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Giant's Causeway in Ireland:
Unusual & Interesting Tourist Destinations #4

When the Giant's Causeway in Ireland was first discovered in 1693, debate arose as to whether the impressive landscape was formed by men, nature or the efforts of Finn MacCool, a gentle giant who, according to legend, built the causeway to bring his lady giant love interest across the water to him.

giant's causeway

The impressive Giant's Causeway is made up of 40,000, mostly hexagonal, stone columns.

It wasn't until nearly 100 years later in 1771 that a Frenchman uncovered the causeway's real maker: volcanic eruptions and quickly cooling lava some 50 million to 60 million years ago.

The Giant's Causeway is most famous for its unique columnar structure, which is made up of 40,000, mostly hexagonal, stone columns, some up to 40 feet high (and solidified lava in the cliffs as thick as 90 feet).

Giant's Causeway: What to See

Every year, a half-million visitors come to North Antrim's magnificent coastline to gaze in awe at the columns of the Giant's Causeway. The tops of the columns resemble stepping stones starting from the cliff base and disappearing under the sea.

Some of the stone structures also closely resemble objects, and have been named as such. Visitors should be sure to see the Chimney Stacks, the Harp, the Pipe Organ, the Giant's Boot and the Camel's Hump. There are also impressive circular formations around a nugget of basalt, which have been dubbed "giant's eyes."

Aside from the geology, Giant's Causeway is home to a number of sea birds, including fulmar, petrel, cormorant, shag, redshank guillemot and razorbill, along with other unique bird species like rock pipits, wagtails, and eider duck.

giant's causeway

The Giant's Harp, one of several "objects" formed into the rocks.

There are also a number of rare plants to be found in the area, such as sea spleenwort, hare's foot trefoil, vernal squill, sea fescue, frog orchid, and sea campion.

And, for the slightly more adventurous, there is the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, which stretches from the coast to a small fishermen's island. Adventurers are welcome to cross the swinging bridge, if they're willing to brave the 80-foot drop.

Planning a Visit

Admission to the causeway is free (donations welcome), and visitors can get there via local train or bus. The area is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week (November to February, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), and is closed December 24-27.

For more information, please visit:

Recommended Reading

The House on the Rock: Unusual & Interesting Tourist Destinations

The Catacombs of Paris: Unusual & Interesting Tourist Destinations


The Giant's Causeway: The Official Guide

The Giant's Causeway

The National Trust: Giant's Causeway

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