2. From Belfast: 3-Day Causeway Coast, Derry & Fermanagh Lakes
Day 1 You leave Belfast and travel north following the winding and magnificent Causeway Coastal Route. A truly sensational experience, the journey takes you past craggy cliffs, ruined castles and through the sweeping Glens of Antrim, an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The crowning glory of this coastal drive is the awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway, a place where history and myth collide spectacularly with raw geological power. Waving farewell to the giant’s steps, you head on to see another spot of rare beauty, the Dark Hedges. This haunting beech avenue was planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century to impress the visitors approaching their mansion. Since then, the Dark Hedges have impressed millions of travellers, photographers, and fans of Game of Thrones. Reinvigorated by the sea air and the mind-blowing scenery, you arrive in Portrush in the late afternoon where you stay for the night. Day 2 You say farewell to the coastal charms and head to Derry/Londonderry. From the almost intact historic walls to the murals commemorating the more recent troubled past, this city is steeped in history. And it’s also quickly becoming one of the most important artistic and cultural hubs in Northern Ireland. You’ve got free time to explore Derry for yourself or you can join an optional walking tour. Next, you travel to the Ulster American Folk Park, where you can discover the story of emigration from Ulster to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn about the hardships these bold people had to face and the impact they made in the new land. In the late afternoon, you travel to Enniskillen, a small island town and your overnight base. Enjoy an evening stroll around this lovely area or discover the famous Irish charm as you chat with the locals in a cosy pub. Day 3 In the morning, you can decide to explore Enniskillen a bit more. You may visit its many galleries and craft shops, explore the 15th-century castle, or see the beautiful Lough Erne on an optional cruise (subject to season and availability). Then, you say farewell to the lovely island town and head east through County Armagh, Ireland’s Orchard County, to the ecclesiastical city of Armagh. This city loves St Patrick so much it boasts two cathedrals dedicated to him. They also love their Bramley apple, so make sure to try local ciders and the legendary Irish Black Butter. The last stop of your tour is Hillsborough Castle with its stunning gardens. Here, you get to discover ornamental grounds, tranquil woodlands, and charming glens that have been a joy to the Royal Family and thousands of visitors. If you fancy, you can choose to explore the beautiful state rooms of the castle and find out more about its fascinating history (tickets subject to availability). From here it’s just a short journey back to Belfast.