In all my travels, Port, Donegal was one of the most magical places that I’ve ever been. Port has been called “the most remote and least visited corner of Ireland.” The nearest neighbors are three miles up the road. I’m still surprised that we even found it considering that you can take only one road to get there.
Port is located right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. This abandoned village sits alone above the wild, stoned beach and picturesque harbour. Port is located not too far from Glencolmcille, on a rough, single-lane side road to Ardara. At Port or An Port, there is the remains of a “Ghost Village” (also called “The Deserted Village”). A whole little cluster of stoned homes just seem to have been abandoned.
Port must have been a small but thriving coastal village given that it is said that this is probably the first maritime port in County Donegal. Local legends say that the people of Port had to leave during the The Irish Famine (1845-52) after which the houses were just left to fall into ruin. In comparison to other “Famine villages,” Port seems unique in the sense that the entire village population had to flee for food.
The houses you see in Port were all built of local stone. This can be seen from the clean cut corners of the stones which show the make up of nearby rocks, which were taken from the high cliff above the water there.
Port is very peaceful and a place to visit to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. On a more somber note, there is no better place in the world to reflect upon the sad events that took place there over the centuries in Ireland.
GETTING TO PORT FROM ARDARA
1. Take the Killybegs road
2. Just outside Ardara on the Killybegs road turn right for the Glengesh Pass
3. At the top of Glengesh Pass take the first right
4. You will come to a T junction and you should turn right (the road to the left goes to Glencomcille)
5. Keep driving until you come to another T junction which has a lough (lake on the left) and take a right turn here
6. Keep driving along this road and you will eventually see the sea and the rocky shoreline of An Port. The ghost village is the old stone cottages on your right with the rocky shoreline in front of you
For more photos of our visit to Port and its surrounding area, please visit my photo gallery: Photos of Glencolmcille, Ardara, Port.
Please also see a short video I made of our visit to Glencolmcille, Ardara, and Port: