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BlogTravel tipsYour ultimate Giant’s Causeway guide: myths, trips & travel tips
Travel tips

Your ultimate Giant’s Causeway guide: myths, trips & travel tips

Jan 09, 2024 by Emily Houston

If you’re planning to pop up to Northern Ireland while on our Ireland tours, there’s one site you can’t miss: Giant’s Causeway. This coastal landscape is dripping in lore and dappled with salty mist from the Atlantic Ocean. Plus, it’s among the UNESCO-listed sites you can visit on our guided tours. Uncover everything you need to know about this iconic spot before heading there on our Northern Ireland trips.

Here’s what you’ll want to know about Giant’s Causeway before you visit this famous area on the Northern Ireland portion of our Ireland tours.

  • What is Giant’s Causeway? Giant’s Causeway is a collection of hexagonal-shaped columns, which you can walk on. Some of them are over 39 feet tall!
  • Where is Giant’s Causeway? Giant’s Causeway is located in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, which is one of the hidden-gem towns you should visit in Ireland.
  • How was Giant’s Causeway formed? This jaw-dropping geological site on Northern Ireland’s coast is comprised of 40,000 basalt columns formed by volcanic activity more than 50 million years ago.
  • Are there any myths or legends about Giant’s Causeway? Why yes, there are! Our guide to mythical places you can visit around the world gives you the full scoop, but here’s the SparkNotes version. According to legend, Giant’s Causeway was made by a giant from Northern Ireland named Finn McCool. When his country was threatened by Benandonner, a rival giant from across the Irish Sea in Scotland, McCool furiously grabbed fistfuls of earth from the coastline and flung them into the sea. The result: a direct route across the water where McCool could fight his foe.
Visit Giant’s Causeway on tour

6 tours you can book to visit Giant’s Causeway

While Giant’s Causeway is technically located in Northern Ireland, we visit the UNESCO-listed site on six of our Ireland tours. Which one will you travel on?

  1. Grand Tour of Ireland. This tour topped our list of the best honeymoon trips you don’t have to plan—but there’s a lot to fall in love with on this tour, whether you’re traveling solo or with your partner. Be sure to add the Giant’s Causeway excursion on your free day in Belfast.
  2. Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle. Are you tacking the Belfast extension onto this tour? Add our excursion to visit Giant’s Causeway—it’s one of the best things to do in Northern Ireland.
  3. A Week in Ireland: Dublin to Belfast. Only on this trip can you stay overnight in a castle and visit Giant’s Causeway. That's just one of the many royal reasons why this tour made our list of the best trips to take in the off-season.
  4. Ireland: The Wild Atlantic Way. This is the only tour where you can add our Giant’s Causeway Cliff Walk excursion to soak in spectacular views of the shoreline during a scenic stroll with your Tour Director.
  5. Landscapes of Scotland & Ireland. There are plenty of reasons why you can’t miss summer in Ireland. At the top of the list? Seeing the coastline glow under the afternoon sun on our Giant's Causeway excursion. 
  6. St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle. If you want to keep the festivities going at the end of this trip, make the most of your time across the pond by adding our Giant’s Causeway excursion on this trip’s Belfast extension.

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What should you know before visiting Giant’s Causeway?

“Giant’s Causeway was another highlight of the trip that was great to see and experience,” said traveler Christian about his Ireland tour. “Northern Ireland is the place I will remember most. Beautiful country.” With a review like that, this is one site you won’t want to miss. Here’s what to know before you go.

  • Add our Giant’s Causeway excursion to enjoy the ease of having an included guide and ticket. Visiting Giant’s Causeway is one of the amazing things in Ireland to experience with a group because you’ll be joined by your expert Tour Director. They’ll cover the history of the site and let you know where the best viewpoints are. Plus, your tickets are pre-purchased and included in the cost of the excursion.
  • Plan for a 90-minute drive. It takes about an hour-and-a-half to reach Giant’s Causeway from the hotels you’ll stay at on our Northern Ireland tours. Sit back and relax aboard your private motor coach during the ride. Your driver will drop you off on the doorstep of the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre.
  • Be sure to enter the Visitor Centre. You can pop in a pair of headphones and listen to an audio tour that covers the site’s geology, history, and folklore. “There was beautiful scenery on the way to Giant’s Causeway, and once we got there it was breathtaking,” said Patricia after visiting on one of our Ireland tours. “I liked the free audio tours, and the exhibits were interesting and informative as well.”
  • Aim for an early morning or late-afternoon visit. This is when the crowds are at their thinnest and the light is the perfect hue for taking dreamy photos.
  • See why it gained Hollywood fame. Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, one of the key filming locations in Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, runs from Belfast to Derry. Many of the movie’s seaside scenes were filmed along this stretch in places like Ballintoy Harbor and Giant’s Causeway.
  • Take time to take it all in. Whether our Ireland tours have always been at the top of your bucket list or you discovered you wanted to go to Giant’s Causeway after reading about it in our solo traveler’s guide to Ireland, be sure to take a moment to breathe in that fresh air and soak in the beauty of the view once you arrive.
Explore Giant’s Causeway

What should you bring to visit Giant’s Causeway?

Here’s what you can plan to pack for your half-day trip to Giant’s Causeway so you feel prepared, rain or shine.

  • Warm, water-resistant coat. Since Giant’s Causeway sits on the Atlantic Ocean, prepare to get a little wet. “The wind and mist at Giant’s Causeway was so fitting,” said Christy after visiting Giant’s Causeway on our Ireland: The Wild Atlantic Way tour. Be sure to wear a rain jacket to stay warm and dry while taking in the ambiance.
  • Sturdy sneakers. The terrain will be damp, and a good pair of shoes will help you keep your balance while walking on the wet, uneven basalt columns. Plus, you’ll have to walk from the Visitor Centre to reach the coast. “Giant’s Causeway is an amazingly beautiful natural wonder that was fun to explore,” said traveler Jeffrey after visiting on one of our Ireland tours. “It was a great place to see whether you’re able to step and climb around, or just stand back and enjoy the view.”
  • Camera. You’re going to need something to capture all those wonderful views! “Giant’s Causeway made me feel tiny and amazed at the perfect shapes that Mother Nature created,” said Group Coordinator Rosie.
  • Sense of adventure. “Giant’s Causeway was amazing,” said Robin after visiting on one of our Ireland tours. “The landscape was so unique and great for hiking and views. I loved the myths and stories surrounding the causeway. We had a broad range of abilities with walking on tour, and it seemed to offer enough variety that the most seasoned hikers were challenged and those who couldn’t walk as far could still get a lot out of the experience.”
  • Day bag. This will be helpful to store essentials, like your phone and wallet, and keep them protected if any rain showers roll in.

Visit Giant’s Causeway by adding the excursion offered on many of our Ireland tours!

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About the author | Emily Houston
Emily loves the simple travel moments—like watching hours pass by in minutes while sharing a meal and a laugh (or many) with her friends and family. Outside the office, you'll find Emily listening to anything and everything John Mayer, attempting to cook a New York Times recipe, or dreaming up her next trip.

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