Skip to content
Olly in his element.Just act like you own the place
Extraordinary Donegal eco-Cottage
Extraordinary Donegal eco-Cottage
6 guests
2 bedrooms
6 beds
2 baths
6 guests
2 bedrooms
6 beds
2 baths
You won’t be charged yet

Just three minute’s walk to the wild Atlantic, our charming, rough little cottage sits alone in an iconic location, above the wild, smooth-stoned beach and tiny harbour of Port, Donegal. It is a brilliant hideaway in a breath-taking landscape.

The space

This ocean-edge home is offbeat, off-grid, and very nearly off the map. There’s only one rough road to Port, Donegal – and the nearest neighbours are three miles up the valley.

With no mains electricity, we generate our own, and keep warm with traditional stoves and ingenious hot water systems. Some might call it primitive, but we don’t - we reckon it provides some of the greatest luxuries you can have in an over-loaded, high tech world.

Holidays in Port, Donegal are wildly old-fashioned with no power to spare for electronic games or TV, but there's plenty of fishing, swimming, scavenging, messing in streams and waterfalls, walking, and getting really muddy. Lots of extreme sports too - rock-climbing, kayaking on the door-step - and surfing not far away- for those who've a mind to.

Inside:

Port,Donegal follows its traditional lines, with a central room with a fireplace, cosy lovers' nook, with sheepskins, and long table for eating. A large hatch opens into a simple kitchen with gas stove, sink and running hot and cold water.

This is a simple, mod-con-free, and genuinely eco, zone. A small amount of power comes from the solar panels – enough for a 12V. few lights Our water comes into the house from a hillside river, and we heat it at the back of a wood-burning stove. We have no fridge - food is chilled in the outside larder and milk/drinks in the stream. This is an important part of the simple charms of Port, but it wouldn't suit anyone too "power-hungry".

Bedrooms – we have a master bedroom and ensuite, and a double-bunk room with ensuite inside the main cottage.

The Snug by the stove in the Living-room , covered in Kenyan sheepskins, can be easily converted into a lovers' nest, or kid's corner.

We keep warm with two wood-burning stoves inside, but in the coldest times, it never gets to modern home temperatures. Also, the house is old-fashioned, without an even surface or wide door anywhere, so we're afraid the property is not generally suitable for the disabled or elderly.

Outside:

Port,Donegal has a small grassed stonewalled area – and couple of stores - and to one side is a large traditional sink for cleaning fish, washing surf/snorkel gear etc. But the main outside is the rest of the valley, which surrounds the cottage. Streams, waterfalls, rivers, immense cliffs, heather'd hillsides - and not a single other house in sight. You can walk for miles along the coastline, through valleys people don't go into for days, or weeks on end.

Nearby:

Beaches: 15 minutes drive to Maghera's huge sandy beaches and caves, 35 minutes drive to the perfect crescent beach of Silver strand . 45 minutes drive to Tramore, and Bundoran, both surf beaches.

Glencolmcille, the closest village, is 20 minutes drive or an hour and a half’s brisk walk across the hills. Glen, as its called locally, has a lively pub, a cultural centre (music and Irish classes) and often great live trad music. It’s also a very spiritual place, with ancient standing stones scattered around the village.

Ardara - the closest town, half an hour’s drive away is really friendly, and good fun in the evenings, with loads of pubs, live music and the best fish and chip shop in Ireland (the West End Café). Great shopping if you like woolly jumpers or tweed.
be sure to get a Molloy Blanket before you leave - woven with all the colours of the Donegal landscape.

Access:

Most people would be glad of a car, because there is very little public transport round here, nothing at all from our valley. Buses from Glencolmcille, in the next valley, are irregular and seasonal.
Airports – there are a few flights into Derry and Donegal airports, but most people come via Dublin or Belfast. Ferries come from Wales, Scotland, France and Spain to Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, `Cork, Belfast or Larne.

Important facts to note :

The road to Port:
The road to the cottage is tarmac'ed, though rough and bumpy , but four wheel drive is not necessary, unless in the snow! It is also reachable by mountain bike over the hills. But, most people are glad of a car here, given how remote it is, if only as an extra charging point for phones/cameras.
Car also helps in terms of bringing in Fuel/supplies etc.

Availability:
we are open All year round - and there s always something sublimely beautiful about Port, no matter the weather.
Minimum 1 week stay in general, though weekends available out of season.
In our opinion , it really isn't worth getting all the way here, immersing yourself in the glorious remoteness of it all, only to turn around and leave!

