relax and enjoy the scenic views at sunset over a bottle of wine. Located within easy reach of Port Arthur Beach and local attractions.
6. Rural Romantic Thatched Cottage
We promised you plenty of gorgeous cottages in Donegal, and just look at this sensitively restored gem.
This quaint 150-year-old thatched cottage is one of very few remaining in Donegal. Surrounded by natural beauty, it has woodburning stoves in the open plan living room with corner kitchen facilities.
There are two comfortably furnished double bedrooms for 4 and a bathroom with clawfoot bath. Guests have use of the enclosed garden with lawned area and ample private parking.
7. Whispering Willows
Next up is one of the more luxurious Donegal cottages. Tucked beneath the thick thatched roofline, this pristine whitewashed cottage offers luxurious comforts.
Situated down a quiet lane, this semi-detached property is the perfect romantic retreat with contemporary fittings that meet the highest standards.
There’s a multi-fuel stove and twin heather-coloured sofas in the sitting room for evenings in. There’s a modern kitchen with breakfast bar and a decadent bathroom with walk-in shower and roll-top bath for bubbly soaks.
8. Riverbank Cottage
This is another of several Donegal holiday homes that comes with exceptional reviews (4.98/5 from 102 reviews at the time of writing).
This riverbank Cottage serves up rustic charm by the barrow-load with its red tin roof and decorative farm implements from yesteryear.
This cosy cabin is beautifully renovated and well furnished inside with a woodburner stove and a compact kitchen with dining table and washing machine.
It enjoys beautiful countryside views filled with native birds, deer and wildlife. Enjoy the enclosed garden with breathtaking views. It’s just a short stroll from the salmon-filled River Finn and a mile from the local pub.
9. Eanymore Farm Cottage
This 18th century farmhouse has plenty of space for 6 guests with three double bedrooms and a spacious living room.
Newly renovated, it oozes character with a spiral staircase, woodburner stove and stone fireplace. The modern eat-in kitchen has all the latest appliances and ample cupboards.
Outside there’s a garden with picnic table for al fresco dining. Ideal for hiking and fishing holidays, this upscale farm cottage is steps from the Eanymore River and Wild Atlantic Way.
Unique Donegal cottages for rent
The next section tackles the many Donegal cottages that land on the unique-and-quirky side of things.
Below, you’ll find some very different cottages in Donegal that’ll make the perfect base for a weekend of adventure.
1. Sheep Farmer’s Cottage
Drop your bags in this restored Sheep Farmer’s Cottage and go back outside to check that view. It’s breathtaking!
There are gorgeous views of Slieve League (Sliabh Liag), the Killybegs and other highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way. This nicely furnished cottage has 2 double bedrooms, sitting room with logburner and a chef’s kitchen with more lough views from the dining area and patio.
There’s a washing machine, tumble dryer and Wi-Fi so bring a few supplies and make yourself at home.
2. The Cart House at Teach Neilí
This characterful cart house has been restored to give it a new purpose as a comfortable holiday cottage overlooking Loughfad. Bright and spacious it has one king-size bedroom with ensuite bathroom.
Home comforts including a woodburner stove, second shower rooms downstairs, central heating and instant hot water.
There’s a modern kitchen, dining table, ample sofa seating in the sitting room and a picture windows framing the glorious lough views. Wi-Fi, parking and a garden complete this unique property.
3. Cottage with beach access
This is one of the most unique Donegal holiday homes you’ll come across! It boasts beach access and 7 acres of land to explore (it’s also pet-friendly!).
Two large bedrooms with king-size bed and two singles easily accommodate 4 guests in this hundred-year-old granite cottage with sea views.
The bright open plan living room includes a dining area, sofa with chaise in front of the fire (basket of turf included) and three cushioned window seats for spotting wildlife including seals.
The gourmet chef’s kitchen comes fully loaded with dishwasher, toaster, hob etc. There’s even a painted bench waiting for you on the seashore!
4. Romantic hideaway with sea views
Another gorgeous waterfront property, this romantic hideaway for 2 is pet friendly. It’s very unique with a shepherd’s hut containing a double bed, shower room, dining area and kitchen with induction hob, oven fridge etc.
The nearby converted shipping container provides a sitting room with woodburner which has fully opening doors for enjoying sunset views.
There’s Wi-fi and plenty of decking for outdoor living overlooking a small lake. Tranquility guaranteed!
5. Waterfront cottage with private seashore
This well-presented 3 bedroom cottage for 6 promises a luxurious stay and is pet-friendly (fee applies).
Along with a beautiful home, guests have the run of 10 acres of private shoreline and direct access to the sea for a morning dip.
Open plan living has a wall of windows with unrestricted views and includes a sitting area with woodburner.
There’s a fully-equipped kitchen with modern appliances and a dining table. Bring your mates – there are 2 double bedrooms and a twin room plus spacious wet room.
