This week marks the two-month countdown to the opening of Donegal Camino 2024 on "Camino Sunday", Sept 1 in Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly point. The seven-day walking festival, now in its fourth official year will run until Donegal’s Camino on Saturday, Sept 7, when it will finish on Europe’s highest sea cliffs, Sliabh Liag.

Now the flagship fundraising event for Cancer Care West Services in Donegal, the Donegal Camino is attracting walkers from all over the world to enjoy some or all of the seven splendid days of walking and hiking across beautiful Donegal, now Lonely Planet’s fourth-best region in the world to visit.

From humble beginnings by businesswoman and Donegal-born Peggy Stringer, the Donegal Camino is now set to attract over 500 walkers to Donegal this September, making it one of the fastest-growing walking festivals in Ireland and on the Wild Atlantic Way. 

Interested walkers can choose to walk a day, two, three or all seven days or dip in and out as the week progresses. Registration is €35 per walker per day and each walker is invited to raise €100 per day walked or as close to it as possible.

Registration fees cover direct costs of excellent registered guides, insurance, back up and safety cars along with such fixed operational costs to ensure the safety of all walkers. Last year's donation was €82,155 and for this year the Donegal Camino committee has set a target of €100,000 for Cancer Care West Services in Donegal.

Opening on what is now affectionately known as Donegal’s "Camino Sunday", the first Sunday of September, walkers will once again kick off at Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head reaching Banba’s Crown on the Inishowen peninsula.

A welcome BBQ will take place in Nancy’s Barn for all walkers and Donegal Camino Partners on Saturday, August 31, 2024.  

Day two will take walkers to the tranquil space of the picturesque Ards Forest Park on Monday, September 2.

Donegal’s highest peak and Errigal at Sunrise await on Tuesday, September 3, however, this hike will be weather permitting. Walkers are advised to stay tuned to Donegal Camino's social media and for all updates on this.

New to Donegal Camino in 2024 is the Gaeltacht island of Cruit or Oileáin na Crúite. As its name suggests, the island is formed in the natural shape of the Irish musical instrument the Harp or Cruit and this is the midweek walk on Wednesday, September 4.

This will be followed on Day 5 by another new walk, the Gay Byrne Trail or Cosán Gay Byrne, where renowned Irish broadcaster, Gay Byrne loved to walk on his many summer holidays in Donegal.

Donegal Town marks its historic celebration of 550 years and Donegal Camino 2024 will spend Friday, September 6, on the gorgeous Bluestack Way, finishing on the newly refurbished Diamond in Donegal Town, followed by a High Tea celebration, courtesy of Simple Simons, Donegal Town.

The traditional Donegal Camino Finalé on Camino Saturday, September 7, is on Europe’s highest sea cliffs, Sliabh Liag combining a traditional route of the Pilgrim’s Path and the unique One Man’s Path.

An alternative to the Sliabh Liag climb is an enjoyable Sliabh Liag Boat Trip with ticket donations going to Cancer Care West Donegal. The finalé celebration will take place in Teach John Joe Kilcar with a rousing sing-song and applause for all walkers who take part and fundraise. 

Chairperson of the 2024, Donegal Camino, TV and Donegal personality Noel Cunningham who’s also a Director of Cancer Care West says, “We’re thrilled with the level of registrations so far this year and it’s going to be another fantastic Donegal Camino showcasing the best of Donegal walks, scenery, hospitality, food, people and fun while delivering a true Camino Pilgrimage ethos to all walkers.

Donegal Camino.

Donegal Camino.

"We invite you all to give generously and we’re here to help support all walkers fundraising. So whether you’re a walker or a Donegal business we ask you to join us and support our worthy cause, Cancer Care West Donegal as best you can this September.”

Richard Flaherty CEO, of Cancer Care West, says “The Donegal Camino is the flagship fundraising event for our Support Centre in Letterkenny. Our center provides a range of individual, and group supports to cancer patients and their families. All the services at the center are offered free of charge, and we rely heavily on this event to ensure we continue to provide these crucial supports to those who need them.

"Last year alone, the center supported over 350 people affected by cancer. Given the increasing numbers of people accessing our center year-on-year, it will be imperative that we increase our services in the future to meet this demand. The success of the Donegal Camino enables us to do this.”

The Donegal Camino voluntary committee is led by chairperson Noel Cunningham, founder Peggy Stringer, Deirdre McGlone, Michael Cullinan, John Mc Namara and Carl Gysling. Noreen D’Arcy has taken up the role of Event & PR Manager for 2024.

All details of the Donegal Camino 2024 itinerary and suggested accommodation and dining options along with how to register and fundraise are on Follow @donegalcamino on social media.