Donegal Airport offers flights to/from Dublin in 40mins, with twice daily direct flights to Dublin and onward connections worldwide. It also has flights from Donegal to Glasgow Prestwick on Sunday / Wednesday / Friday. Car hire services are offered with online booking facilities or for those who prefer not to drive, taxis are avaiable for the short trip to Burtonport.
Other airports that might be useful are:-
It's also possible to get to Burtonport by bus with a number of operators offering services. Services from Dublin-Letterkenny are offered by McGeehan Coaches. Services from Glasgow or Galway-Letterkenny are offered by Feda O'Donnell Coaches. Services from Glasgow or Belfast-Letterkenny are offered by McGeehan Coaches. Services from Glasgow or Belfast-Letterkenny are offered by Doherty's Coaches. Services from Glasgow or Larne-Letterkenny are offered by John McGinley Travel. Services from Glasgow - Burtonport via Belfast City and International airports are offered by Collins Coaches. Services from just about anywhere in the country to Letterkenny are offered by Bus Eireann.
If driving, use the interactive map below to help plan your journey. We also recommend using Google's online direction finder to help plan your route. Even some of the latest in-car GPS systems don't appear to have Burtonport listed, but for those who wish to enter the co-ordinates manually, they're N 54°58.56 W 008°26.04 or N 54.982293 W -008.434324
There are two ferries which operate between Burtonport and Arranmore. One carries foot passengers only but boasts an impressive crossing time of about ten minutes. Full details and timetables can be found on their website. They will also work with you to try and ensure that you can make ongoing connections.
The second is ferry carries both vehicle and foot passengers. Advance booking is essential for vehicles, particularly at holiday times when the service can be quite busy. Again, see their website for full details and timetables. Average crossing time is approximately twenty minutes.
Conspicuous by it's absence from the entire North-West of Ireland is any form of railway system. This was not always the case, surprisingly, as Burtonport was served by a railway, now disused, from 1903 up until 1940.
Before the advent of motorised boats the only way on and off the island was to row or if conditions permitted, sail. Boats were small, a concession to the fact that strong tides made for diffucult handling of sturdier craft. Cattle were towed (understandably unwillingly) behind the boats between the islands and the mainland.
The advent of motor boats allowed for larger vessels but were still limited to foot passengers. Cars were loaded onto these by placing two stout planks across the boat and driving the car (and indeed many small tractors) onto these from the pier. A somewhat risky practice, undertaken only in calm weather and on the understanding that if the vehicle endanged the boat on the crossing that it would be jettisoned. So far as is known, this never came to pass.
Until the advent of ferries capable of taking cars and lorries, just about all goods had to be manually loaded onto and off the boats. Everything from mail and groceries to almost everything need to build a house had to be man-handled in this way. It would be true to say that until this time, every man that built a house had to handle the materials at least half a dozen times.