Discover the wonders of the north coast of Ireland on this day trip from Dublin — take our tour of the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Belfast, and the Dark Hedges. Here at Finn McCools Tours, we’ve put a lot of time and care into this Dublin to Giant’s Causeway tour; we have created an unforgettable experience of many of the most special locations along Antrim’s Causeway Coast. You might also be interested in our Giant’s Causeway tours from Belfast or our Titanic and Giant’s Causeway tour from Dublin
Itinerary for our Giant’s Causeway Tour from Dublin
0635 Start boarding outside Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, on Parnell Square North.
0645 Leave Parnell Square North and head to Belfast. On the bus, our tour guide will tell you Irish legends, myths, and history as you pass some key spots on your journey. To break up the drive, we will do a rest stop at a service station, allowing time to visit the restroom, grab a few snacks and a cup of coffee. On occasion, we also pick up a few more passengers from Belfast on our way to the Causeway Coast.
Visiting the Dark Hedges (around 20 minutes)
Planted 350 years ago, this lane of beech trees is an incredible site to behold, making it an amateur photographer’s dream location. The Dark Hedges were made famous more recently as they featured in Game of Thrones and they captured the attention and imagination of GoT fans from all over the world. If this part of the tour interests you, check out our Game of Thrones from Dublin tour. Stopping at the Dark Hedges is also a great opportunity to stretch your legs and walk, taking pictures that will be the envy all your friends back home. If you get lucky, you might even get a picture of the Grey Lady: a legendary ghost that haunts the hedges… (We think the Grey Lady is, in fact, tending to the Dark Hedges, and this might explain why they are more than a hundred years older than breech trees’ usual lifespan).
Dunluce Castle (Bonus 5-min photo stop for summer)
The most beautiful castle ruin in Northern Ireland and definitely worth the 5-minute photo stop. The reason this castle is a ruin is because the kitchen fell into the ocean and the owners didn’t feel safe staying. On our tour you will have the opportunity to see for yourself why this was even possible while taking a photo that makes even the worst photographer a good one.
The Giant’s Causeway Tour (around 1.5 hours)
The Giant’s Causeway was formed in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption around 50 to 60 million years ago, leaving 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. However, beyond the geological story, there is an alternative story: a myth that the Giants Causeway was built by the Irish Giant, Finn McCool. There a few variations on the legend and we tend to put as much stock in legends as in geology…
The uniqueness of the Giant’s Causeway is what led to it becoming a UNESCO world heritage site. It is the “8th wonder of the world”, you cannot afford to miss the Giant’s Causeway on your visit to Ireland.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (around 1.5 hours)
The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a tourist attraction owned by the National trust. The current bridge at Carrick-a-Rede is 66ft long and 98ft high, and it hangs over a chasm overlooking the North Sea. The bridge can be crossed from the mainland to spend a little bit of time on Carrick-a-Rede Island. Crossing this moving bridge is definitely not for the faint-hearted and it is truly an exhilarating experience (but that’s what we love about it). When the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is open, you will be able to cross it without paying anything extra.
A little history: the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge was used by fishermen for 300 years to catch salmon in a very unique way. The size of the chasm between Carrick-a-Rede Island and the mainland confuses salmon as they think it is a river mouth and swim upstream into the fishermen’s nets. This used to give local fishermen massive hauls of salmon. Unfortunately, this type of fishing had a detrimental effect on the salmon population in Northern Ireland.
Exploring Belfast (Around 1 hour)
Belfast city centre is a compact treasure trove of history and culture, so 60 minutes is enough time to get a good feel for one of the greatest cities in Europe (in our opinion). You will have more than enough time to explore the important and impressive sites in Belfast’s city centre, learning about the legacy of ‘The Troubles’. Take pictures of the impressive City Hall, walk down the main shopping streets, and maybe get some food. Remember that Northern Ireland is part of the UK, so the currency is Pounds Sterling (£).
1930/ 2030 Return to Dublin
*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.
6:45 am, outside Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Parnell Square N, Dublin 1
Around 7:30 pm – 8:30pm, same place
Things to note:
- Not suitable for people with limited mobility. A fair bit of walking involved.
- 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
Tgart S. on 22 Oct 2018
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!
Sara M. on 17 Oct 2018
Daniel was a nice tour guide, he told some funny facts about the places of the tour and was very friendly.Peter drove us safe around, not easy with those narrow “streets”. The weather was perfectly. I definitely recommend this tour operator
Ocean T. on 8 Oct 2018
Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope and Belfast in a day. Good amount of time at each location. Tara (Guide) and Marc (Driver) were great. Good information given by Tara in between each stop which made the drive go by much faster.
Ross L. on 13 Oct 2018
Leaving bang on at 6.45am, our great team of Mark and Seán took us up north for what was a GREAT day!!! Schedule was strict, but that was due to the sheer amount of sites visited! Knowledge bombs were dropped, driving under miserable weather in very weather beaten roads, the whole experience was purely professional! A must if you get a free day!!
Nefely R. on 29 Sep 2018
It was one of the best tours we have ever had. Yuri, our driver, was really careful! Our tour guide, Derrick, was very pleasant and with great sense of humor. He told us Ireland’s history and he made as an excellent tour at all the sightseeings. He sang us local songs and we have to admit that he is not only an amazing guide but a great singer, as well. We totally recommend Finn McCools Tours to everyone! Greetings from Greece!!
Cross R. on 22 Oct 2018
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.