This Underrated Tourist Attraction Is A Must-Visit When Traveling To Northern Ireland

The Giant's Causeway is the jewel in Northern Ireland's crown. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's located on the Causeway coast, which is classed as an area of outstanding natural beauty. These ethereal basalt rock formations have inspired all kinds of intriguing local mythology. Legend has it that a giant named Finn McCool made the causeway to reach Scotland and fight fellow giant, Benandonner. After their clash, the Scottish giant ripped it up, leaving behind only its beginning.

The Giant's Causeway played a Transylvanian mountain in "Dracula Untold," starring Luke Evans, and appeared in several scenes from "Game of Thrones" that were shot in the surrounding area. From the capital city, Belfast, it only takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to the Giant's Causeway so it is easy to combine a visit with other iconic Northern Irish landmarks. Plus, the best way to take in the sights of coastal County Antrim is to stay overnight in this evocative spot.

Where to stay at the Giant's Causeway

The area around the Giant's Causeway truly represents the beauty of Northern Ireland as the dramatic rock formations and crashing waves showcase its natural wildness. There is plenty to do in and around the causeway, with the most popular place to stay located in the Bushmills area. Bushmills Village is world-famous for its whiskey and if you stay there you can visit the distillery or taste it in any of the local bars.

The Bushmills Inn Hotel is the top-ranked accommodation according to Tripadvisor reviews. A 4-star boutique hotel, it boasts the AA Rosette restaurant where you can enjoy incredible food next to a roaring fire. Bayview Hotel is another well-reviewed option with stunning views of the wild Atlantic Ocean. 

If you love the coast, you can stay in the National Trust's Carrick-a-Rede fishermen's cottage next to the famous rope bridge. It's also possible to visit the causeway on a day trip from Belfast. There are a variety of tours to choose from, several of which include locations from "Game of Thrones."

What to do at the Giant's Causeway

The causeway coastal path has plenty to see for all those who walk along it. It costs $16-19 for an adult ticket to visit the Giant's Causeway depending on the season. This includes entrance to the National Trust visitor center, which provides tons of information about its history. From here, visitors can stroll along a short coastal track and admire the iconic hexagonal rock formations. Further along the coast and also owned by the National Trust is a 200-year-old rope bridge that connects the mainland to the Carrick-a-Rede island and forms part of a coast trail with even more breathtaking views. 

From here you can see seabirds like guillemots and razorbills as well as dolphins, porpoises, and basking sharks in the ocean. The best sandy beach in the area is White Park Bay which features ancient dunes and wild orchids in summertime. Otters are also often spotted here hunting in the ocean. For history lovers, there are two ruins on either side of the causeway path, Dunseverick Castle and Dunluce Castle. 

If you're a film buff, "Game of Thrones" shot at nearby Larrybane Quarry and Ballintoy Harbour on the coastal road. Likewise, the Fullerton Arms has one of the carved doors with a scene from the show, made from a felled tree from the Bregagh Road Dark Hedges. Each and every step on the causeway has a story to tell and that's what makes it such a compelling place to visit.