The magical corner of the North
Northern Ireland is a destination to which, undoubtedly, you will want to return. The best way to get to know Northern Ireland is to get lost on the roads that meander along the coast, with breathtaking views and steep cliffs that will leave you breathless. Wild mountains, splendid lakes … Multiple landscapes will welcome you from Dublin to beyond the Donegal region. Neolithic monuments and curious rock formations will surprise you along the way, such as the geological wonder Giant’s Causeway. We invite you to discover some places of legend that have inspired writers and you will fall in love from the first moment.
Day 1: Dublin. HEAD NORTH
Regular flight lands in the capital of the Emerald Isle. When you arrive at the airport in the Irish capital, collect your car at the rental agency. Remember that in Ireland they drive on the left. You have the rest of the day at your disposal to get lost in the bustling street of Dublin, to practice a little English with the hospitable citizens or to prepare the details of the next days. Begin your adventure, heading north.
Day 2: Dublin – Baoyne Valley – Belfast. A HISTORICAL AND WILD WAY TO BELFAST
After a good breakfast, it’s time to head to Belfast in your rental car. At your own pace, we recommend that you enjoy the road and the wonderful landscapes making stops in small towns alony the way. Thus, in the Boyne Valley, you can make a stop to discover the interpretive center of Brú na Bóinne, where you will find a detailed explanation of the Neolithic monuments of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. Before arriving in Belfast, you can visit Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland. The rugged mountains, splendid lakes and the dramatic coastline make it the ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. Your accommodation awaits you in Belfast
Day 3: Belfast – Antrim Region. BELFAST, FROM THE NORTHERN CAPITAL TO THE BOOTS OF THE GIANTS
The third day, you will wake up in the capital of Northern Ireland. There is no time to waste, take advantage of this morning to discover the city of Belfast, located in a picturesque setting between the mountains and the coast, and learn the history of a town that has managed to overcome more than 20 years of conflict. Do not forget to visit the four Victorian city districts: The Cathedral Quarter, the Titanic Quarter, the University Quarter and the Gaeltacht Quarter. After a break, it is time to return to the car to continue along the northern route, along the coast through the nine gorges of Antrim, to reach the feature known as the Giant’s Causeway, an impressive place that dazzles whoever visits, where thousands of columns of volcanic stone (almost all hexagonal and large) are joined together, stepped down the mountain slope and sinking into the sea, which has given rise to many legends about its creation. Accommodation.
Day 4: County Antrim. 400 YEARS OLD WITH MALTA
After breakfast you have all day to continue enjoying this magnificent region, which offers sublime landscapes, an exceptionally beautiful coast, historical castles, beautiful glens and bustling cities. The road through which you will drive meanders to the northeastern edge of the island, with breathtaking views from the high cliffs. If you are curious about how whiskey is made, we woud recommend you pay a visit to the oldest distillery in the world at Bushmills. Four centuries of history and tradition guarantee the production of this precious drink. Accommodation
Day 5: Region of Antrim – Derry – Region of Donegal DERRY OR LONDONDERRY?
After breakfast, head in your rental car to the city of Derry (as the Catholics know it) or Londonderry (as the Protestants call it). It is a walled city that was built following the schemes of the Roman camps, on the banks of the river Foyle. You can not miss its fortified square and the award-winning Tower Museum, which offers a complete view of the city’s history from pre-Hispanic times to the present day. Then it is time to continue the march towards the Donegal Region, following the coast road you will pass by small cliffs, rugged landscapes and perfect spots for lovers of photography and nature. Accommodation.
