The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national nature reserve. It is located in Northern Ireland and it is about 3-4 hour drive from Dublin and 3 hours away from Belfast if you are driving your own car. So if you are going looking for tips and guide to Giants Causeway Tour, this article is for you.
- Giants Causeway Tour (Tips and Guide To First-Time Visitors)
- What is the legend of the Giant’s Causeway?
- How long do you need at Giant’s Causeway?
- What can you do near Giants Causeway?
- How much does it cost to get into the Giant’s Causeway?
- How to get to Giant’s Causeway by public transport
- Tips on visiting Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway Tour (Tips and Guide To First-Time Visitors)
What is the legend of the Giant’s Causeway?
According to legend, the Giants Causeway was built because of two giants – Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill of Gaelic Mythology and Scottish giant Benandonner. Benandonner challenged Fionn on a fight and the Irish giant accepted so he built the causeway across North Channel so the two giants could meet.
It is the reason why, according to legends, that there’s an area on the island of Staffa in Scotland with similar basalt columns. When Fionn crossed the sea through the causeway, he realized that Benandonner was larger than he thought so he fleed in fear and destroyed the causeway behind him so the Scottish giant won’t be able to follow him.
How long do you need at Giant’s Causeway?
Two hours should suffice in Giants Causeway.
What can you do near Giants Causeway?
If you are already on the north coast of Northern Ireland, there are several things to do near Giants Causeway.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a popular rope bridge in Ballintoy and it connects the mainland to the island of Carrickarede. The bridge was mainly used by fishermen who frequent the area for salmon but as salmon slowly declines in the area. As a result, the bridge is now mainly used for tourism.
The location of the bridge overlooks one of the best coastal views in Northern Ireland. Currently, visitors can access the bridge for a fee.
Dunluce Castle is now a ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of rocks on the coast of County Antrim. Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, built the first castle in Dunluce. From then on, this Irish castle witnessed a long and tumultuous history between Scotland, Ireland, and the UK.
Dunluce castle is also said to be the inspiration for Cair Paravel, the fictional castle in Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. It is also the film location of Game of Thrones for the Seat of House Greyjoy of the great castle of Pyke.
The mysterious and creepy effect of the Beech trees lined up along Bregagh Road makes the Dark Hedges the most photographed location in Northern Ireland. It’s only 22 minutes away from Dunluce Castle as well.
How much does it cost to get into the Giant’s Causeway?
The access to the Giant’s Causeway is free however the visitor center charges £12.50 per adult and £31.00 for a family of 4.
How to get to Giant’s Causeway by public transport
How to get to Giant’s Causeway from Belfast
Giants Causeway is one of the best day trips from Belfast. If you are already in Belfast, take a Translink UK bus (#218) from Belfast Bridge Street to Coleraine. The trip takes 1 hour and 40 minutes and it costs between €12-18 for one-way trip or €24-36 for a round trip bus fare. Buses leave every 2 hours. From Coleraine, take a Translink UK bus (#172) to Aird Giants Causeway The Nook. The trip takes about 40 minutes for €5-8 per trip or €10-16 for a round-trip fare and buses leave every hour. Then walk about 1.4 km to get to the Giant’s Causeway. In total, you might have to spend between €34-52 on transport alone.
Or you can also take this Giant’s Causeway day tour from Belfast for just €35 per person. It also includes a trip to Game of Thrones filming locations and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. To book it, click here.
How to get to Giant’s Causeway from Dublin
Giants Causeway is one of the best day trips from Dublin. Using public transportation, it might take between 6-7 hours to get to the Giant’s Causeway. The fastest option is by taking a train to Northern Ireland and then bus. Take a train from Connolly to Belfast City Centre in Lanyon Place Train Station. This takes about 2 hours and can cost between €30-45 one way. Transfer to Belfast Central station and take a train to Coleraine station. It takes about 1.5-hour ride for €10-14. And from Coleraine Bus Station, take a Translink UK bus to Aird Giants Causeway The Nook. It’s about half hour ride for €4-7. Then walk towards Giant’s Causeway. Giant’s Causeway is about 1.5km from the bus stop.
Or you can save yourself a massive headache by taking this day tour for half the price. The tour includes Giant’s Causeway and the filming locations of Game of Thrones.
Tips on visiting Giants Causeway
1. Avoid peak hours
Giants Causeway is the most visited attraction in Northern Ireland and the second most visited attraction in all Ireland which means the place is crowded most of the times. If you want to avoid the crowd, try to visit before 11 am or after 4 pm.
2. Save money by not visiting the visitor’s center.
The visitor’s center is about 1 mile away from Giants Causeway. If you want to check out the gift shop for men and women and to learn about the history of Giants Causeway, then you need to pay £12.50 to get inside. But if you don’t need to check out the visitor’s center, you can save money as the main attraction can be accessed for free.
3.Park at Bushmills Park
Do not try to park on the road near the Giants Causeway especially if it’s painted with double yellow lines. This means no parking is allowed and you’ll get hefty fines. Go to Bushmills parking lot instead. It is just opposite of the Bushmills Inn Hotel and from there, you can either walk a mile or take a bus to the Giants Causeway.
4.Wear proper clothes
Bring a waterproof and warm jacket when you go to Giants Causeway. The attraction is located right next to the Atlantic Ocean and the wind can get really cold.
5.Wear proper footwear
Giants Causeway is full of uneven surfaces and because it’s right by the sea, some parts are also slippery because of the water. Because of these reasons, there are lots of reports where visitors who got sprained ankle, scratches and other injuries so make sure to wear proper footwear to avoid this. It will also make climbing around stone columns easier. Do not wear strappy sandals, flip flops or high heeled shoes.
6.Pack some snacks and drinks
Unless you want to pay for visitors’ center just to get food, make sure to bring your own snacks and drinks as there are no convenience stores and some of the closest restaurants are in Ballycastle.
7.Join a day trip
Joining a day trip might be more ideal if you don’t want to worry about driving and parking. You can check these day tours from Belfast.
For €24, this Giants Causeway day tour from Belfast also include a stop to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Old Bushmills Distillery, and Carrickfergus and Dunluce Castle. You can book your tour here.
There are also day trips from Dublin that you can do. Here are the available Giants Causeway day tours from Dublin.
For €60, this Giants Causeway day tour from Dublin also includes a stop to the Dark Hedges, Ballintoy Harbor and other Game of Thrones locations. You can book your tour here.
For €60, this Giants Causeway day tour from Dublin also includes a stop to the Dark Hedges, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and spend some time in Belfast. You can book your tour here
The opening hours varies depending on the season. For updated opening hours, here.
Location: 44 Causeway Road Bushmills County Antrim BT57 8SU Northern Ireland
Phone: (028) 2073 1855