6. Architect’s thatch
Set behind electric gates, this historic Donegal thatched cottage with contemporary extension overlooks serene Traighenna Bay and Glenveagh National Park.
There’s a lounge with open turf fire, dining table for 10 with amazing views and a family kitchen with dishwasher and coffee maker.
Sleep well in the king-size master bedroom or twin room sharing a modern bathroom. Outdoors there’s a utility room, loads of parking, enclosed front garden and poolside picnic table for coffee breaks and al fresco meals.
7. Off-grid eco cottage
We promised unique and this iconic eco-cottage 5 minutes from the Atlantic definitely ticks the box for offbeat.
Reached along a rough road from Port, it has solar power, stream water, woodburning stove and outdoor larder.
Forget TV, charger points and Wi-fi at this rural escape. Look forward to outdoor adventures, muddy walks and waterfalls before returning to this cosy hideaway for a good night’s sleep.
Section 4: Donegal Holiday Cottages by the Beach (and Luxury Donegal holiday homes)
The final section of our guide to the best Donegal cottages / Donegal holiday homes is all about homes by the sea.
Below, you’ve find a number of cottages in Donegal located a stone’s throw from the sand and the chilly waters of the Atlantic.
1. Beachcombers Cottage
This modern 2 bedroom (king-size and a double), 2 bathroom home with Wi-Fi is located on the Blue Flag Fintra Beach and close to Slieve League Cliffs.
Luxury accommodation includes an elegant living room with gas fireplace, open dining area and luxury fully-equipped kitchen with Nespresso coffee maker and breakfast bar.
Enjoy the sunny furnished deck and beautiful coastal views. This is one of the best Donegal holiday homes if you fancy being able to get to the sand sharpish.
2. The stone cottage
This is one of several Donegal cottages that we’ve recommended in our Donegal road trip guides over the years.
It has a comfy living room with white sofas and fireplace, a dining area and lovely kitchen with Nespresso coffee machine and more.
Stairs lead up to a king-size bedroom. The furnished patio is private and surrounded by gardens of Killaghtree House. Ideal for fishing, walks and wildlife.
3. Breasty Bay House (one of the most scenic Donegal holiday homes)
If you’re on the lookout for luxury holiday homes to rent in Donegal, look no further than our next cottage. This place goes toe to toe with some of the best hotels in Donegal!
This private waterfront property has 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms for 6 guests on a 60-acre estate. It has direct sea access and offers stunning views throughout.
Beneath open rafters, the contemporary kitchen has a large island breakfast bar and stunning sea views. The plush corner sofa is warmed by the logburner in a magnificent Great Room which has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
4. Cottage by the sea
We somehow missed out on this holiday home in Donegal when writing our guide to the best Airbnbs by the sea in Ireland!
This spacious seaside cottage has 3 king-size bedrooms and 3 bathrooms ideal for sharing with family and friends.
Luxuriously furnished with 2 living areas and expansive sea views through floor-to-ceiling windows.
The country-style pine kitchen has an electric Rayburn and dining area and there’s a Sun Room for relaxing with sunset drinks.
5. Puffin Lodge
As cute as it sounds, Puffin cottage is a modern one bedroom cottage a stone’s throw from the beach and private access to two more coves.
Share the pristine surroundings with otters, birds of prey, dolphins and seals. The cosy sitting room has a leather Chesterfield and woodburner.
There’s a modern eat-in kitchen with washing machine and stairs to the generous bedroom and ensuite.
This is one of several Donegal cottages in this guide with a staggering number of exceptional reviews (4.86/5 from 265 reviews at the time of writing).
6. Ineuran Bay Cottage
Next up is another of the few Donegal holiday cottages in this guide that can cater for 6+ people comfortable.
If want to get away from it all, this 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom listed thatched cottage is a comfortable hideaway in “Star Wars” country (Malin Head, of course!).
Featuring heavy wood furnishings and paneling, it has a modern corner kitchen and dining area. Three double bedrooms plus a single sleep 7 in an amazing rural landscape with sea views.
7. Seaside Cottage at Derrybeg
We’re going to round off our guide to the best Donegal cottages with a charming little home right next to the water.
Our last seaside retreat is this 3 bedroom cottage overlooking a secluded bay just 5 minutes walk from Derrybeg.
Fully furnished it has a downstairs master bedroom with sea views and a double and twin room in the loft.
There’s a cosy woodburner, dining table and leather sofa in the sitting room with sea views. It is flooded with natural light from the floor to ceiling window.
Have you stayed in any of the Donegal cottages listed above? Or do you have any to recommend?
I’m sure that we’ve unintentionally missed out on some brilliant Donegal holiday homes in the guide above!
If you know of any Donegal holiday cottages that you’d like to recommend, let us know in the comments section below.
Gillian Birch is a travel writer and published author. She has travelled the world and uses her personal journals and memories to write about her many travel experiences, particularly those that involved adventures in Ireland.