On this tour, you'll traverse some of the island's most beautiful hikes around the Antrim Coast, complete with dramatic coastlines, rugged and windswept cliffs, spectacular scenery, and fabulous unspoiled 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 cliff drops and relax on beaches. Head out to the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Giant's Causeway, and then end your trip in the historically-rich city of Belfast.

Highlights

  • Walk the Giant's Causeway and learn all about the legend of Finn McCool
  • Cross the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
  • Take a black cab tour around Belfast
  • Meander the dense forest of Breen Oakwood Nature Reserve
  • Test your bravery on top of the cliffs of Fair Head

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 - Explore

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 the local pub, McCollam's, which has been owned by the same family for over five generations. Enjoy traditional music and storytelling while sitting cozy in one of the snugs, 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 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 beautifully 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.

Walk Details: 

  • Distance: 10.5 miles (17 km)
  • Duration: 5.5 hours
  • Max. Height: 1100 feet (350 m)
  • Terrain: Rocky, muddy mountain trails and grass tracks with some road walking.  The walk can be wet, so boots essential.

Day 3: Fair Head Loop Hike

Fair Head Loop Hike

This 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 car park at Fair Head Farm that can be enjoyed instead. You'll stay another night in Ballycastle.

Walk Details:
Distance: 5 miles (8 km)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Terrain: Gravel tracks with some road walking. Boots are essential.

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

Giant's Causeway

Get ready to experience one of the best coastal walks in Ireland. The 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 experience the legend of Finn McCool.

Beginning at Larrybane Visitor Centre, 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 measuring only 12ft by 6.5ft. 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.

Walk Details: 

  • Distance: 11 miles (18 km)
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Max. Height: 400 feet (120 m)
  • Terrain: Grass tracks, beaches, and road walking. Boots are recommended.

Day 5: Travel from Ballycastle to Belfast

Antrim Coastline

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 and then spend the evening enjoying the buzz of Belfast. Suggested activities include:

  • Meander the hidden side streets and stop for a Guinness at one of the many pubs (try the Crown Bar for ornate history and charming snugs).
  • Treat yourself to one of the city's most popular bistros, OX Belfast, and dine along the Lagan River.
  • Catch a late-night exhibit at The MAC and enjoy a drink in the bar.
  • Grab a coffee at a quirky favorite, Harlem Cafe.
  • See a show at the Grand Opera House or Ulster Hall.

Day 6: Explore the historic city of Belfast

Titanic Exhibition in Belfast

Today to spend your time exploring the wonderful city of Belfast. Upstaged by cities like Dublin and Galway, this often underrated city is full of life and entertainment; you just have to dig a little deeper to find it. Belfast has a little bit of everything. Whether you're a history buff or a foodie, a hiker or pub enthusiast, you'll find something to love about Belfast.

Suggested activities include:

  • Take a walk through the gardens at City Hall.
  • 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.
  • Stretch your legs by hiking 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.
  • Meander the streets around Queen's University Belfast, discovering hipster shops and cafes.

After a day of exploring, relax in a pub with a pint and enjoy Belfast's stellar nightlife. Favorites include The Dirty Onion and the Duke of York pubs.

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.