Game of Thrones is the biggest TV series of all time. The budgets are staggering, the cast a multitude, and the story-line engrossing. All of this is backed up by some of the most beautiful scenery captured on film. The country of Ireland is no hidden gem however. It’s called the Emerald Isle for a reason and for as long as people have been making films they have been coming to Ireland to capture the unique beauty. Our tour takes you from the Capital Dublin into Northern Ireland, along rugged coastlines and past stone walled meadows. As well as visiting the sites of some of the most memorable moments in Game of Thrones, we also have a chance to experience the real Ireland – it’s history, it’s people, and it’s rich, smooth whiskeys and beers.
Arrive at Dublin airport and transfer to the city centre for a Dublin City Tour. The North side contains both the largest public park in Europe and some of the most important sites of Ireland’s Revolution, while the city’s southern edge contains the University and the places frequented by the country’s famous authors including James Joyce and Jonathan Swift. We end the day with a trip to the world famous Guiness Storehouse.
Depart Dublin heading north along the coast. Stop for a visit at Trim castle where scenes from Braveheart were filmed, before heading on to nearby Bru na Boinne and Newgrange. The area is known for its passage tombs, which were built some 5000 years ago in the late stone age. Travelling even further north we come to Downpatrick, the burial ground for St Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, and visit Castle Ward. We arrive in Belfast in time to spend the night.
Enjoy a tour of Belfast including tickets to the Titanic Belfast Experience – an innovative look at the real story of the Titanic. The afternoon will be spent on the shores of Lough Neagh and within the walls of Shane’s Castle. Built in 1345 by a member of the royal house of O’Neill, the castle ruins and its 2600 acre estate was the site for extensive filming for Game of Thrones. Outside the village of Ballygally lies Cairncastle, which was the location for even more scenes from the popular TV show including the first scene that hinted, this wasn’t going to be a normal friendly show – the dramatic beheading of the Night’s Watch deserter. Once again the evening is spent in Belfast.
Leave Belfast headed toward the picturesque town of Glenarm on the north Antrim coastline. A beautiful medieval style village where a number of scenes from the show were shot. one of the highlights for fans will be the opportunity to visit the Jewellers Steenson’s who created most of the jewellery for the show including Joffrey’s crown, the Lannister lion pendants, as well as stag pins and silver fish brooches. Continuing alone the Antrim coastline past impossibly green hills and raging deep blue waves that crash white over rugged rocks you will find yourself easily drawn into the majesty of the area. Your final stop though will take your breath away – the legendary Carrik-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which is suspended across a 20-metre chasm between the mainland and the tiny Carrick Island, while underneath it, the seas boil angrily against the cliff faces.
No visit to this part of Ireland is complete without calling in to the UNESCO World Heritage site that is the Giant’s Causeway. Made up of a network of roughly 40 000 basalt columns projecting out into the sea, the causeway forms several miles of Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route. Later we stop in at the Bushmill’s distillery, one of the oldest in the world, to learn about whiskey and try a few tasters.
This morning we take a walking tour of the medieval walled city of Derry before travelling to Donegal to visit the Glenveagh National Park and Glenveagh Castle. Surrounded by craggy mountains and rugged bogland the castle stands in the hear of its own beautifully manicured gardens and makes a very worthwhile visit. Afterwards we drive by the nearby Glenties to our hotel.
We finally turn back towards Dublin. Travelling south through the Fermanagh lake district we visit one of the old homes of the Earls of Belmore – Castle Coole, before stopping off at the Marble Arch Caves, one of Europes finest with running rivers, waterfalls, winding narrow passages and huge chambers. Guides take you deftly through the caves to the real highlights, before they deposit you back in the sunshine feeling like you have been to another planet. That evening is spent in Dublin once again.
Transfer to the airport to head for home.
Valid: 1 October 2015 – 1 June 2016
Pricing: R13 500 per person sharing
7 nights’ accommodation in 3-star and 4-star properties as per a set itinerary
o 2 nights in the Dublin area
o 2 nights in the Belfast area
o 1 night in the Ballycastle area
o 1 night in the Derry area
o 1 night in the Donegal area
Full Irish breakfast daily
8 days car hire in a small economy car (Ford Ka or similar)
An excursion pack which includes tickets to a number of attractions listed on the itinerary
International and domestic flights
Visa and travel insurance
Meals not specified
Items of a personal nature
**Please note that this itinerary includes stop in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Please double check visa requirements**
Please also note packages are subject to rate and ROE fluctuations.