On this tour, you'll experience some of Ireland's most beautiful hikes. Welcome to the Antrim Coast, complete with dramatic coastlines, windswept cliffs, spectacular scenery, and quiet beaches. Start with a walk through the dense Breen Oakwood Nature Reserve before heading to Ballycastle for a hike around Murlough and Fair Head, where you'll gaze down at breathtaking cliffs and relax on beaches. Head out to the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Giant's Causeway, then end your trip in the historic city of Belfast.

Highlights

  • Walk through beautiful scenery along the Giant's Causeway 
  • Cross a deep ravine on the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
  • Take a black cab tour around historic Belfast
  • Hike through the dense forest of Breen Oakwood Nature Reserve

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cushendall - Explore Cushendall
Day 2 Hike Orra Beg to Ballycastle Ballycastle
Day 3 Fair Head Loop Hike Ballycastle
Day 4 Hike From Larrybane to the Giant's Causeway Ballycastle
Day 5 Travel from Ballycastle to Belfast Belfast
Day 6 Explore the historic city of Belfast Belfast
Day 7 Goodbye - Departure from Belfast  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cushendall 

Hiking in Northern Ireland

Welcome to Northern Ireland! Start your Irish holiday in the wonderful seaside village of Cushendall. After getting settled into your accommodation, explore the town by walking its colorful streets, strolling the beach, and soaking in the incredible view of Tievebulliagh Mountain.

Grab a pint at a local pub, McCollam's, which has been owned by the same family for over five generations. Enjoy traditional music and storytelling while sitting in the cozy downstairs, or go upstairs for a proper meal.

Day 2: Hike Orra Beg to Ballycastle

Breen Oakwood Nature Reserve

Today you'll walk the famous Moyle Way from Orra Beg north to Ballycastle. The 12.5-mile route is divided into three sections, with the first part of the walk leading you along a forest track that follows the banks of the Glenshesk River. You'll continue on a different path, walking through the dense forest of Breen Oakwood Nature Reserve

The next section follows a rural country road along the river, offering views of Knocklayd Mountain and Coolaveely Wood. And the final part of today’s walk, which takes you into Ballycastle Forest, descends along a picturesque path and into Ballycastle, where you'll find magnificent panoramic views of Rathlin Island. As you meander the forest, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of bird and wildlife species. 

Tonight, you will stay in Ballycastle. After you check into your accommodation, take a stroll along the beach and watch surfers try their luck in the wind. Grab dinner or a drink at Central Wine Bar, a pub set in a historic Victorian building.

Day 3: Fair Head Loop Hike

Fair Head Loop Hike

This 3.4-mile hike takes you around the magnificent coastal route of Murlough and Fair Head. The path hugs the coast and offers dramatic cliff drops and views of the sea. If it's a misty day with poor visibility, there are several looped walks from the parking lot at Fair Head Farm that can be enjoyed instead. You'll stay another night in Ballycastle.

Day 4: Hike From Larrybane to the Giant's Causeway

Intriguing geology at Giant's Causeway

Get ready to experience one of the best coastal walks in Ireland. The 8.5-mile hike from Larrybane to the Giant's Causeway is a favorite due to its varied geology, views across to Scotland, and the portions of cliffs and beaches. As a bonus, you'll pass by Ireland’s smallest church and learn about the legend of Finn McCool.

Beginning at Larrybane Visitor Center, you'll start your walk towards the world-famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The bridge spans an 80-foot ravine that connects to Carrick-a-Rede Island, a must-do for every visitor. You'll find it a fitting beginning to an exhilarating day’s walk. From here, it's only a short distance via the coastal path to the little village of Ballintoy. Be sure to stop in the little harbor at the foot of the cliffs.

You'll continue through the scenic beach at White Park Bay and towards Portbraddan, stopping at Ireland’s tiniest church. Continue to the ruins of Dunseverick Castle, along the cliff path around Benbane Head, and on to the Giant’s Causeway. After hearing the myth of Finn McCool, the Irish giant taking on his Scottish rival, you'll be transferred back to Ballycastle.

Day 5: Travel from Ballycastle to Belfast

An overcast day on the Antrim Coast

After a hearty Irish breakfast, you'll enjoy a final morning on the coast before departing Ballycastle for Northern Ireland's capital city of Belfast. Settle into your accommodation before heading out to explore the city. Suggested activities include: meandering the hidden side streets, stopping for a Guinness at one of many pubs (try the Crown Bar), dining at a bistro, grabbing coffee at quirky Harlem Café, and seeing a show at the Grand Opera House or Ulster Hall.

Day 6: Explore the historic city of Belfast

Titanic Exhibition in Belfast

Today, spend more time exploring the city of Belfast. Whether you're a history buff or a foodie, a hiker or pub enthusiast, you'll find something to love here.

Take a walk through the gardens at City Hall, or go back in time at the Titanic Exhibition, one of the city's most popular attractions. Learn about the country's recent history with a black cab tour and visit the Peace Wall. Hike up to Cave Hill Country Park for panoramic views of the city and the coastline. Enjoy local foods at St. George's Market. Visit the Ulster Museum and learn all about the region of Northern Ireland, or just wander the streets around Queen's University Belfast, discovering hipster shops and cafés. After a day of exploring, relax in a pub with a pint and enjoy Belfast-style nightlife. 

Day 7: Goodbye - Departure from Belfast

Belfast City Hall

Today you'll bid farewell to beautiful Northern Ireland and continue your journey or return home. You can catch numerous international flights out of Belfast's airport, but if you prefer to fly out of Dublin, you can easily make the journey via bus in just two hours.

This 7-day trip was selected as one of Europe's best. See the complete list here