Spend five days exploring Northern Ireland's beautiful north coast. Featuring the Glens of Antrim, the Giant's Causeway, historic castles, attractive beaches, and a Bushmill's distillery where you can taste local whiskey—and even take home a bottle with your name on it.


  • Step into the past at Dunluce Castle
  • Sample locally made whiskey at Bushmill Distillery
  • Explore an ancient volcanic wonder at Giants Causeway
  • Walk over a deep ravine on the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belfast Belfast
Day 2 Belfast to Ballycastle Ballycastle
Day 3 Rathlin Island Ballycastle
Day 4 Causeway Coast Bushmills
Day 5 Travel day to Belfast & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Belfast

Modern architecture in Belfast

Touch down in Ireland at Belfast International Airport. Pick up your rental car and drive into the city. Go on a short walking tour, visit the Titanic Center, and have a pint of beer in a local pub to start the trip off right.

Day 2: Belfast to Ballycastle

The fairytale-like Dark Hedges in County Antrim

Today you will make your way from Belfast to the northern coast, traveling through the Glens of Antrim. Just outside the city, stop at Laurel View Equestrian Center for a 45-minute horse riding lesson. Then continue north to the world-renowned Dark Hedges, just south of Ballycastle, before reaching your accommodations for the next two nights.

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Day 3: Rathlin Island

Sweeping views over the harbor

Today, take the ferry to Rathlin Island on the Sea of Moyle. This island is six miles long, one mile wide, and L-shaped—and it's home to a slowly increasing population of around 140 people.

A short walk from the harbor is the Boathouse Visitor Center, where visitors can learn about island history and see artifacts from shipwrecks in the area. Enjoy one of the many walks the island has to offer, strolling along the shore to Mill Bay to see resident seals basking in the sun, or rent a bike to pedal around. Depending on your return time, you may be able to visit the Bushmills Distillery today for a drink or two at the end of the day.

Day 4: Causeway Coast

Historic Bushmills Distillery

Today, you'll explore the stunning Antrim coastline. Travel west along the coast to visit Dunluce Castle, Fair Head, and walk across Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Portrush, Mussenden Temple, Portstewart Strand, and the Giants Causeway before returning to Bushmills. If you haven't been to the distillery yet, now's the time to go and see how this famous whiskey is made. You can even buy a bottle with your name on it.

Day 5: Travel day to Belfast & Depart

Morning light on the sea

After a final breakfast and farewell at Bushmills, you'll begin your journey to Belfast to return your rental car. Safe travels!

More Great 5-Day Ireland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Ireland? Check out these other 5-day Ireland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of Antrim Coast and Glens Hike - 5 Days
Map of Antrim Coast and Glens Hike - 5 Days