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COVID-19 UPDATES: Carrick-a-Rede remains closed at this time. They are not planning to re-open for the 2021 season. Tours in 2021 have been amended. We will allocate extra time at the other attractions, instead of at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

This Giant’s Causeway tour from Belfast is the best way to experience and learn about Ireland’s most impressive natural wonder. And because this is an incredible part of the world, we also take you to two other impressive places: Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the Dark Hedges! We manage to fit in our Giant’s Causeway tour and a visit to both the Dark Hedges and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in one day on this tour from Belfast. Book this top-rated tour today by using the booking calendar on this page. If you’re trying to see even more of Ireland while stay in Belfast, you may also like to check out our Game of Thrones tour from Belfast, or our Giant’s Causeway and Titanic Museum tour from Belfast.

Itinerary – Giant’s Causeway Tour (Including, Dark Hedges & Rope Bridge)

0910 Boarding in Belfast, from outside the Top Shop entrance on Chichester Street. We leave at 0915, heading for the first stop: the Dark Hedges.

(This tour actually starts and ends in Dublin. Belfast is the second stop of the tour. If you are planning to go to Dublin on the same day after this tour, you can pay an extra £15 per person to get a ride to Dublin. Drop off in Dublin is around 7:30pm/ 8:30pm, on the top of O’Connell Street, around 5-minute walk to the Spire. You can bring your luggage. There is a storage compartment underneath the coach.)

dark hedges

Visiting the Dark Hedges – around 20 minutes

The first stop is the Dark Hedges, and you will not be disappointed! The Dark Hedges are actually beech trees that were planted by the Stuart family, who wanted to impress visitors as they approached their Georgian mansion. This magnificent road of beech trees is now attracting half a million people from all over the world every year. See for yourself why even the hit HBO series Game of Thrones chose the Dark Hedges to serve as part of the King’s Road. This is definitely a photo opportunity not to be missed!

Visiting Dunluce Castle – Bonus 5-min photo stop for summer

Constructed in the 13th century by Richard Og de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, Dunluce Castle is the most striking castles in Ireland. Once you have seen it in person, it will not be hard to understand why it has been featured heavily in popular culture. Appearing in Led Zeppelin’s album, Houses of the Holy, American musician Jandek’s album, Glasgow Friday, Jackie Chan’s movie, The Medallion, to name a few. It is also said to have been the inspiration for C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.

Driving past Bushmills Distillery

Licensed since 1608, there is no doubts why Bushmills whiskey is arguably the best whiskey in the world. As Bushmills Distillery has stopped giving out a free shot of whiskey at the Distillery since 7 Sep this year, we will not be making a stop there anymore. Without the free shots of whiskey, the Distillery is only an overpriced gift shop. As everything (including the whiskey) they sell in the gift shop can be easily found in Belfast, we will instead add this time onto the tour so you can have more time at the other stops. Our guide will still be sharing with you how they make whiskey in Ireland and whisky in Scotland, though. If you would like to take a truly exceptional whiskey tour, however, you may enjoy our Jameson Distillery tour in Dublin.

giants causeway

Giant’s Causeway Tour – around 1.5 hours

The Giant’s Causeway is the highlight of the day and Northern Ireland’s most popular visitor attraction. Look forward to breath-taking sights, fascinating hexagonal columns, and unforgettable landscape of the 8th wonder of the world. There’s something so surprising about the Giant’s Causeway; it almost feels as though you’re on an alien planet.

At this stop you will be given the opportunity to glimpse the Irish landscape, sometimes even the White Park Bay, at its most idyllic: beautiful rolling hills, magnificent seascape and of course the hexagonal/ polygonal stone columns that form the legendary causeway itself — some of which reach 40 feet into the air.

causeway giants

How the Giant’s Causeway was Formed

Formed in the aftermath of an ancient volcanic eruption, as the lava hit the cold North Sea, the Giant’s Causeway consists of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. Although this odd stone pattern stretches all the way to Scotland, nowhere is it more perfectly preserved, making it one of the top places to visit in Ireland. According to local legend, the Causeway was formed when an Irish giant named Finn McCool ripped the earth from the ground, creating a pathway for a rival giant. Outwitted by McCool, this giant (named Benandonner) ran back to Scotland, wrecking the earth as he went. Despite some scepticism from pesky scientists, the existence of similar stone formations at Fingal’s Cave in Scotland are said to be proof positive for the legend of Finn McCool.

rope bridge

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge – around 1.5 hours – Not available in 2021. The Rope Bridge remains closed due to social distancing restrictions.

