Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route: 5 Best Stops

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If you’re like us and you find yourself running short on time while road tripping around Ireland, you may opt to take a tour along the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland instead of driving there. After spending 11 days road tripping along the Wild Atlantic Way, we headed into Dublin to return our car and see the city.

This afforded us the chance to take a day tour to Northern Ireland.

There are a lot of options available when it comes to selecting day trips from Dublin, so be sure to do your research, read reviews and chose a company that suits your travel style.

For us, that perfect came from Paddy Wagon Tours and involved a full day tour visiting the Causeway Coast, Giant’s Causeway, Game of Thrones movie sites and the historic city of Belfast.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Ireland (Travel Guide)

Top Stops on the Causeway Coastal Route

Dark Hedges Game of Thrones- Causeway Coastal Route

The Dark Hedges- Game of Thrones Movie Site

Game of Thrones is a hot item these days and that was apparent as we rolled up the country back roads towards the infamous Dark Hedges. The hedges themselves are instantly stunning with their contrast to the green fields around them but it is hard to not be distracted by the troves of people walking down the road.

Wandering down between the towering trees left me imagining what it would be like to visit this place when nobody else was there.

The trees really are stunning and it’s easy to see why they used this site for the Game of Thrones set. The trees themselves transport you back in time and the estate that they lead to sets up the perfect atmosphere for a visit.

Remember to enjoy the visit, linger a while in the back of the crowd and just enjoy your chase to witness such a sight.

Our top recommended tours including The Dark Hedges:

Causeway Coast Northern Ireland

Causeway Coastal Route Views

Upon leaving Dublin our driver warned us that the weather is often fickle and unreliable on the north coast. Despite how nice the weather may be in Dublin it is possible to arrive on the coast and have rain and blinding fog.

However, we had the luck of the Irish with us that day and arrived at a crystal clear, sunny coastline.

This afforded us clear views of the coast all the way to Scotland. This meant we added some photo stops to the tour to take in the views. It was really a sight to behold, standing in the northernmost part of Ireland on a clear day.

The water was bright blue, the grass green and the flowers blooming while the blue waters crashed softly against the cliffs.

Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge Causeway Coast Ireland

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

If you’re looking to add a little exercise to the trip and adrenaline, if you are unsure of heights, then be sure the make the hike to the Carrick-A-Rede Bridge. The bus will stop here, but participation is optional.

The hike is lovely, taking you along the coast with great scenery and eventually ends at a tiny suspension bridge that allows you to cross over to the island of Carrick. The bridge is narrow and airy creating a thrill when the wind picks up a little.

We opted to stay on the land side and hiked up even farther to the top of the cliff for some aerial type views of the bridge and coast.

Our top recommended tours including Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge:

Giants Causeway Ireland Divergent Travelers

Giants Causeway

There is much lore that surrounds the history of Giant’s Causeway and it’s creation. While science has proven that these rocks were formed during a volcanic explosion and years of waves crashing against them, the locals have a different theory.

There is a local lore that tells the tale of the giant, Fin MacCool, who built a bridge between Ireland and Scotland to confront his archrival, Benandonner.

After meeting Benandonner he became scared of the giant and fled back to Ireland where Benandonner followers only to be told that the hiding Finn was, in fact, a baby. Seeing this, the Scottish giant thought he must be a huge father and fled back to Scotland destroying the bridge.

No matter what story you believe, it is a sight you must-see on a trip to Ireland.

Our top recommended tours including Giants Causeway:

Belfast Northern Ireland


Rounding out the day was a stop in the iconic city of Belfast. I wasn’t sure what to expect here and our driver did a fantastic job of telling us the history and lore of the city while also helping us get a feel for the transition it has weathered over the centuries.

We were dropped at City Hall and given free time to explore the city. Some of the people on our bus had arranged an optional Black Taxi tour of the city, which takes you into the off-limits areas of the city, but this isn’t a standard option on this tour due to time constraints.

We spent our time walking about the CBD and just taking in the beautiful buildings and atmosphere.

Our top recommended tours including Belfast:

Paddywagon Tours Ireland

Back to Dublin

It was a long day but one that we will never forget. I think the highlights for us were without a doubt Giant’s Causeway, the Dark Hedges and the clear sunny day we had of the Causeway Coast that allowed us some spectacular views.

Of course, if you are looking for a reliable bus operator that will give you a jam packed day with great sights and good banter, we can certainly recommend Paddy Wagon Tours and their Causeway Trip.

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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2 thoughts on “Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route: 5 Best Stops”

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