Day 6: Region of Donegal – Sligo STOP TO DISCOVER
We invite you to marvel at one of the less visited areas of Ireland, but by no means less interesting, the counties of Donegal and Sligo. There you can see places like Lake Fermanagh, Enniskillen, the the Marble Arch Caves or the majestic castle of Coole. Let yourself be seduced by Sligo’s incredible mix of history and breathtaking scenery. Filled with literary history, Sligo is one of the most picturesque counties in the north-west which inspired WB Yeats’ poetry, and boasts beautiful mountain scenery like clear lakes and wonderful beaches perched on the edge of the Atlantic. Sligo town in contrast, however, is a small, bustling and lively town with good restaurants where you can enjoy succulent food and shops to make you remember your getaway in Northern Ireland.
Day 7: Sligo – Dublin – END OF THE TRIP HEAD SOUTH
After a week of cliffs, castles, green landscapes and lively localities, it is time to make your way way south. You can use it to stop at the points you missed or to take pictures in a different light. Enjoy the journey, let the beauty of the road be engraved in your memory and say goodbye to the highlands of Ireland. When you arrive in Dublin where you will spend the night, you still have one night in the capital to take advantage of the last hours in a good restaurant or buy the last of your souveneirs.
Day 8: Dublin – THE FAREWELL OF AN UNFORGETTABLE WEEK
Last breakfast on the Emerald Isle. Head towards the airport, sure the road looks familiar, but after 7 days of intense adventures, you will feel that you are much more than a visitor. You will be comfortable on the Irish roads and you will notice that thousands of wonderful memories come back in your suitcase. We hope you have enjoyed the trip!
VISITING ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD
Discover the lively student atmosphere of Trinity College Dublin
Personalities such as Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde studied here
Did you know that Trinity College Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland and one of the most prestigious in the world? Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, international personalities such as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and Samuel Beckett passed through their classrooms.
Its rich library condenses the cultural wealth of the city, whose crown jewel is the “Book of Kells”. And it is that Trinity owns the largest collection of manuscripts and printed books in Ireland. Since 1801, Trinity Library has received a copy of all the works published in Ireland and Great Britain, thanks to which it currently has almost three million books distributed in eight buildings.
TRADITION AND MODERNISM IN AN ATTRACTIVE UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENT
During your visit we recommend that you get lost in all its corners, relax in its small parks, admire its elegant buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries that contrast with contemporary sculptures such as Henry Moore and soak up the university atmosphere.
As soon as you enter the main door you will find the bell tower, about 30 meters in height, designed by Edward Lanyon and erected in 1853 in the place where the center of the old monastery is believed to have been. On the north side of the square stands the chapel, designed by William Chambers and finished in 1799. You can only see its interior by previously arranging a guided tour.
The Dining Hall, the Library Square, the Douglas Hyde Gallery, the Science Gallery and the Samuel Beckett Theater are just some of the attractions of this academic campus which offers the visitor a traditional and modern city.
- The visit to Trinity College is a must-see during a trip to Dublin. It is so enjoyable to walk around the campus admiring the buildings that compose it, besides going back to the past with the books of the Old Library, or to contemplate the magnificent work of art of the Book of Kells.
- The price for the Old Library and Book of Kells are approximately 11 euros.
GET TO KNOW ALL THE DETAILS OF HIS HISTORY AND PRODUCTION
Visit the iconic Guinness Storehouse
From the Gravity Bar you can savour Dublin while tasting one of the best beers in the world
If you are a beer lover, you can not leave Dublin without visiting the Guinness Storehouse, one of the most authentic places in the city. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to find out informaiton about the history and production of the most favoured drink in these lands. Its reddish color, its characteristic smell and its intense flavor have made of the pint one of the preferred pleasures of Dubliners. The visit to the Guinness Storehouse begins on the ground floor of the main building, which you will recognise for its curious form of enormous pint of beer. Here you can see the copy of the brewery lease signed by Arthur Guinness in 1759 for 9,000 years and an interesting exhibition where you will know all the secrets surrounding the four ingredients that make up the beer: water, hops, barley and yeast.
