Did you know that there is a secret waterfall in Donegal, Ireland?
Hidden near Fintra Beach, this secret waterfall in Ireland is one of Largy’s best-kept secrets!
If you’re looking for a waterfall that does not require long winding hikes and is near the coastal beach, then this is the place for you!
In this article, we will share how you can explore this secret waterfall safely and what to do and what not to do once you are there.
So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable experience!
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- 2 base layer thermals (I love these!)
- 1 thick fleece jacket or puffer jacker
- Fleece lined leggings
- 1-2 sweater dresses.
- 2 pairs of fleece lined jeans or pants
- Winter Touchscreen Gloves
- 2-4 wool sweaters
- Super comfy scarf
- Super chic coat here and here
- Bonus– Excellent useful and authentic book on Ireland!
What Is The Secret Waterfall Of Donegal?
In the village of Largy, which is also about 5 km from Killybegs, you’ll find the ‘Largy Waterfall,’ popularly known as “The secret waterfall Donegal.”
Donegal’s secret waterfall was named because it was hidden in a cave near the coastal beach of Largy. Intricately cascading from around 50 feet, you can marvel at the beauty of this hidden waterfall as it drops to the vast rocks beneath it.
Some may have also called it the Slieve League waterfall as it is also nearby the iconic Slieve League, which is one of Northern Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way’s hidden gems.
What You Need To Know About Donegal Hidden Waterfall
- Entrance Fee: Free! (Yes, there is no fee imposed).
- Distance: The journey from a parking spot to the cave behind waterfall is roughly around 1 km (0.6 miles).
- Duration: To truly enjoy this magnificent view of the waterfall and the remaining cave, we suggest you spend about 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Important: Please check the tide time before you plan your visit to this secret waterfall. If unsure, ask the friendly locals nearby first.
How To Go To The Secret Waterfall Cave In Donegal
Once you’re in Largy village, you’re wondering; where is the secret waterfall in Donegal?
So if you are looking for secret waterfall Donegal directions, then you can simply search for “Secret Waterfall” on Google Map here.
Step 1: Car Park To Private Field
Once you’ve reached there, you can park your car at a nearby open space overlooking the road and the main gate entrance.
You can reach this hidden waterfall by going through a privately owned field.
So far, it has been noted by the owner of the field that they have granted access to others to visit this secret waterfall.
The trail is well marked and relatively easy to follow.
You should estimate about 20 minutes of walking before you’ll reach the waterfall.
So enjoy this coastal walk as you see the Atlantic Ocean and a couple of cute sheep grazing the Irish field.
A quick reminder:
1. Ensure that you have access to enter this field by checking out signage near the gate entrance.
2. Once granted, make sure to close the gate properly when entering and exiting the field.
3. Never leave behind any rubbish throughout the journey, and be respectful of others’ property.
Step 2: Private Field To Cave
As you walk across the field, you’ll be greeted by a sandy beach, and you’ll hear the sound of the waves first before seeing the secret waterfall in front of you.
Once you are at the beach, you will see a blowhole that you can enter through a narrow cave. Do note that this place is quite rocky and can get quite slippery.
This hidden waterfall is truly a sight to behold as you get to witness gushing water streams pouring down from 30 meters, surrounded by a uniquely formed cave that displays the cave behind the waterfall in such grandeur.
Do This If You Want To Die
So, now that you know all about Secret Waterfall Donegal, it is important that you be alert and pay close attention to these 3 important things that you should not do unless you want to die.
Do Not Read The Tides Table
This hidden waterfall is located inside a beach cave near Largy beach, which poses a dangerous risk for fellow wandering visitors, especially if they visit during a high tide.
Here’s what will happen to you if you enter this place during a high-tide period:
- You’ll get soaked.
- You may be trapped inside for hours.
- You may risk drowning (death!)
So here’s what you SHOULD DO instead:
Check this tide table before you plan to visit this secret waterfall.
If you are unsure, you can always ask a friendly local to help you. If you’re curious and want to learn how to read the tide times, then check out this cool video.
Do Not Bother Checking The Weather
Do visit this place without checking the forecast, if you don’t mind going under the sea or getting stuck in a terrible storm.
As beautiful as this secret waterfall is, this place can get quite drizzly at times (along with slippery conditions).
Here’s what you SHOULD DO instead.
- Wear appropriate weather attire. Ideally, you should wear a good-quality waterproof jacket or windbreaker and good-traction shoes.
- Check the weather forecast before your visit. You can even check it using an app (how convenient!)
Summary Checklist To Bring For Secret Waterfall
1. Wear proper footwear
2. Bring plenty of water and snacks.
The hike is only about 45 minutes, but it’s always better to be prepared.
3. Dress for the weather.
If you don’t plan to get wet, it is best that you wear waterproof clothes.
Amazing Attractions Near Secret Waterfall
Once you’re done exploring the Secret Waterfall Donegal, then it’s time to resume your journey to explore the wonderous Donegal and other stunning attractions nearby the Secret Waterfall.
