Cruit Island is the perfect place to relax and forget about the worries of modern life. There is very little that can compare to the peace of relaxing in front of a real turf fire. But for those who prefer an active holiday there are plenty of varied activities to pass the time.Activities range from golf, hillwalking, fishing, horseriding to watersports, mountain biking, cycling, boating, bowling and mountain climbing! There is plenty to do no matter what kind of weather you get – good or bad.
Cruit Island Golf Club is one of the most beautifully picturesque 9 hole links courses you will find anywhere in Ireland. It is a Par 68 course and first opened in 1986. It was one of the first Golf Clubs in Ireland to offer full membership to ladies. Located at the end of the Cruit Island with panoramic views of Owey and Arranmore, it is truly a sight to behold. The Golf Club is only a few minutes drive from the cottage.
Being an island, Cruit is in the enviable position of being able to offer many types of fishing to the fisherman and angler alike or to the shrimper and amateur crab catcher. There are plenty of boats that travel the waters daily catching a variety of fish or you could take your rod and tackle to the rocks along the coast. Alternatively, there are plenty of rock pools for shrimp catching and the bridge pool is always full of all sizes of crabs who are all too willing to grab the barnacle off the end of your line.
Boating & Watersports
There is plenty of opportunity for all forms of water based activity in the sea around Cruit Island. Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boating, water skiing, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, diving – the list is endless, however for most of these you will need to have your own equipment. The pool at Cruit bridge is particularly good for safe swimming and diving.
Hillwalking & Mountain Climbing
Of all 32 counties in Ireland, Donegal must be the one with the least amount of flatland. There are hills and valleys, mountains, rocks and lakes everywhere you look! This gives the land a rugged, natural appeal not found in some of the other counties. What better way to discover the raw beauty of Donegal than on foot? There are plenty of mountains to climb and paths to be discovered in this rugged terrain. Mount Errigal and Muckish are two popular climbs but be prepared to get mucky!
Pony Treking & Horse Riding
There is quite a lot of equestrian activity in County Donegal and you would not have to travel far from Cruit before you find somwhere to partake. Particular hotspots include Bundoran, Letterkenny, Bruckless and Ballyshannon. Pony Trekking and Horseriding may be available at certain times of the year on Cruit Island itself.
Festivals & Fairs
Probably the most famous festival in the area is the annual Mary from Dungloe International Festival, which takes place in the first week of August each year. Second to that is the Kincasslagh Festival, where for years Daniel O’Donnell would host a tea party for his adoring fans. Other festivals in the area include the Errigal Arts Festival, Burtonport Festival, Milford Busking Festival, Brockagh Lamas Fair, Portnoo Rosbeg Seafood festival and the Tory Island Traditional Music weekend. Plenty to see!
Mountain Biking / Cycling
The narrow, winding roads of Cruit Island are ideal for biking but watch out for sharp turns! Bikes can be hired from various bike shops and cycling centres around the county, such as Bundoran, Letterkenny, Dungloe, Killybegs & Donegal Town. There are many established cycling routes, which take in fantastic scenic views along the way.
Island Hopping Cruit Island is not the only island in North West Donegal. There are several others that can be reached by a regular ferry service. Among these are the famous Tory Island, Gola Island and Arranmore Island. Owey Island, which can be seen from Cruit is unfortunately inaccessible unless you befriend a local who owns a boat and might take you out for a trip…(Try Iggy’s bar in Kincasslagh.)
Bingo & Whist
The Kincasslagh Parochial hall is just a few minutes drive from the cottage on Cruit and a stone’s throw from the Viking Hotel. It becomes a hive of activity on a Friday night when locals and visitors alike congregate for their weekly fix of Bingo and on a Tuesday professionals and amateurs alike gather together for a few rounds of Whist.