Antrim Coast & Giant’s Causeway
Legend has it that the Irish giant, Finn McCool, constructed what is now known as the Giant’s Causeway so he could cross the sea to Scotland and thus be with his lady love. The Giant’s Causeway is the centerpiece of today’s outing, made all the more exciting with photo stops at Dunluce Castle and an excellent photo opportunity from the viewing point overlooking Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
DurationApproximately 8½ hours
Leaving Belfast behind, your journey will take you along the spectacular Antrim Coast Road, site of some of the world’s most spectacular and unspoiled scenery. Your motor coach will pass the towns and villages of Larne, Glenarm, Cushendall, known as the Capital of the Glens and Ballycastle, host of the annual Oul Lammas Fair before arriving for your photo stop overlooking the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Connecting the coast to a small island, the bridge is slung across a deep chasm and hangs 80 feet above the sea. Breathe in the sea air and snap a few pictures from the viewing point.
After lunch at a local hotel, your motor coach will arrive at Northern Ireland’s premium visitor attraction that is the Giant’s Causeway. The causeway’s 40,000 stone columns, mostly hexagonal, formed millions of years ago with the cooling of molten lava. In addition to their sheer number, what makes the columns so fascinating is their uniformity. It is as if the columns were carved by human hands, or perhaps truly by a giant.
Exploring the cobblestone-like paths, it will be easy to see why Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a National Site and a National Nature Reserve. The summer of 2012 marked the opening of the new Visitor Center at the Giant’s Causeway. This
new interpretative Center allows you to decide for yourself which explanation of how the causeway’s 40,000 basalt stones were formed is most likely (or simply most interesting!) Stories about the area’s rich mythology, history, geology, flora and fauna will paint the Causeway in your mind’s eye before you make your way to the stones themselves.
Perched on a rocky headland further along the Antrim Coast are the ruins of the dramatic and picturesque Dunluce Castle. Dating to the 14th century, the castle has long since lost its roof. Its two towers and much of the walls remain intact, however, and the castle’s location on the craggy coast makes it as beautiful as ever. A stop will be made for you to photograph the castle.
You will return via the inland route of Bushmills and Ballymena arriving back in Belfast to rejoin your Crystal ship.
Although guests will have the opportunity to photograph the rope bridge from the viewing point above, you will not be able to walk across it. As this excursion involves walking over uneven surfaces, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. It is recommended that guests dress in warm, layered clothing and wear flat, comfortable shoes. Guests should also bring raingear in case of inclement weather. The order of sights visited may vary. A minimum number of bookings is required for this excursion to operate. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.