Causeway Coastal Route, one of the best road trips in Ireland

Causeway Coastal Route
Causeway Coastal Route

The Causeway Coastal Route (also called Giant’s Causeway road) is a well-known itinerary for a scenic road trip in Northern Ireland.

It definitely can be compared to the Wild Atlantic Way or even the Atlantic Ocean Road in terms of the scenery of the landscapes for a coastal road.

This splendid road runs along the coast for a few hundred kilometers and you can discover memorable views of Northern Ireland’s impressive rugged coastline.

Usually, travelers take a few days to travel this magnificent route in order to take the time to discover all the wonders.

Where is this scenic drive located?

The Causeway Coastal Route is a touristic itinerary located in the north east of Northern Ireland.

While driving this incredible Irish road trip you certainly are bound to marvel at the natural beauty, rich heritage, and vibrant culture that surrounds you.

On this route, you will be able to contemplate sleepy hamlets, silent valleys, and picturesque fishing villages.

You can find a map of the Causeway Coastal Route bellow:

Enlarge the map

How long is the Causeway Coastal Route?

They Causeway Coastal Road is a touristic itinerary in Norther Ireland.

The drive is an asphalted 200 kilometers (125 miles) compilation of the small and winding roads in good condition. It will take about 4 hours to drive it from Belfast to Derry. Although, you should take at least 2-3 days to enjoy all of the beauty and touristic sites along the drive.

These sites are, for example, natural scenic landscapes made of amazing beaches and waterfall. But also human-made things like castles or small cozy villages where you will easily find some accommodation by the Causeway Coastal Road.

One of the most known is also named the Giant’s Causeway road it is one of the most known spots on the journey.

To understand the origin of Giant’s Causeway you will have the choice between two stories: a dreamlike version or a more rational one:

  • It is said that the birth of the site was the result of an argument between Finn McCool, a powerful Irish giant, and Benandonner, a Scottish giant.
  • The other, more scientific version evokes the cooling of a volcanic eruption left by lava 60 million years ago.

In fact, the Causeway Coastal Route road trip in Northern Ireland has been named by National Geographic and many other publications as one of the most beautiful road trips in the world and you quickly understand why by taking this route.

The road trip will take you from the capital Belfast to the city of Derry. It is possible of course, to take scenic detours and join other legendary routes, such as the Wild Atlantic Way or the Morne Scenic Route.

Another cool road trip idea in Ireland is the Ring of Kerry with the Gap of Dunloe or the Slea Head Drive.

Between fields, wild beaches, pure nature, history, picturesque villages, gastronomy, UNESCO site, sports activities, and much more, road trip enthusiasts will have fun and enjoy great adventures.

How to get to Causeway Coastal Route?

Usually, tourists start their rod trip from Belfast and follow the A2 Highway and then the coast line driving north.

Then follow the road, which will take you through territories of remarkable magnificence from Belfast via the Giant’s Causeway to Derry.

Here is a map of the Causeway Coastal Route itinerary:

Things to see on the Causeway Coastal Route?:

If you are driving on this mythic road you will surely want to know what are the best stops to do on your journey, here is a list of the must-do:

  • Cranny Falls waterfall. It is a beautiful waterfall not far away from Belfast, the place is not very known by the tourists so that makes the place quite unique. In order to access this place, you’ll have to walk 1,5 kilometers (1 mile) until you reach the waterfall.
  •  Dark Hedges, is a winding alley of trees made famous by the Games of Thrones series:
Dark Hedge
Dark Hedges
  • Whitepark Bay beach: definitely, one of the most beautiful beaches in the country! If you are looking for a causeway coastal rental, you will find an amazing place to stay there.
  • Bushmills Distillery is one of the most known Irish whiskeys in the world. In fact, it is one of the oldest distillery on earth, founded at the beginning of the 17th century.
  • The Giant’s Causeway is the most famous spot on this road trip, it is on the Unesco World Heritage list. The Giant’s Causeway is a gigantic geological formation made up of more than 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns. A decor that looks like it was created from scratch. Perfectly aligned tubes that intertwine with each other, some columns reach 12 meters in height:
Giant's Causeway
Giant’s Causeway
  • If you are a fan of Game of Thrones you will enjoy even more that drice as there is many location that appears in the TV-show. For example: Binevenagh Mountain, Downhill Beach, Portstewart Strand, The Dark Hedges, Ballintoy Harbour, Murlough Bay or the Cushendun Caves.

We cannot list all the spots to see here because there are so many. You can of course find others on your own and add them to your trip. Also, you will can find some Causeway Coastal rentals ideas.

A video of the journey:

You can have a preview of the Causeway Coastal Route that is one of the best road trips in Ireland drive by watching this Youtube video:

Is the Causeway Coastal Route open?

The Causeway Coastal Route is open all year round. Although the weather can be very stormy and windy in this part of Ireland. That’s why we suggest you to keep an eye on it!

The best time to go there is between May and September when the weather is better. But it is also in the summer that there are lots of tourists. So we advise you to avoid July and August it will good for you!

Once again, depending on the season, leave early and come home late. That will allow you to take advantage of the beautiful light and the absence of tourists. Lunchtime can also be a good time to avoid organized tours.

Also, don’t forget that Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom. So, you should drive on the left side of the road!

In conclusion, if you are in Northern Ireland, you have to drive the Causeway Coastal Route. Ireland looks like an open-air museum as its geological diversity is great. It is a land of character, an almost divine land that invites us to breathe and feel even more alive.

Picture credit: Colin Park on

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