Northern Ireland’s top 10, from Giants’ Causeway to Titanic Belfast, concentrated in a few kilometers in a wonderful country. Here are the photos in the gallery above.
The places not to be missed in Northern Ireland
1. Causeway Coastal route
The Causeway Coastal Route is one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world, it is a succession of beaches, picturesque harbors and pretty villages. Along the way are some of Northern Ireland’s best-known attractions: the ancient remains of Dunluce Castle, the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, the romantic Mussenden Temple; but the enigmatic basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are undoubtedly the pearl of this coast.
2. Titanic Belfast
Inaugurated at the end of March 2012, the year in which the centenary of the shipwreck of the famous ocean liner was celebrated, it is the largest attraction in the world dedicated to the Titanic. Located in the Titanic Quarter, the shipyard area where the ship was built, this building tells the entire story of the Titanic from its design, to its construction until the tragic sinking.
3. The Gobbins
This Edwardian engineering triumph, which had lain in ruins for decades, has been restored to its former glory. The Gobbins Trail in County Antrim is a thrilling 2 mile walk featuring suspension bridges, tube bridges, caves and tunnels, carved out of rock. The trail starts at Islandmagee, a short drive north of Belfast.
4. City of Belfast
Small but with a big heart, the capital of Northern Ireland is a city completely reborn. Not to be missed, in addition to the spectacular Titanic Belfast, are the famous political murals, the elegant City Hall, the Victorian St. George’s Market, the Botanic Gardens, the Queen’s University. The cultural heart of the city, the Cathedral Quarter, once the old part of Belfast, is the quintessential area to spend the evening, with its pretty cobbled streets, atmospheric alleyways and historic pubs.
5. Strangford Lough
South of Belfast is one of the most enchanting places on the island of Ireland. Surrounded by rolling hills, this area is also home to Mount Stewart and Castle Ward, two of Ireland’s finest stately homes. There are also countless Christian testimonies in these lands first evangelized by St. Patrick, such as Inch Abbey. It was on the shores of the lake that St. Patrick returned to Ireland after six long years of slavery.
6. The walled city of Derry-Londonderry
Derry-Londonderry is the only city on the island of Ireland entirely surrounded by walls and represents one of the best examples of a walled city in Europe. Built between 1613 and 1619 to defend the colonial city from Irish clans, the walls of Derry-Londonderry are celebrating 400 years of life. Today the Walls of Derry-Londonderry enclose a dense network of alleys and streets full of charm and outline the ancient quarter of the modern city.
7. The Fermanagh Lakeland
County Fermanagh is a beautiful waterscape. It may seem strange for a county without a coast, but here’s the explanation: Fermanagh is teeming with lakes, rivers, inlets and waterways, making it a perfect destination for water sports or leisurely cruises.
8. Armagh and the St. Patrick’s Trail
The city of Armagh is the oldest city in Ireland and is one of the main destinations of the St. Patrick’s Trail, a 150 km long route that connects several key places connected to the life of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Armagh is the only city to host two churches dedicated to the same saint. The Church of Ireland Cathedral stands on the site of a church built by St Patrick in AD 445, while the nearby Roman Catholic Cathedral has its roots in medieval times.
9. Game of Thrones locations
Northern Ireland is home to more Seven Kingdoms locations than anywhere else in the world, earning it the title of Game of Thrones® Territory. Indeed, the forests, mountains and moors of Northern Ireland have been transformed into spectacular settings for some of the most unforgettable moments of the famous saga.
10. Mourne Mountains
Topped by granite peaks, the Morne Mountains are the highest in Northern Ireland. In these places nature is of spectacular beauty: crystal clear lakes, green meadows, rocks and imposing peaks. The area is so beautiful that it once inspired CS Lewis for the setting of his Chronicles of Narnia.