- Slieve League Cliffs (25 minutes away)
A 25-minute drive back down the coast to Donegal Town will bring you to the Slieve League Cliffs, one of Ireland’s most impressive natural wonders.
- Assaranca Waterfall (30 minutes away)
In comparison to the secret waterfall, Assaranca waterfall is much more accessible for those with kids or wheelchairs as you can park right near the waterfall. Truly one of the best waterfalls in Donegal!
- Fintra Beach (30 minutes away)
Fintra Beach is a lovely sandy beach just a few miles from Killybegs, a popular fishing harbor. It can be reached by a narrow, winding road that descends to the shore and Donegal Bay.
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Other Stunning Waterfalls In Ireland To Explore!
If you’re on the hunt for the best waterfalls in Ireland, be sure to check out these places too:
At the heart of Inishowen’s Glenevin Waterfall Park, this 1-kilometer trail offers breathtaking views of the Tir Chonaill county and access to the majestic Glenevin Waterfall, one of Inishowen’s most prized assets.
The Glenevin Valley is home to the Glenevin Waterfall, which is easily accessible via a safe, walker-friendly, and signposted route. Picnic areas and vantage points provide panoramic views of the waterfall and the valley below.
The 40-meter-high waterfall is definitely worth the 1 km (0.6 miles) hike because it cascades down to the valley below, with the foundation at the foot of the waterfall, and is surrounded by beautiful foliage on both sides of the cascade.
- Location: Inishowen
- Hiking Friendly: Yes
Known as “Eas a Ranca” by the locals, this majestic waterfall in Donegal is truly one of the most photogenic waterfalls on the Emerald Isle. This is one occasion when you could wish for rainy weather, as it will make the waterfall’s flow triple on rainy days.
To see the waterfall in its full majesty, you must catch it at the peak of its power, when water cascades down a hillside before spilling into the stream that transports it far into the hills of Donegal.
- Location: Inishowen
- Hiking-friend: Not hike friendly
- Powerscourt Waterfall
Last but certainly not least, the Powerscourt Estate is one of the most famous and highest waterfalls in Ireland. This 121-meter waterfall in the foothills of the entrapping Wicklow Mountains continues to hold its title as one of the tallest waterfalls in Ireland.
- Location: Dublin
- Hiking-friend: Yes!
Where Is The Secret Waterfall?
You can find the secret waterfall in Donegal, which is located on the Slieve League peninsula at Largy. The journey from Killybegs will take you 5 minutes-drive, Carrick will take you 10 minutes-drive, Glencolmcille will take you 20 minutes-drive, and Donegal Town will take you 35 minutes-drive.
It is important to note that you must know the tide times before visiting this secret waterfall, as this waterfall can not be accessible during high tides.
It is highly recommended that you wear proper shoes with good traction as they can be quite slippery.
Are There Any Waterfalls In Ireland?
Yes, there are many waterfalls in Ireland, though Glencar Waterfall is among Ireland’s most popular waterfalls and can be found close to the town of Leitrim. However, at just 50 feet (15 meters) in height, it is not the highest waterfall in Ireland, yet it is still one of the most breathtaking waterfalls that all visitors should visit.
Some waterfalls are free for entry, and you can enjoy your meal at a picnic near the waterfall. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s even a secret waterfall near Donegal, Ireland, worth exploring!
What Is The Biggest Waterfall In Ireland?
The Powerscourt Waterfall is the biggest and tallest waterfall in all of Ireland. The Powerscourt Waterfall, which is 121 meters (398 feet) in height and is located at the base of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, is 5 kilometers away from the Powerscourt Estate and Gardens and 32 kilometers from Dublin. It is also home to much natural wildlife and ancient trees. Another great thing about this waterfall is that it has picnic spots and is also wheelchair friendly, making it highly accessible for everyone!
Can You Swim In Waterfalls In Ireland?
Yes, most waterfalls in Ireland are swimmable (though you have to be alert and dependent on weather conditions). In fact, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Ireland that you can swim in is definitely Assaranca Waterfall in Donegal, Ireland, and it is also one of the few waterfalls that allow swimming.
Donegal is a county that is particularly well-known for its breathtaking natural beauty. This waterfall is also known as Assarancagh Waterfall, and it is situated in a location near the beach and caves of Maghera, in addition to the town of Killybegs.
Now that you’ve discovered the secret waterfall, Donegal….
Be sure to preserve and protect this natural gem and only visit this beautiful spot when the weather is permissible. No natural sighting is worth putting you and your loved one at risk, so always be on the lookout!
I hope that this article will help you on your next Irish adventure to view this breathtaking waterfall in real life. If you want to hike along the way, then be sure to check out my 27 adventurous hikes in Donegal too!
Until then, Go gcuire Dia an t-ádh ort (it means “best of luck to you” in the Irish/Gaelic language!)