Giant’s Causeway is located in the County Antrim in Northern Ireland and is the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. And while day trips from Dublin to Giant’s Causeway are anything but volcanic, they do provide an opportunity to visit the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site and national nature reserve is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. It provides a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of Dublin, with visitors able to soak in 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that need to be seen to be believed.
How to get to Giant’s Causeway from Dublin, and how long does it take?
Giant’s Causeway is around 260km from Dublin and takes upwards of two-and-a-half hours depending on the mode of transport.
Travelling by car is the fastest way, with travel time coming in at around two hours and 50 minutes.
There is a train route, starting at Connolly Station, which goes to Belfast Lanyon Place. From here, you will need to take another train to Coleraine and then a bus to Giant’s Causeway. It should take you about 4 hours.
How much do guided tours from Dublin to Giant's Causeway cost?
Day trips from Dublin to Giant’s Causeway vary in price, depending on the type of tour. The most popular tours include a visit to Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede-Rope Bridge, with day trips starting at €50 which are inclusive of travel.
Other tours include a combination of Giant’s Causeway and other attractions in Northern Ireland, such as Belfast City. These tours tend to start from €75. If you decide to combine with other excursions, expect to pay upwards of €100 depending on the type of day trip you choose.
Transport is included with the majority of tours, though pick-up and drop-off locations vary. Some pick-up points are from your hotel, while others are at prominent meeting points in Dublin.
When is the best time to visit Giant’s Causeway?
You can visit the Giant's Causeway all year round. Northern Ireland has traditional seasons, with November to March the colder times of the year. April to June represent pleasant temperatures, while July and August are the hottest months (20-plus celsius). September and October represent cooler months. The spring and summer months offer the clearest views across the Atlantic Ocean.
What will you see?
The largest of the three rock outcrops that make up Giant’s Causeway, Grand Causeway is one of the primary contributors to Giant’s Causeway receiving its UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1986. It was formed between 60 and 65 million years ago and today offers visitors the chance to stand on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and take in all its glory.
The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is included with many day trips from Dublin to Giant’s Causeway and offers a chance to walk across part of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s almost 100 feet high and is over 350 years old. Enjoy spectacular views across the ocean while walking the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
The result of an international architecture competition, the Visitor Centre was officially opened in July 2012. The award-winning building has many design innovation and sustainability awards bestowed upon it for its cutting-edge design. It was created by Dublin-based architects Heneghan Peng, who won the £20 million commission.
The bay at Giant’s Causeway is known for the Giant’s Boot which, as folklore will tell you, was lost by Finn MacCool - a gentle giant who lived in Ireland. The boot is located in Port Offer, and it is said to be an astonishing 93.5 in size. Visitors can take pictures and let their imagination run wild as to how the boot-shaped rock structure formed. Was it actually a giant by the name of Finn MacCool?
The tale goes something like this: there was a camel, who was a living and lively beast. That was until it was turned to stone at the bottom of the cliffs - where it resides today. Apparently, The Camel was the only steed of the required size to carry Finn MacCool, who finds himself deep-rooted in the folklore of Giant's Causeway. In reality, The Camel is a basaltic dyke, which is formed from cooling lava that has pushed its way through other layers of rock.
Once upon a time, only ladies were allowed to sit in the Wishing Chair. A natural throne, the Wishing Chair is one of the most famous landmarks at Giant’s Causeway and is formed from a perfectly arranged set of columns. These days the basalt stones on the chair are shiny, smooth and comfortable, thanks to the number of times it has been sat on over the years.
The Clifftop Experience provides the opportunity for those on day trips from Dublin to Giant's Causeway to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site from a unique perspective. The five-mile hike offers an alternative route with many undiscovered sweeping views of the coastline.
Giant’s Causeway is a hikers dream and features many walking routes that allow you to see the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Green Trail offers one of the less busy hikes away from the crowds. This trail incorporates views of the stones, and you can even see Scotland in the far distance.
The Red Trail is a walk along the cliff tops and offers majestic views of the Causeway Coast and North Channel. Walk to the Amphitheatre viewpoint before standing at the top of Shepherd’s Steps, where you have the chance to take in the outstanding surroundings.
One of the most popular hikes at Giant’s Causeway, the Blue Trail takes you straight to the world-famous stones. Enjoy dramatic cliff views that look directly onto the Atlantic Ocean, stop at the famous Windy Gap, and see the hardcore gravel surface just before you reach the stones.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes as there will be plenty of trails for a hike.
- Waterproof jackets are also recommended as you may get some splash from the waves.