Guest access

Communications:
There is a mobile signal in Port, Donegal, from various odd spots around and in the cottage - and you can always invoke the Glengesh Rule (see in our house rules) if you prefer to be without :)

Interaction with guests

Hosts:
We spend more time further south in Meath, in another amazing home where we run a summer Festival,, but we visit Port, Donegal often during the year -usually spring and autumn - to get wild and woolly. We stay in good touch with our guests, if they like, by email and text, but as part of the enjoyment of Port is the independence and solitude, so we take the lead from our guests as to how much chat and support they require. We have the loveliest "neighbours" (in commas because, even though they're our nearest, they're not exactly close) who are on hand to help out with any emergencies, and keep a caring eye..

House Rules:
-As so remote, Port, Donegal is strictly a DIY holiday home with NO cleaner. We arrange for you to pick up our towels and linens from Ardara, you make up your own beds.
-You are required and expected to clean up thoroughly, and leave the cottage as you find it, or better!
-All perishables must be removed on check-out.
-All rubbish should be removed and recycled and dealt with as instructed on check-in info.
-Dogs are very welcome, but need to be kept off the beds and sofas please - there's a dedicated "Chaise Dogue" to the side of the dining table. Please be VERY careful outside with dogs ,as there are lots of sheep.
(n.b. the Local farmer takes this very seriously)
The Glengesh Rule. A family tradition - as you reach the top of the incredible Glengesh pass, on the way to Port, Donegal, all mobiles and electronics should be switched off , and remain so till you leave the cottage. It works (and our kids are now in late teens) - give it a try!

Other things to note

POWER / WATER :
The cottage runs on Solar Panels for electricity and Gravity for water ( from a stream up the hill).
The power is limited ,like Irish sunshine, and sometimes runs out. But that's when the romance of candlelight comes into its own.
Power is all 12V DC - which means that there are NO 220v plugs for charging phones or running computers etc .
Pls be sure to bring a car-charger for your phones etc.
Head-torches are strongly recommended.
Hot water is independent of the solar / electrical system - if you light the fire in the stove , you will get Hot Water.

Amenities
Kitchen
Heating
Free parking on premises
Pets allowed
Prices
Weekend Price €85 / night
Always communicate through Airbnb
To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.
Sleeping arrangements
Bedroom 1
1 king bed
Bedroom 2
4 single beds
Common spaces
1 sofa bed
House Rules
No parties or events
Not safe or suitable for infants (Under 2 years)
Check-in is anytime after 2PM
Check out by 11AM

-As so remote, this is strictly a DIY holiday home with NO cleaner. We arrange for you to pick up our towels and linens from Ardara, you make up your own beds.
-You are required and expected to clean up thoroughly, and leave the cottage as you find it, or better!
- All power in the cottage is 12V , on solar batteries. when sunlight is low, there can be times when you must revert to candle power.
- No 220v / 110v power sockets in the cottage , so be sure to bring car-chargers for your phones etc .
- Head torches strongly recommended.
-All perishables must be removed on check-out.
-All rubbish should be removed and recycled and dealt with as instructed on check-in info.
-Dogs are very welcome, but need to be kept off the beds and sofas please, and controlled outside as there are lots of sheep.
-The Glengesh Rule. A family tradition - as you reach the top of the incredible Glengesh pass, on the way to the cottage, all mobiles and electronics should be switched off , and remain so till you leave the cottage. It works (and our kids are now in late teens) - give it a try!

Cancellations
Safety features
Smoke detector
Carbon monoxide detector
Fire extinguisher
Availability
The minimum night stay for this listing varies.

53 Reviews

Accuracy
Communication
Cleanliness
Location
Check In
Value
Dardo User Profile
May 2017
Second time staying in Port (and booked now to come back next year) this is a really special place and already feels like a home away from home.

Rob User Profile
December 2016
Amazing location, amazing place. For a unique and stunning location, I could not recommend better. Ireland at its most remote and beauitful

Mark User Profile
July 2016
Roland was very accurate about the property. However It would hardly be possible to describe in words the magnificent location! The descent to the cottage was as breathtaking as an air-plane landing. You come to Port to experience the very brink of NW Europe, the battleground of an ocean and a continent! Stay warm whatever the weather with the turf stoves and bring plenty of your favourite foods and drinks. The walking is quite exceptional so plenty of dry socks are required. This place comes with the highest of recommendations.

