8. Dublin: Belfast Titanic Quarter & Giant's Causeway Tour
Travel through the Boyne Valley on a full-day scenic tour from Dublin, and discover the home of the 5,000-year-old Hill of Tara, the ancient capital of the High Kings of Ireland. A dedicated tour guide will tell you about the Battle of the Boyne between the Catholic King James and the Protestant Dutch King William of Orange, a chapter in Ireland’s history that still resonates and is closely tied to the story of Belfast.
Upon arrival in Belfast you have the option to take a political sightseeing tour by iconic black cab (taxi) OR visit the Titanic Experience and Quarter to explore the shipyards where the great ocean liner was built.
For the black cab tour you will see sites that have played a key role in the city’s political history, such as the Falls and Shankill neighborhoods. Learn about the industrial roots of Belfast, and the 4 decades of civil unrest in the late 20th century. Sign the peace line, the towering wall that divides the communities, and read the political murals. A guide will relate their own family experiences to give your tour a more personal touch.
Alternatively, go to the world’s largest state-of-the-art Titanic experience in Belfast’s new Titanic Quarter, located in the former shipyards of Harland and Wolf. Relive the liner’s tragic voyage, sinking, and eventful discovery on the seabed, via exhibits that explain her construction, launch and history in 9 different galleries.
Your destination is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Giant’s Causeway, formed more than 60 million years ago by volcanic eruptions. Known for its distinctive rock formations that span nearly 18 miles (29 kilometers) of coastline, you can hike to the formations known as “The Wishing Chair”, “Giant's Boot”, and “Giant's Organ”. Learn the legend of the Irish giant Finn McCool, said to be the Causeway's creator.
Before your return drive to Dublin, make one last stop at the picturesque ruins of Dun Luce Castle, located next to Bushmills Village, home of the famous Irish whisky.
This is where you have the option to have lunch in a number of venues located at the Causeway. With 2 hours there is ample time to lunch and walk this fabulous coastal landscape.
Typically the tour would visit the Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge. However, it is currently closed to the public and it is not yet clear as to when it will reopen. As an alternative attraction, you will visit the very popular Dun Luce Castle. This iconic historical castle dates back over 500 years and its location on the Cliff Edge of the North Atlantic makes it one of the most dramatic settings in Europe. The castle has been frequently used over the years in many movies, most recently in the tv series Game of Thrones. There will be paid admittance to visit and peruse the castle and grounds for 45 minutes.
Continue along the Antrim Coastal, driving past spectacular scenery of stony shores, wooded glens and sheltered harbors. See the remains of Dunseverick Castle, and admire views of the Mull of Kintyre. On a clear day you will see Scotland in the distance. The route back to Dublin is different than the route taken to the Causeway earlier in the day, giving you different scenery to enjoy.
Arrive back in Dublin City Center at 20.30 and enjoy the rest of your evening. The tour guide will be on hand to help you with any directions or information you need.