Explore Northern Irelands Only World Heritage Site
THE GIANTS CAUSEWAY GUIDE
“You are standing on, or are about to visit, one of my favorite places. The jewel in the crown of the fabulous coast of Antrim. A site of World Heritage and therefore ranked alongside Mount Everest and the Giant Redwoods of California for its importance to humankind. Volcanic activity helped Finn Mc Cool forge this wonder of the World some 60 Million years ago. It is today the habitat of rare plants and animals. Please treat their home with the pride and the care it deserves.”
— David Bellamy
Welcome to one of the most amazing places on the planet; The Giant’s Causeway. The Giants Causeway comprises around 40,000 thousands of mostly hexagonal basalt columns descending gently into the sea. Depending on who you believe, the stones were formed either by an underwater volcano’s geological actions or by a giant named Finn McCool, who lived and battled along the north Antrim Coast.
The Giant’s Causeway Official Guide prides itself on offering a place to find fun and educational guided tours for you, your family, and your friends. We delight in sharing this natural wonder with visitors to Northern Ireland.
Make your trip memorable by spending a day on a tour of The Giant’s Causeway from Portrush, Belfast, or Dublin. You will enjoy a comprehensive visit to Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage site and visit nearby famous attractions. There’s no need to read about the rich history; let our tour guide provide the facts and figures while you focus on taking in its beauty.
Travel along the iconic Giant’s Causeway Coast Route in comfort, and let yourself be enchanted by the gorgeous locations on the Antrim Coast, the lush beauty of the Irish landscape, and of course, the Giant’s Causeway itself. Take away the hassle of checking maps, and stopping to ask for directions, and we will ensure you see the best spots and get plenty of time to explore the Giant’s Causeway.
The Giant’s Causeway
The coastline of County Antrim in Northern Ireland is renowned for its scenic beauty, possibly the world’s best-driving route, the Causeway Coast Route, clinging to its edge. The Giant’s Causeway, sitting at the northern end, takes the centerpiece as the crown’s unique jewel, known as the 8th Wonder of the World to many here in Ireland and beyond. The famous jagged promontory of around 40,000 neatly packed columns of hexagonal volcanic basalt columns was created some 6 million years ago by a basaltic lava flow.
The Giant’s Causeway is a place where myth and science meet. Were the spectacular basalt columns formed through the rapid cooling of lava from an underwater volcano, or, as some may say, created by the legendary mythical Irish Giant Finn MacCool?
For centuries countless visitors have explored the Giant’s Causeway and marveled at its unique rock formations. Situated on one of Worlds most spectacular coastlines, its unique rock formations have, for nearly sixty million years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of the North Atlantic storms. The rugged symmetry of the columns never fails to intrigue and inspire our visitors. To stroll on the Giant’s Causeway is to voyage back in time.
The Visitor Center
In 2012 the new architecturally designed bespoke Giant’s Causeway Visitor center opened, replacing the original building built in 1986 when UNESCO added the Giant’s Causeway to its coveted list of exceptional interest and universal site value.
The new center is the gateway to the famous Giant’s Causeway, semi-hidden in the hillside. It offers various ways to learn more about myths, legends, social history, wildlife, and conservation. There are large screens for shows and a shop (selling souvenirs and local crafts), and a cafe that supplies books, pamphlets, tourist information, and multi-lingual audio guides.
The National Trust runs the Causeway Visitor Centre, so it’s free to enter with a National Trust Membership.
Similar Structures Around The World
The Giant’s Causeway is not as unique as you’d think. There are similar sites worldwide that are home to impressive hexagonal columns like those found on the North Antrim Coast. The nearest is just across the water on a Scottish Island Called Staffa Flow, where Fingals Cave is lined with large basalt columns. You can see similar structures in Isreal, Iceland, Mexico, and Russia….but obviously, none are as fantastic as The Giant’s Causeway
History Of The Giant’s Causeway
Despite the Giant’s Causeway being formed over 60 million years ago, the 40000 or so basalt columns of the Giants Causeway only came to be known by the broader public from around 1690 when it was “discovered” by the Bishop of Down and Conor, William King. Here you can discover more about the Giants Causeway’s history and how it became a world heritage site.
Geology Of The Giant’s Causeway
“When the world was molded and fashioned out of formless chaos, this must have been the bit over—a remnant of chaos!” William Thackeray Tweet Thackeray’s
The Giant’s Causeway has some of the most amazing geological experiences on the Causeway Coast and in Northern Ireland. Visitors of this popular tourist spot have more than just the stones to view, with many natural phenomena such as the Giant’s Boot, the wishing chair, and the Giants Organ.
The coastal walk to the stones takes in many of these offerings and the opportunity to get the obligatory selfie on the giant’s boot
MYTHS & LEGENDS OF THE CAUSEWAY
The Giant’s Causeway, near Bushmills, has been drawing thousands of tourists from near and far with its mystery and rare geological formations; however, according to legend, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant Finn McCool. The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), from the Fenian Cycle of Gaelic mythology, was challenged by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel to meet the two giants. The legend of Causeway Giant’s Finn McCool and Benandonner battle is told on the big screen in the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, which the National Trust runs.
Flora & Fauna
The Giant’s Causeway isn’t just home to incredible rock formations. The Giants Causeway and the Causeway Coast are a haven for sea birds such as fulmar, petrel, cormorant, shag, redshank guillemot, and razorbill. Simultaneously, the weathered rock formations host several rare and unusual plants, including sea spleenwort, hare’s foot trefoil, vernal squill, sea fescue, and frog orchid.