8. Belfast and Giant's Causeway: 2-Day Guided Tour
On this 2-day tour from Dublin you’ll travel to Northern Ireland, which has been experiencing a new dawn after the end of 30 years of political violence.
You’ll explore downtown Belfast as well as the glorious glens of Antrim. With its breathtaking scenery, welcoming local residents, unspoiled landscapes, and living history, Northern Ireland is sure to please.
Day 1: Dublin to Belfast
At 09:00 you’ll depart Dublin, heading north for the 2-hour drive to Belfast on the new Peace Highway. Your first stop will be St. Peters Cathedral in Drogheda, where you’ll find the fully preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett! He was beheaded by the English in 1681 and his head now sits staring out from a glass box by the altar.
Take a drive off the highway to visit the haunting ruins of Monasterboice. You’ll see the 10th-century round tower and learn how residents of the time took refuge from the Vikings. See some of the most beautiful Celtic crosses in Ireland, carved by hand by monks in the 9th century.
When you arrive in Belfast you’ll have 2 hours’ free time. You might consider an optional and highly recommended Black Taxi Tour of the Falls and Shankill Roads. Alternatively, you can use the free time for lunch and shopping in the city’s bustling downtown area.
Depart the city center for a drive to the docks to visit Belfast's number 1 attraction: The Titanic Experience! Spend 2 hours on a tour of the all-new Titanic Belfast. You’ll follow the story from the ship’s conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise.
Overnight in Belfast's historic downtown university quarter.
Day 2: Belfast – Giant's Causeway – Dublin
The tour departs Belfast on a drive through the rolling farmland of County Antrim to the north coast of Ulster. Your first stop will be the enchanting town of Ballintoy, which is home to the famed Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Don’t miss the truly amazing views of Scotland!
Walk along the exhilarating rope bridge to Carrick-a-Rede Island. The rope bridge traverses a 30-meter-deep and 20-meter-wide chasm, and was erected by salmon fishermen. Visitors bold enough to cross to the rocky island are rewarded with fantastic views. Note that there is a fee payable to the National Trust for those wishing to cross the bridge.
The Giant's Causeway has often been described as the 8th Wonder of The World, and once you’ve visited you’ll see why. The site features an estimated 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns that were formed during a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago.
Visit the ultra-modern visitor center, which is included in the tour price. You’ll have an audio guide with earphones for your visit to the stones, and will hear the story of how the rocks were formed (available in many different languages) as you stand on them.
After at least 2 hours exploring the Giant’s Causeway you’ll continue on to see the cliff-top ruins of Dunluce Caste, ancestral home of the MacDonnell Clan.
On the return to Dublin you’ll have a short rest and relaxation stop with time for some refreshments. You’ll arrive back in Dublin with a wealth of songs, stories, and memories of Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway!