NORTHER IRELAND HIKING ADVENTURE
Day 1 ~ The Giant’s Causeway & Causeway Coastal Route
Meeting in Belfast, we travel north to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway. Legend has it that a Scottish giant hurled abuses across at the Irish giant, Finn MacCool. To have a proper fight, Finn built a causeway over to Scotland – what we call the Giant’s Causeway. Today, you’ll hike along majestic clifftops of the Causeway Coastal Route to finish at this fascinating geological phenomena. Watch as the Causeway Coast becomes wilder as we approach the fascinating geological phenomena of the Giant’s Causeway. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Giant’s Causeway region has attracted visitors for centuries. (L, D)
Distance 3 miles/5km, approx 2hrs.
Day 2 ~ Rathlin Island
Many tales of myth and mystery surround Rathlin Island, though the most famous tells of Robert the Bruce. In 1306, the Scottish King was driven from Scotland by Edward I of England and took refuge on Rathlin where he watched a spider persevering again and again to bridge a gap with its web. Eventually it succeeded. Taking heart from the spider’s efforts, he returned to Scotland and eventually regained his crown. Ferrying to the island today, our loop takes in the bird sanctuary, home to an adorable resident puffin colony in season, and the stunning west lighthouse. (B, L)
Distance 5.5 miles/9 km, approx 4hrs.
Day 3 – Inishowen Peninsula
The ancient territory (The Land of the O’ Doherty’s), of Co. Donegal is the most northerly part of Ireland. Its northern shore is on the restless Atlantic Ocean with Lough Swilly forming its western boundary and Lough Foyle to the east. This is the undiscovered Ireland, a world apart, a timeless place. Our day starts with a ferry across Lough Swilly fjord for beautiful panoramas to the start point of our hike, a World War II-era look out tower. A gradual climb takes us to the shoulder of Crocknasmug Hill for magical coastal views.
Distance 5 miles/8km, approx 3hrs.
Day 4 – Malin Head – Ireland’s Northernmost point
We head into rugged Donegal to stand at Malin Head, the northernmost point of Ireland. A wild and windswept landscape peppered with ancient archaeological remains, Malin Head served as the backdrop for the 2017 Star Wars film. Our hike climbs over rugged hills and past dramatic coastal cliffs . (B,L)
Distance 4 miles/7km, approx 3hrs.
Day 5 – Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park is a hauntingly beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains, pristine lakes, tumbling waterfalls and enchanted native oak woodland. Wander along the quiet shores of the lake to the mystical Glenveagh Castle, idyllically set amongst the mountains. Here we get the opportunity to explore the gardens before continuing our walk beyond the castle walls, passing abandoned settlements on a winding path through the Derryveagh Mountains. (B,L)
Distance: 5 miles/8km, approx. 4hrs
Day 6 – Slieve League Cliffs
Our final hike along the Slieve League Cliffs is possibly the most impressive. Some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, hike in the footsteps of pilgrims of yesteryears by following the ancient Pilgrim’s Path. Impressive from a historic perspective, you’ll also drink in terrific views of the Atlantic Ocean, the mountains of Sligo and the shimmering Donegal Bay. Meet locals such as tweed-makers still practising their craft on a traditional handloom. After saying goodbye to the windy Slieve League cliffs, enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner. (B,L,D)
Distance 4 miles/6km, approx 4hrs.
Day 7 ~ Yeats Country & Departure
This morning, we shall say goodbye to the Wild Atlantic Way coast in Donegal to transfer to County Sligo, nicknamed “Yeats Country” named for WB Yeats, Ireland’s national poet who was greatly inspired by Sligo’s landscapes and natural beauty. Along the way, we will stop at Yeats’ grave, tucked under the shadow of Ben Bulben Mountain, Sligo’s iconic table mountain, before making our way to Sligo town in time to catch regular train connections to Dublin. (B)
END OF TRIP
(Code: B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner)
Hike iconic Irish landscapes including UNESCO site the Giant’s Causeway, Slieve League Cliffs & Glenveagh National Park
Walk Ireland’s most northernly peninsula and Star Wars filming location, Malin Head, where mountains meet sea
Discover Donegal, voted National Geographic’s Coolest Place on Earth
Island hopping to Rathlin Island, in search of myths and puffins
6 nights accommodation in unique and cosy guest houses and hotels
Most meals during the trip (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
The services of an experienced and knowledgeable hiking guide/driver throughout
Pickup and transport throughout the trip, starting in Belfast and finishing in Sligo
6 days of hiking along the dramatic coastline and landscapes of Northern Ireland and Donegal
Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary
Items of a personal nature