Celebrating Earth and Life at Sliabh Liag (Slieve League)

It was like a dream… Waking up to a beautiful sunrise in Ireland, eating a fulfilling traditional Irish breakfast and venturing out while having the opportunity to take in all the breathtaking views. It was a birthday I will never forget.

Sliabh Liag, sometimes called Slieve League or Slieve Liag (Irish: Sliabh Liag), is a mountain on the Atlantic coast of County Donegal, Ireland. The towering cliffs are among the highest sea cliffs in Europe. From their highest point, it’s a staggering 609m (almost 2000 foot) drop into the swirling Atlantic Ocean below. Full of color and magic, I was awestruck as we climbed higher and took in the view of the cliffs reaching out towards the horizon.

History across the cliffs:

On the high slopes of Slieve League there are remains of an early Christian monastic site, with chapel and beehive huts. There are also ancient stone remains that suggest that the mountain was a site of pilgrimage before the arrival of Christianity. At Carrigan Head, on the way to the main viewing area, you can see a Signal Tower built in the early years of the 19th century to watch for a possible French invasion. Close to the viewing area you can see stones, which marked out the word “Éire” as a navigation aid for aircraft during World War II.

I would recommend a stop at the Slieve League Cliffs Center and maybe book a guided walk, hike or even a boat tour. A Belfast naturalist Robert Lloyd Praeger wrote in 1939 wrote about one of the many hiking paths found at this location:

 “One Man’s Path”, is one of the most remarkable walks to be found in Ireland – not actually dangerous, but needing a good head and careful progress on a stormy day….The northern precipice, which drops 1500 feet into the coomb surrounding the Little Lough Agh, harbours the majority of the alpine plants of Slieve League, the most varied group of alpines to be found anywhere in Donegal.

Slieve League left me speechless and is a place that I hope to see again; I could easily spend a few days hiking in this area. I promise, our next stop will not disappoint you either! See you soon.

To view Dan’s images from this day, visit his blog at: http://traun-photo.com/dan/slieve-league/

 

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