Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast on the Antrim plateau along the northeastern coast of Ireland is arguably one of the most intriguing, natural, and mesmerizing sights in the world. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 because it is a spectacle of exceptional natural beauty and a unique formation shaping how we understand Earth’s geological history.
One-day tours from Dublin to Giant’s Causeway are incredibly doable and popular. Many people also choose to be a day tripper from nearby Belfast. However, these trips are often rushed experiences and can leave the visitor wanting more. There is much to see near the Giant’s Causeway and so many unique experiences that make this attraction deserving of a two day itinerary at the very least.
Myths, Legends and Experiences at the Giants Causeway
Believe it or not, more than 40,000 basalt columns make up the Giant’s Causeway and these hexagonal pillars date back almost sixty million years. While volcanic activity is the true cause and reason behind this mystical attraction, myth and legend tell a rather different story. Legend explains the causeway was created by a giant named Finn McCool who wanted to build a bridge of stepping stones between Ireland and Scotland. Interestingly, McCool was hell-bent on fighting another giant by the name of Benandonner who across the sea. Sadly for McCool, his Scottish foe managed to tear this bridge apart before it was finished. The Giants Causeway is what remains.
Whether you believe in Irish folklore or not, this ancient remnant looks just as interesting as the tales. Once on the actual causeway, you are free to wander, explore this puzzling maze of steps, and make photographs. Take your time walking from one stepping-stone to the next with a raging Atlantic Ocean nearby. It’s an experience you are not likely to forget.
Giant’s Causeway has Little Causeway, Middle Causeway and Grand Causeway with a network trails with varying degrees of difficulty. If you are in for a leisurely stroll or a hike to get your heart rate up, you are sure to find something to suit your needs.
Experiences and Excursions Near the Giants Causeway
The Giants Causeway is an awe-inspiring sight and one of the most magical attractions in Ireland. However, there is so much more to see along the wild and rugged coast of Antrim.
For instance, Dunluce is arguably the most enchanting castle in Ireland and the subject of interest for legions of Game of Thrones fans. What’s more, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Ballintoy was initially built by salmon fishermen back in 1755. Swaying more than thirty metres above the ocean, the bridge stretches for twenty metres between the mainland and a tiny island called – Carrickarede! And then there’s Belfast, where the Titanic Experience recalls one of the most famous disasters in the history of mankind. The Titanic was built in Belfast and this incredible museum is situated right next to the shipyard that put it together. For those who might want a better insight into the conflict in Northern Ireland, there is also a “Black Taxi Tour” which takes visitors into West Belfast where locals recount haunting stories about the not too distant past.
As for pubs and a bite to eat, “The Nook”at Bushmills is a fantastic spot with a variety of local food. In case you might be asking yourself, Guinness stew and seafood chowder are two such local dishes.
Highlight of Northern Ireland
Whether you stay for two days or more, there is so much to uncover in this part of the world and the Antrim coastal drive is simply breathtaking. At the same time, the Giants Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason and one that never fails to evoke wonder in the mind of those who visit. In fact, this is undoubtedly the highlight of a trip to Northern Ireland and even to the point that the sight of these mystical pillars is so unique that visitors often wonder if those myths and legends are real. Take a few days, take a week or at the very least, take your time.