A 3 day exploration of the highlights of Northern Ireland including the iconic sites of The Giants Causeway, Belfast and the Titanic Quarter, one of the world’s great gardens at Mount Stewart, the brooding granite peaks of the Mourne Mountains and several of the dramatic locations used in the TV series “Game of Thrones”. For an in-depth insight into the wonderful scenery and history of this small country, this is the tour to choose.
Day 1 Departing Dublin at 09am you will travel north towards the border with Northern Ireland. From here it is a short journey into the city of Belfast famous for its industrial past and turbulent history. After a short tour of some of the key areas of the city you will arrive in the newly redeveloped Titanic Quarter where you will have time for lunch and perhaps a visit to the award-winning museum. Other options here include a visit to the SS Nomadic, the last surviving White Star Line steamship, the fascinating Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House or perhaps take a black cab tour of the city. Later in the afternoon you will leave the city and travel into the countryside of County Down for a visit to the world famous house and gardens at Mount Stewart before arriving in the seaside resort town of Bangor - your base for the next two nights.Day 2 Today you will follow one of the world’s great driving routes – the Causeway Coastal route through the beautiful scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens. The tour follows the coast road from Larne to the world famous Giants’ Causeway. Along the way you will makes stops in attractive historic villages such as Glenarm and Ballycastle as well as the scenic attractions such as the Cushendun Caves and the many viewpoints along this stunning coastline. In the afternoon you will have a chance to explore the incredible rock formations at the Giant’s Causeway. Several places along today’s route were used as filming location for the TV series “Game of Thrones” and the last stop of the day will be at the stunning “Dark Hedges” - make sure your camera still has some battery power left! From here you return to Bangor for another night.Day 3 Another day full of contrasts and fascinating visits starting with a trip along the Ards Peninsula – a great favorite with holiday makers from all over Northern Ireland. At Portaferry we take a boat across the mouth of Strangford Lough to visit Castle Ward with its 18th century mansion, extensive gardens and grounds, estate walks and for “Game of Thrones” enthusiasts, the location of Winterfell and other scenes. From here it is a short drive to Downpatrick, site of the burial place of St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. You will have time for lunch here and perhaps a visit to Down Cathedral or the St Patricks centre. In the afternoon the tour continues along the coast, with the brooding granite peaks of the Mourne Mountains on one side and the Irish sea on the other. After a detour into the heart of the mountains, through an area of traditional farms with their fascinating field patterns and huge stone walls you will reach the coast again on the shores of Carlingford Lough for the final stop of the day. From here you return back across the border and travel south to Dublin arriving around 7pm