Assaranca Waterfall (a locals guide) 2023

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Assaranca Waterfall is one of Donegal’s most beautiful waterfalls and a beautiful place to visit while exploring the county. The waterfall, named Eas a’ Ranca in Irish, is set in idyllic surroundings close to Maghera Beach and is one of the real gems in County Donegal.

Having made Assarance Waterfall a regular stop on our Donegal travels we wanted to share all the information you need for visiting together with some other fantastic sights in the area.

Assaranca Waterfall

Located along the coast road between Adara and Maghera Beach, the cascading Assaranca Waterfall is set in lush green surrounds. Assaranca is one of our favourite waterfalls in Ireland due to the beauty of the location.

Assaranca Waterfall is one of the easiest waterfalls to visit in Donegal – it’s located just off the road and there is a lay by for parking!

We’ve visited Assaranca Waterfall numerous times over the years and each time it’s been spectacular. Even during periods of beautiful weather the waterfall continues to flow but it is on a rainy day that the true beauty of Assaracana Waterfall comes to light.

There is a small pool at the bottom of the waterfall so if you’re feeling brave you could take a dip in the icy cold waters!

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
Assaranca Waterfall

Where is Assaranca Waterfall?

Assaranca Waterfall is located 8km west of the town of Ardara in West Donegal. The base of the waterfall sits just off the coast road and is close to the well known Maghera Caves. Most visitors will pass by the waterfall en-route to the Slieve League Cliffs and it’s definitely worth allowing time for a stop to enjoy the views.

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
Assaranca Waterfall is located just off the main coastal road

When to Visit Assaranca Waterfall

Assaranca Waterfalls is at its best after a heavy rainfall and water levels are high. We’ve visited during periods of relatively mild weather and the waterfall still looked great.

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
Assaranca Waterfall during a rainy day is incredible


There is a small pull-in area located beside the waterfall which makes accessing the waterfall very easy. There is no charge for parking and the parking lot can hold up to about 10 cars. It is possible to view the waterfall from the parking area.

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
There is a small car park at the base of the Assarana Waterfall

How long to spend at Assaranca Waterfall

You can check out Assaranca Waterfall for a few minutes for a photo or you can spend an hour here relaxing on a nice day. We’ve even had a picnic on the grassy area at the base of the waterfall and it’s lovely to relax and take in the beauty of the coast.

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
Assaranca Waterfall from above using our drone

Things to do near Assaranca Waterfall

There are plenty of things to do near Assarana Waterfall and we’ve included some of our favourites below.

1 | Maghera Beach and Cave

Maghera Beach is a 2 minute drive from Assaranca waterfall and is one of the best beaches in Donegal. Due to it’s location Maghera Beach is generally quiet so you might be pleasantly surprised to find yourself as the only people there. It’s a beautiful beach and at low tides it is possible to walk to some of the 20 caves dotted along the beach.

Assaranca Waterfall tip: Make sure to use care if walking to the caves and to be aware of the tide times and patterns. It is possible to get caught be the incoming tide when accessing the caves.

Best beaches in Donegal
Maghera Beach and Caves (photo via Failte Ireland)

2 | Slieve League Cliffs

Most Irish visitors have heard of the Cliffs of Moher but in our opinion, the Slieve League Cliffs are equally as impressive and beautiful. The car park for the Slieve League cliffs is a 45 minute drive from Assaranca Waterfall and simply cannot be missed on a Donegal road trip.

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
The awesome Slieve League Cliffs

3 | Glengesh Pass (Glen of the Swans)

If time permits it’s worth taking the scenic route from Assaranca Waterfall to the Slieve League Cliffs via the winding Glengesh Pass, aka the Glen of the Swans. This spectacular drive winds up the road from Ardara to Glecolmcille and is one of the most spectacular drives in Ireland. It takes around 25 minutes to reach Glengesh Pass from Assaranca Waterfall.

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
the Glengesh Pass is one of the most beautiful in Ireland (photo via Failte Ireland)

4 | Malin Beg and Silver Strand

The small coastal village of Malin Beg is home to one of Ireland’s hidden gems, Silver Strand Beach. Malin Beg is worth the detour from the Slieve League Cliffs and if you can, its worth staying overnight here as it is spectacular.

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
Silver Strand Beach in Malin Beg is stunning

4 | Glencolmkille

Glencolmcille is a beautiful coastal village that’s worth a stop while exploring Donegal.

This historic village is part of the southwest Gaeltaght area (an Irish speaking area) of Donegal and has a Irish history. Make sure to visit the Glencolmcille Folk Village (also known as Father McDyers’ Folk Village Museum) which gives a fascinating insight into how people lived in the area during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Glencolmkille is 35 minutes west of Assaranca Waterfall.

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
Glencolmcille Folk Village is worth a stop (photo via Failte Ireland)

5 | Port

Port was a small village of houses prior to The Famine during the mid-19th Century. After the locals were forced from the land during The Famine the village of Port became a ghost village and has been abandoned since.

Today the village is deserted but remains a haunting reminder of the devastation caused by the Famine. It is one of the lesser visited parts of Donegal and, if you have time on the way from Ardara to Glencolmcille, Port is worth a few hours to explore.

The village of Port is 30 minutes south of Assaranca Waterfall.

Assaranca Waterfall Donegal
View of Port from the coastal walk (photo via Failte Ireland)

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