The Rosses Na Rosa
The much indented coastal area known as the Rosses (Na Rosa, "The Headlands") in northwestern Donegal extends from Gweebarra Bay in the south to Inishfree Bay in the north - a tract of generally flat country of gray rocks, little loughs and tiny fields enclosed by drystone walls. It is a predominantly Irish-speaking area.
The only place of any size in the still largely unspoiled The Rosses region is Dungloe on the N56. From here the N56 and another beautiful road to the east run northeast to Gweedore.
Mary from Dungloe Festival
This annual 10-day festival runs from late July to early August.
From Dungloe in The Rosses region the N56 and another beautiful road to the east run northeast to Gweedore. To the right of the N56 lies Lough Anure, which is of geological interest for its evidence of glacial action.
Southwest of Dungloe is Crohy Head, with fine cliffs and some caves.
From Dungloe the R259 runs northwest following the Atlantic coast, with constantly changing views. Just outside the town, at a fork, the left hand road keeps close to the coast, with views of the numerous offshore islands, and runs along a narrow strip of land between Lough Meela and the sea. On the left can be seen Rutland Island, with the sand-covered remains of a harbor constructed in 1796. In 5mi/8km the road comes to Burtonport, an important fishing port, where it is claimed that more salmon and lobsters are landed than at any other port in Ireland or in the British Isles.
To the west of Burtonport, beyond a number of smaller islands, lies Aranmore Island (or Aran Island; not to be confused with the Aran Islands), to which there is a boat service from Burtonport (in summer hourly; duration about 20 minutes). About 800 people live on this island which is only 8mi/13.5km by 3mi/5km. Their main source of income is from fishing and tourism. The island's wild heather-covered plateau ends on its west coast in cliffs and sea caves which provide nesting places for countless seabirds. A small lough in the center of the island, Lough Shure, has rainbow trout. There are sheltered beaches on the east side of the island.