On the first floor, the process of brewing is explained. A large room contains the old machinery used in the factory: a mill, a toaster, a alembic and giant wooden barrels. For its part, the second floor offers the visitor an interesting tour through the history of this emblematic beer that you will know thanks to the advertising campaigns developed by Guinness throughout history. On the third floor visitors are offered the possibility to test their knowledge about alcohol through different interactive games. On the fourth floor an exhibition tells the history of the building, from 1904 until its conversion in 2000 into a visitor center.
At end of this excursion on the fifth floor, visitors are offered the chance to pull their own pint, giving them a diploma that credits their skills. The tour finishes on the roof of the building, known as Gravity Bar, a pleasant place from which you can admire the views of the city while tasting a pint on the house. A unique experience.
- Open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (July and August from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.).
- Admission costs € 20.
ENJOY ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING SCENES IN IRELAND
Discover all the secrets of Dublin aboard a boat
River excursions along the River Liffey, a new and fun way to see the sights
Embark on a leisurely cruise and discover all the secrets of the River Liffey and the charming city of Dublin. While you enjoy some of the country’s most beautiful scenery, you will learn from an expert guide the history of this city, since the arrival of the Vikings, 1000 years ago, the apogee and development of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the rehabilitation of the Dublin quays and the many attractions that have turned this city into one of the main European capitals. During the crossing, you will cross the symbolic Ha’penny Bridge, the majestic Custom House, the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal, as well as discovering that much of modern Dublin sits on land reclaimed from the sea, which includes Trinity College and The Spire on O’Connell Street.
- Approximately 45 minutes.
- The ship has the capacity to accommodate 48 passengers and offers all the facilities and services that guarantee a comfortable and safe voyage. The boat is ready for rain.
RELAX IN THE CITY’S BEAUTIFUL GREEN SPACE
Walk the Phoenix Park or go by bike
Get to know the largest urban park in Europe
With more than 700 hectares of extension, the Phoenix Park is the largest urban park in Europe. Created in 1662 as a deer reserve, in 1745 it was remodeled and opened to the public. Located just a few miles from Dublin city centre, the Phoenix Park is an important green space for the city, as well as a pleasant place to bike.
We recommend you visit the following points:
1. Phoenix Monument. It is a small column crowned by a sculpture of the mythical bird, a Phoenix, that gives name to the park
2. Dublin Zoo. Visiting the zoo, one of the oldest in the world, is always a good option to enjoy nature in the middle of the city. Frequented by locals and tourists from all over the world, it was inaugurated in 1830 with a single resident: a wild boar.
3. Papal Cross. Discover this cross located in the place where in 1979 the Pope celebrated a mass before a million followers.
4. Wellington Monument. Take a picture of yourself in front of this obelisk which is 63 meters in height, erected in honor to the Duke of Wellington. It took more than 40 years to build.
5. Áras an Uachtaráin. The official residence of the President of Ireland.
6. People’s Garden is the only gardened and cultivated part of the park. You will find it next to the Park Gate entrance
- The park is open all day. You will need between three to four hours to visit it.
BRÚ NA BOINNE, A PREHISTORICAL PALACE
The Neolithic Mysteries of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth
The vestiges of humanity
The interpretation center of Brú na Bóinne is located about 8 kilometers inland from Drogheda and covers an area between the towns of Slane and Drogheda Boyne Valley. For lovers of History and Archeology, the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Center is an unrepeatable experience that will allow you to discover the characteristics of the Neolithic constructions of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, considered a World Heritage Site.
The center, which overlooks the core of the archaeological landscape, includes exhibits where you will learn how prehistoric settlers created the neolithic tombs, their homes, clothing, food, tools and weapons. The extensive exhibition also contains a life-size partial replica of the Newgrange chamber as well as a replica of one of the smaller sites in Knowth. You can see the remains of about forty tombs that are the oldest remnants of human activity in the area that still remain. Are you ready to discover them?
- The Visitor Center is the starting point for all visits to Newgrange and Knowth, and there is a shuttle bus service to these monuments from the bus stop located 300 m from the Center on the north bank of the River Boyne.
