Best of Ballycastle

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Ballycastle
Set along a scenic stretch of Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, Ballycastle is a small town that draws holiday makers from across the UK during the summer months. The shoreline near town is the big draw, and you’ll find dozens of appealing beaches, including Ballycastle Strand, just a short walk from the center of Ballycastle. The town itself has an impressive architectural heritage, with more than 50 buildings dating back to the 18th century. Just north of Ballycastle, the ruins of Kinbane Castle have a fairytale-esque location on a headland jutting into the sea. 

The Causeway Coast is packed with highlights. Near Ballintoy, you can venture across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge out to a tiny island. The narrow 66-foot (20-m) suspension bridge is set high above the crashing waves and has magnificent views over the rugged seaside. The Giants Causeway also draws big crowds. Stretching along the wave-battered shoreline, the otherworldly stone columns indeed look like the handiwork of giants, and you’ll have limitless photo opportunities of this unusual Unesco World Heritage Site. Ballycastle is fast becoming one of the top culinary destinations in the region, and you can taste local produce while visiting scenic spots along the shore on a Toast the Coast food tour.
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Antrim Coast
Map of Dublin, Northern Ireland & the Isle of Islay - 8 Days
Dublin, Northern Ireland & the Isle of Islay - 8 Days

Combine the energetic capitals of Ireland and Northern Ireland with beautifully wild coastal adventures and remote island-hopping day trips on this well-rounded eight-day self-drive discovery. You'll go from the historical streets of Dublin to buzzing Belfast and on to the castles, waterfalls, and magnificent scenery of Antrim. Leave the mainland behind to explore the traditional islands of Rathlin and Islay—which lies in the Scottish Hebrides—before ultimately returning to Dublin.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Map of Hike the Antrim Coast: Ballycastle to Belfast - 7 Days
Hike the Antrim Coast: Ballycastle to Belfast - 7 Days

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.

Northern Ireland's Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Map of Antrim Coast and Glens Hike - 5 Days
Antrim Coast and Glens Hike - 5 Days

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.

Check out Northern Ireland's Dunluce Castle
Map of Northern Ireland & The West Road Trip - 9 Days
Northern Ireland & The West Road Trip - 9 Days

Discover the treasures of Ireland and Northern Ireland during this nine-day self-drive adventure. Explore crumbling castles and ancient monasteries, sail to a historic Scottish island, and follow in the legendary footsteps of giants. Set off on cliffside treks and visit beautiful waterfalls—tackle the trail to the amazing secret waterfall if you dare. There's a modern side to this trip, too, with visits to thriving cities where you can hit the shops, stroll the streets, and take your pick of cutting-edge restaurants.

Kick off the trip in Northern Ireland as you drive along the scenic Antrim Coast
Map of Irish Self-Drive Adventure: Belfast to Dublin - 11 Days
Irish Self-Drive Adventure: Belfast to Dublin - 11 Days

Explore the cities, coast, villages, and countryside of Ireland's north on this active 11-day adventure. It begins in Belfast with city tours, followed by a road trip to highlights like the Antrim Coast, Giant's Causeway, and Glenveigh National Park. After sampling fine Irish whiskeys at the Bushmills Distillery, you'll visit castles and hill forts on your way to colorful Galway, eventually finishing the trip on the wild streets of Dublin.

Walk up to a waterfall in Northern Ireland at Glenariff Forest Park
Map of Best of Northern & Western Ireland - 13 Days
Best of Northern & Western Ireland - 13 Days

This exciting self-guided road trip creates a major loop through the upper half of the Emerald Isle, hitting an impressive number of key attractions along the way. Start your adventure in Dublin and Belfast before heading counterclockwise along the northern coast, west to County Donegal, and south on the Wild Atlantic Way. Active types will appreciate the many opportunities to hike among Ireland's awe-inspiring scenery—and your feet will be rewarded with a luxury castle stay at the end of the trip.

Stop for a photo-op at Antrim's Dark Hedges
Map of Family-Friendly Travels in Northern Ireland & the West - 14 Days
Family-Friendly Travels in Northern Ireland & the West - 14 Days

This two-week family adventure starts with a drive from Dublin to Belfast, Northern Ireland's capital city. Learn about the historic HMS Titanic and see the murals of Belfast's Peace Walls, then visit the natural wonders of the Giant's Causeway and Antrim Waterfalls. Tour a working sheep farm, see wild deer in Glenveagh National Park, and explore the night skies at County Mayo's Dark Sky Park. Your trip ends back in Dublin with the interactive EPIC Museum and the city's many family-friendly parks.

Wild Atlantic Way
Map of Ireland Self-Guided Cycling Tour: Wild Atlantic Way - 8 Days
Ireland Self-Guided Cycling Tour: Wild Atlantic Way - 8 Days

Explore the most scenic roads of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way on this self-guided cycling tour. Meet friendly locals and take time to immerse yourself in Irish culture. On this excursion, you will discover breathtaking beaches, rugged cliff-lined coastlines, and majestic mountains. Spend your evenings in the homes of traditional Irish hosts, where you will learn the local, Irish way of life and be treated to warm hospitality!

The unusual geology at Giant's Causeway
Map of Northern Ireland by Bike: Donegal, Glenveagh National Park & Giant's Causeway -14 Days
Northern Ireland by Bike: Donegal, Glenveagh National Park & Giant's Causeway -14 Days

Explore the northernmost point of Ireland on this self-guided cycling tour full of country roads, sea breezes, and rich Irish culture. Begin in lively Donegal to explore the town's music-filled pubs and castle ruins, then make your way down the Atlantic coast. You'll see Assarancagh Waterfall, Doon Lough Fort, and Glenveagh National Park on your way, stopping in welcoming towns like Letterkenny to break the journey. Wrap it all up with a tour of one of the world's oldest whiskey distilleries and a walk around Giant's Causeway.

Cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Ballycastle
Map of Northern Ireland & the West Coast - 13 Days
Northern Ireland & the West Coast - 13 Days

Experience highlights of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on this adventure-filled 13-day trip. Pick up your SUV rental car in Dublin and drive counterclockwise, first to Belfast, then on to the dramatic northern Causeway Coast, and down the west coast's Wild Atlantic Way. There'll be castles and culture aplenty, but the driving itself is one of the stars of the show, with spectacular views of mountains, lakes, cliffs, and sweeping beaches.

Other popular travel destinations in Ireland
Dublin · County Kerry · Killarney · Galway · Dingle Peninsula · Doolin · Dingle Town · Northern Ireland · Cork · Killarney National Park · Belfast · Kenmare · County Cork · Kinsale · Westport · Donegal · Birr · Tralee · Letterkenny · Laragh · Clifden · Sligo · Limerick · Aran Islands · Kilkenny · Waterford · Donegal town · Portmagee