Tours of Ireland would not be complete without visiting Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Giant’s Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt.
It is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland !!!! But is on a level with the Great Barrier Reef and Grand Canyon !!!!
Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago , this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries.
It harbours a wealth of local and natural history.
The formation of the Giant’s Causeway was due to intense volcanic activity , with Lava welling up through fissures in the chalk bed forming a “lava plateau”. Three periods of volcanic activity gave rise to the Lower, Middle and Upper Basalts, and it’s the Middle Basalt rock which forms the famous amphitheatres of hexagonal columns in the Causeway.
Weathered formations have created circular structures round a core of basalt which are known locally as “giant’s eyes”. Some other formations with popular names are the Chimney Stacks, The Harp, The Organ and the Camel’s Hump and of course “Finns granny”….who liked the Bushmills whiskey a wee bit too much.
Sea birds can be seen off the coast around the Causeway, with species such as fulmar, petrel, cormorant, shag, redshank guillemot and razorbill being frequently observed.
Rare and unusual plant species including sea spleenwort, hare’s foot trefoil, vernal squill, sea fescue and frog orchid can be found on the cliffs and nearby rock formations.
Take a little shuttle bus down to the causeway , enjoy the magnificence of it all , and return on the bus to the new visitor centre opened in 2012 !!!
Then move along the coast road on your Ireland tours to the next unique point.