Laura User Profile
June 2016
An amazing setting. We were blessed with beautiful weather. Great place to switch off from the world. Thanks for having us. Laura

Sadhbh User Profile
May 2016
There is no doubt that there's something special about this place. The setting is very remote and utterly breathtaking. The cottage stands on its own in a valley that was obviously depopulated before electrifiction as there are no poles, no wires - in fact it doesn’t look like it’s changed much in hundreds of years. At night, you can’t see another light in any direction - which must be quite unique nowadays - and the cottage is a real haven for this. Inside, the cottage is charming with interesting objet d'art and homely touches throughout. There is a very cosy sheepskin snug beside the stove (and main hot water pipes), and a comfortable four poster bed in the master bedroom. Despite two stoves on full blast, though, the cottage was quite cold throughout the week we spent there. I was wearing two jumpers and a scarf indoors for most of the time. The cold wasn’t helped by the gales blowing under the front door and around the windows. Despite heavy curtains, the house is extremely draughty - unsurprising considering the inch gap under the front door. Bring plenty of turf, warm clothes, and good firelighters when you’re coming. You’ll need them. While the cottage is tidy - it's generally not very clean which is probably to be expected in an older house - and probably inevitable with the “trust” arrangement in place. Overall, though, we enjoyed our week in Port very much and would recommend the cottage and setting highly. This part of Donegal is very unspoilt and beautiful - it’s a treat to spend time there. But word to the wise: this isn’t a place for the squeamish.
Roland User Profile
Response from Roland:
Hi Sadhbh, thanks for the feedback - really appreciate the time spent , and I always take any comments in good faith as constructive criticism. The remoteness of the cottage , which has to be its most unique quality , also brings some problems with maintenance and "turnover" . I simply can't get a cleaning person to go there ! so we have to rely on the "trust turnover " system , where people leave it as they would wish to find it. One of the issues with is with short stays , where people only spend a couple of nights in the place , and tend to be in more of a hurry to pack up and leave - especially considering the need to route via Ardara .. I am now thinking to limit the visits to longer stays ( like yourself !) - where people can really get into the place and understand how the systems work. On the heating - I have 2 beautiful solid ,new doors , hand made in Leitrim , ready to go in, which will cut out the drafts , especially between the front and back door . also 3 new windows - double glazed - from the same Leitrim workshop. This will really help the insulation of the place. Stoves - I am planning to replace the big one in the main room. Its the best that money can buy - Clearview from Ludlow - but it seems to be working less efficiently than it did before . one of the problems with Port is that the marine environment wreaks havoc on the metalwork , causing rust all over the place. Its really like running a grounded yacht sometines! I m thinking that a smaller, more efficient stove would work better , and also burn less fuel . so, combined with the new doors/windows , I am hoping that the cottage will withstand the worst that Donegal winter can throw at it. First Aid - noted . I have one that I carry when I m down there , mostly on walks . It can be tricky to leave one lying around , as people will dip in and take stuff without replacing / telling me , but you are right , I ll plan to have a kit in the house. I was just down at the cottage - first time in 6 weeks - armed with Cleaning products,etc etc - so we should be good on that front now. Again, much appreciate the feedback Sadhbh, and hope that I can welcome you back another day . roland.
May 2016

Dardo User Profile
May 2016
Staying at Roland's cottage what's my favourite Airbnb experience after 4 years using the site and over 20 trips. It is one of those places you see when driving around Ireland and you think 'wow, imagine staying there!'. It was just magical. The place is isolated but the access road is good and the scenery stunning. The cottage is super cozy and even though it was unseasonally cold for the time of the year (0 degrees outside at night) the stoves kept it warm. The area is just stunning with beautiful sea views, some wonderful walks and ideal for day drives to many other attractions.

Sarah User Profile
January 2016
We loved the cottage! We went for a week after Christmas and it was the perfect get away. Naturally it was cold at this time of year, but the wood burning stove kept us warm and we slept in the main room. Cooking was easy as there was a gas hob and oven. There was plenty of water to cook/shower, but we brought bottled water to drink. The scenery is breathtaking and there are lots of walks with stunning views. We also adopted Roland's family 'Glengesh Rule' and turned off our mobiles while at the cottage. It felt like we were living in a cocoon for the week! We had a great time and would highly recommend it as a relaxing get away for anyone who would like to plug out of the hectic world of work and technology!

Ballivor, IrelandJoined in June 2013
Roland User Profile

Im now living in County Meath, Ireland - and have travelled /lived all over - but mostly East Africa.

Languages: Français
Response rate: 100%
Response time: within an hour

The neighbourhood

Similar listings