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The allure of the Causeway Coast is hard to resist. This is a place of sweeping cliffs and towering castles, ancient sites and wild geology. To one side, swirling Atlantic waves crash against the bottom of the cliffs, and on the other, pretty emerald hills rolling out to the horizon. Walk along the wild stones of the Giant’s Causeway, one of Ireland’s most iconic landscapes and home to fascinating folklore. Get your fill of rugged hills and mountains in the magical Mourne Mountains, a collection of wild peaks surrounding quiet valleys and reservoirs, and island hop over to Rathlin Island with it’s resident bird colony.
This small group guided tour explores the beauty of Northern Ireland, journeying along its coastlines, mountains and villages. Accompanied by your guide, they will interpret the landscape of Northern Ireland, share local history and folklore such as that of the giant Fionn MacCool, and bring you to some of the region’s best eateries.
Meeting in Belfast this morning, you will travel south into the Mountains of Mourne. The highest and most dramatic mountain range in the northern part of Ireland, these mountains and hills are riddled with 18th century smuggler’s routes and its peaks capped with dramatic granite tors. Divided into two distinct sections, the High and Low Mournes, our afternoon walk starts near the coast and takes in some of the spectacular sea views that this part of the Mourne Mountains are known for, as well as panoramic views across the central Mourne peaks. (L)
Hike details: 6 km/ 4 miles | approx. 3 hours
Your guide will choose a route in the stunning scenery of the central Mournes today, with the goal of summiting at least one of the Mourne region’s majestic peaks. While many flock to the highest point of this mountain range, we prefer instead to uncover and share some of the less familiar territory and hidden gems of the region. Expect quiet slopes, picturesque valleys dotted with lakes and sheep on a backdrop of jagged silhouettes. Today your route will intersect with the Mourne Wall, a 22-mile dry-stone wall that traverses the whole range. Requiring 18 years to build, the desolate Mourne Wall is as much an iconic part of the Mournes as the soaring granite peaks. Our aim is to take in some of the 15 peaks along the wall’s path, absorbing views of lake-filled valleys and the sea beyond. (B,L)
Hike details: 11 – 16 km/ 7 – 10 miles Depending on route | approx. 5 – 6 hours
Leaving the mountains behind, we head north to the Causeway Coast in North Antrim, a National Trust-managed coastline of outstanding beauty. Picking up a packed lunch in Ballycastle, we’ll follow the first part of the Causeway Coast Way, a way-marked long-distance trail that follows 33 miles of coastline. This lesser-travelled section of the trail is full of hidden corners, from isolated white sand coves to ruined fortresses and tumble down cottages. The landscape inspired CS Lewis’s Narnia and eagle-eyed Game of Thrones fans will delight in spotting familiar scenes. (B,L)
Hike details: 10 km/ 6.5 miles | approx. 3-4 hours
Many tales of myth and mystery surround Rathlin Island, with the legend of Robert the Bruce perhaps the most famous. In 1306, the Scottish king was driven from Scotland by Edward I of England and took refuge on Rathlin Island where he watched a spider attempting to bridge a gap with its web. Eventually it succeeded. Taking heart from the spider’s efforts, he returned to Scotland and eventually regained his crown. Sailing to this rugged little island today, our hiking loop takes in the bird sanctuary, home to an adorable resident puffin colony when in season, the stunning island coast, sea stacks, and the picturesque west lighthouse. (B,L)
Hike details: 8 km/ 5 miles | approx. 3 hours
We start the next section of the Causeway Coast Way at the pretty harbour at Ballintoy – a place so charming it’s tempting to sit here all day. From here, the landscape that unfolds is increasingly dramatic as the miles go by. Expect to walk one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches and along dramatic cliffs with unobstructed views across the sea to Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. Your walk ends along the fascinating geological phenomenon, the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Legend has it that a Scottish giant hurled abuse across the waters at the Irish giant, Fionn MacCool. In order to have a proper fight, Fionn built a causeway over to Scotland – now our Giant’s Causeway today. (B,L,D)
Hike details: 15 km/ 9 miles | approx. 4 hours
After a relaxing morning and perhaps the opportunity to enjoy another short walk locally your guide will leave you back in Belfast where we highly recommend extending your stay to get to know this fascinating city. (B)
Extend your trip:
If you wish to stay on in Belfast or Northern Ireland for a night or two get in touch, we are happy to arrange an extension on your trip for you.
This hiking trip features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort in Northern Ireland. Expect small, comfortable and characterful lodging in B&Bs, family-run hotels or guesthouses, both in small towns as well as in rural communities. Accommodation is a choice of double or twin rooms, which are en-suite with a shower. Depending on the day’s itinerary, evening meals will be taken either in your accommodation, in town, or at a different location.
Each morning, enjoy a homemade breakfast of your choice at your accommodation. Lunch will be taken either in a cafe or a Wilderness Picnic along your hiking route. Your guide will provide water and tasty Irish snacks throughout the week. Your guide can provide suggestions for evening meals.
|Trip Dates for 2021||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|15th May - 20th May 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||€1,395||Book Now|
|26th Jun - 1st Jul 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||€1,395||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
Our resident Northern gal, Eimear loves everything outdoors, from gardening to climbing and cycling. As a member of the Operations Team, Eimear is in charge of trip logistics throughout Ireland and knows everywhere from Connemara to Kerry to the Causeway Coast like the back of her hand.
- Eimear QuinnAsk Eimear a Question
Green Grades 1-3
Our hiking trips range from very straightforward low-level hikes to trips that include more challenging itineraries which will take you to a new mountain top each day.
Our green graded trips include shorter hikes, with few ascents, and are generally over smoother (but usually not paved) terrain. We include more cultural stops along the way and walk at a leisurely pace.
Often our green graded trips include hikes in flatter coastal areas or in valleys, and will last around 2-4 hours each day. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:
Can you comfortably hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascents, over generally good terrain?
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