- Both Newgrange and Knowth are outdoor locations and there are no shelters. Do not forget to bring appropriate clothes and an umbrella, just in case.
GIANT’S CAUSEWAY MYTHOLOGY OR GEOLOGY?
A fight between giants
The volcanic legacy
The Giant’s Causeway is a spectacular formation of 40,000 hexagonal and pentagonal columns, whose geological origin is derived from the cooling of lava in a crater, about 60 million years ago. However, the mythological explanation described in the Celtic legend of the island speaks of the struggle between two giants, one Scottish -Staffa and another Irishman -Finn MacCool-. According to the legend, this rock formation is the fruit of the confrontation between them both, that gave victory to the Irish giant. In addition to the rocky causeway, along the way you will find wonderful formations such as the so-called “giant’s boot” which, according to legend, is the petrified boot of Finn, the giant builder of the causeway.
At the visitor center, you will have the opportunity to learn both the geological explanation of this interesting formation, and the details of the legend of the giant Finn McCool. Myth or legend? It will be you who decide the true origin of this impressive formation.
- Approximate duration: 2 hours
- Location: B147 Causeway, 3 miles from Bushmills
- Entrance fee is 8 pounds
- The entrance fee includes audio guide and guided tour
- Access is through the visitor center car park
- The best time of day t osee the Causeway is the last two hours of sunlight, especially in spring and autumn, when the light hits it sideways and stains the rocks golden.
THE TOWER MUSEUM: THE DEVIL OF THE CITY
The walls speak of Derry
A people united by peace
To know the history of the city of Derry, nothing better than to approach the Tower Museum. This medieval-style building houses a detailed exhibition that transports the visitor from the monastic origins of the city to the present day, passing through the seventeenth century colony of the original site, emigration in the nineteenth century, the division of Ireland between Protestants and Catholics and World War II. Today, after years of conflict, Derry and Londonderry are two names for a people living as one, united by peace, which is certainly worth knowing.
Derry is also the only walled city on the whole island. With an extension of more than a kilometer and a half of perimeter, eight meters of height and more of nine of thickness, the walls protect the heart of the city. Come and listen to the secrets that reveal these ancient walls, which have four access doors: Bishop’s, south, Ferryquay, east, Shipquay to the north, and Butchers Gate to the west.
- Duration of the visit to the Tower museum and tour of the walls: 3 hours
- Opens every day
- Access: 4 pounds
- Take advantage of your visit to Derry to discover the magic of local live music. The most famous pub is Peadar O’Donnell’s, which offers performances by local musicians every night.
Immerse yourself in the history of the Titanic
The building has the same height as the original ship and is composed of nine galleries scattered throughout its six floors
Inaugurated in 2012 to mark the centenary of its sinking, Titanic Belfast is an impressive interpretation center located in the same place where the transatlantic liner was built. Everyone has heard of the famous sinking, however, few know that its construction began in the city of Belfast. Therefore, this city wanted to pay homage and designed a building with the same height as the ship itself, composed of nine galleries scattered throughout its six floors. Its height of 27 meters coincides with the Titanic from the keel to the bridge, and has capacity for 3,547 visitors at a time, the same capacity as the boat itself.
You can not miss this symbol of the naval legacy of the city which has nine galleries that run through the history from the industrial city of Belfast to the place where the Titanic lies today. Digital images, special effects and 3D offers a detailed tour of the ship, from the engine room to the captain’s bridge. Welcome aboard, but rest assured this boat will remain afloat for many years.
- Duration of the visit: 3 hours
- Access price: 15 pounds
- There is a reduced rate (‘Later saver ticket’) for those who want to vist during the last hour.
- Besides everything related to the famous Titanic, you can not miss the oceanographic center. It contains an exhibition dedicated to marine exploration to discover life under water, shipwrecks and more secrets hidden in the oceans.