Glengesh Pass: A Mad And Magical Road Through The Mountains In Donegal

A beautiful bendy road

glengesh pass ardara
Photos by Lukassek/

Roads like the one at Glengesh Pass in Donegal make Ireland an absolute joy to explore.

It doesn’t matter if you’re batin’ along on a bike, sitting snugly inside a warm car or sauntering along on foot, there’s just something immensely special about making your way down around the bends at Glengesh.

If you’ve nipped into our guide to Ireland’s bendiest and narrowest roads, you’ll be familiar with Glengesh Pass (it’s also in our guide to the best places to visit in Donegal).

If you’ve yet to experience Glengesh for yourself, you’re in for a treat. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about this brilliant Irish road.

Welcome to Glengesh Pass

Glengesh Pass donegal
Photo by Lukassek/

Glengesh (which means ‘Glen of the Swans’) is a high mountain pass that cuts through the Glengesh and Mulmosog mountains and links the towns of Ardara and Glencolumbkille.

If you’re in search of scenic drives while visiting Donegal, you’ve found a mighty one here. Over the course of your spin, you’ll encounter quiet open countryside, plenty of green fields, narrowish roads and sheep… lots and lots of sheep.

Although Glengesh Pass is a popular spot for tourists, I’ve yet to arrive here when there were more than 5 or 6 other people admiring the view. So (hopefully) you could arrive and have the whole place to yourself.

Where to catch a lovely view

glengesh pass donegal
Photo by Gareth Wray (you can buy a print of this here if you fancy)

So, as you’ve probably gathered, the photos above have been taken from drones. Don’t let that put you off, though – you can still soak up some brilliant views from a number of spots at Glengesh Pass.

The first, and most obvious one, is from the little viewing point on the Ardara side. There’s space for 6 or 7 cars to park and there’s a little wall where you can perch yourself.

The second, and slightly trickier spot, is from a little pull in area just back from the car in the photo above. There’s just about space for one car here.

Pull in and safely climb up the grassy hill to your left. If you attempt this, keep your wits about you and be careful. You can soak up a nice view out over the bendy road from here.

Other things to do near Glengesh Pass

There’s a heap of things to do near Glengesh Pass. If you’re over on the Ardara side, head out as far as Assaranca Waterfall.

You can follow that up with spin out to Maghera Strand (it’s near the waterfall). If you’re on the Glencolumbkille side, you’ve Glencolumbkille Folk Village, Silver Strand Beach, the cliffs at Slieve League and Donegal’s hidden waterfall.

More mad Irish roads

conor pass dingle

Love a unique road? Ireland’s home to plenty of them! From Conor Pass in Dingle to Corkscrew Hill in Clare, Ireland has its fair share of narrow and bendy roads.

Check out 13 of the most unique roads in Ireland here.

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!


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