The next stop on this tour is Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. The original bridge was created by fishermen 350 years ago to help them catch fish, and the fishermen could have never guessed that a more modern version of their bridge would become a major tourist attraction centuries later. It’s an extreme 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm, traversed by a traditionally built rope bridge.  Crossing rewards the daring visitor with arguably the best views in the country – and certainly the best photographs for any Irish holiday! “Carrickarede” is an abandoned fishing island located near the Giant’s Causeway. The name comes from the Irish, “Carraig a Raid,” meaning “rock of the casting.”

carrickarede rope bridge

Although the bridge in its current form was constructed in the year 2000, it is believed that rope bridges have been used as a means of reaching the island for more than 350 years. The fishermen used to use the bridge to harvest salmon as the inlet confused salmon into thinking it was the mouth of a river. This allowed the fishermen to catch tremendous amounts of salmon, and the salmon population in Ireland actually suffered significantly! The bridge has taken many forms over the years, and in the 70s it consisted of just one handrail with large gaps between the slats. At least the modern version is a little safer!

1700 – 1730 Back in Belfast

*Please note that all times are approximate. The locations might be visited in a different order, depends on traffic and weather.

**As people don’t want to spend that much time in the cold countryside, when it starts getting cold, we might give a little bit less time at the Giant’s Causeway and add the time onto the Belfast stop.

If you have any questions about this Giant’s Causeway tour from Belfast, please feel free to contact us here at Finn McCools Tours. We’re always happy to chat to people planning a trip to Ireland.

Pick up
9:15 am, 31 Chichester Street, Belfast (outside Top Shop entrance, across the road from Garrick bar)

Drop off
Around 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm, same place

Things to note:

  • Not suitable for people with limited mobility.
  • Not suitable for children under 10. If your child is very used to travelling, please book 1 seat per child and bring your own child seat.

5 star rating on TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook and other bookings sites

N&E T.
2 weeks ago
Yesterday we did this tour with guides Andy and Daniel. They did a great job, told things about the history of Ireland and North Ireland but not too much. We got plenty of time everywhere and sometimes there was music in the bus. Just fine. One of the best excursions we ‘ve had in the world because of the tour guides.

Vera B.
1 week ago
We had amazing time with Iriel and Peter. The tour was full of nature and fun. Giants Causeway is incredible experience. Highly recommend.

On A.
4 weeks ago
Had a blast on the tour to Giants Causeway Derrick made the tour such a fun experience definetley would recommend

Cross R.
2 months ago
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour to the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. On our way to Northern Ireland, Tour Guide Gavin gave us interesting and often humorous information about the locations through which we were passing, famous people from these areas, and a primer on “The Troubles” experienced in Northern Ireland for many years. The Giant’s Causeway is a pretty good walk from the parking area but well worth it to see the hexagonal outcroppings of rocks that look other worldly. The rope bridge was interesting – being suspended hundreds of feet above the ocean is quite an experience. On the way back to Dublin, we stopped at the Dark Hedges (AKA the King’s Road from Game of Thrones). Capt. John did a great job getting us there and back again.

Garts S.
2 months ago
My best friend and I took the tour a little over a week ago. This was such a great way to hit up some gorgeous views of Northern Ireland, no matter the weather (we had rain, but smiled all day) The tour was organized; our guide, Derrick was great (the road trip playlist was perfect and included some live songs) and Peter was a pro at navigating the roads and getting us to our spots safely. I enjoyed learning more about Irish history, as Derrick was informative, pointing out any cool sites along the way and places to check out once back in Dublin. I highly recommend the tour and I’m so glad we booked it!

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