I got the pleasure of going along on one of City Break Apartments private day tours and it was completely different than a bus day tour. For starters, the family that booked it all got to sit together in the van, instead of being spread out on the bus, they could have conversations without talking over others, and got to sit in very comfortable seats. I could see the difference in the family compared to the families on bus tours, so much more relaxed and carefree.
The destinations covered in this tour were Giants Causeway and Game of Thrones filming locations. After getting coffee and feeling a bit more awake we made our first stop to Cushendun Caves, where in the Game of Thrones Davos witnesses the red priestess give birth to the shadow creature. The caves themselves were beautiful. Something to marvel at even if you’ve never seen the show. There was only a few other people at the caves so we were all able to explore without much disturbance from other visitors. The Cushendun Caves were a unique experience as not many people see them and it was free of a lot of tourists.
Our next stop was brief but also a Game of Thrones location. We drove through sheep filled fields to get to Murlough Bay, used as the Stormlands where brothers Stanis, and Renly Baratheon argue over who is the rightful king. We were also able to look out at the Iron Islands off in the distance, renamed after the destination it represents in the show. This stop was a quick look around the area to appreciate the filming location.
After driving away from Murlough Bay we reached the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This is hands down the best thing I have done since being in Ireland. The views are unbelievable and the rope bridge is an adventure in itself. You will never see anything quite like the view you get from the little island. The quarry on the other side of the area is in a scene from the Game of Thrones. Looking from the plaque with pictures and description of scene and looking up to the quarry itself the place comes to life. These locations made the Game of Thrones come alive as I could see exactly where things were filmed. On top of being exciting for watchers of the show it was also beautiful to someone who was just there for the views and nature.
Our last stop was to Giants Causeway, the highlight of the trip. For someone seeing this miracle of nature for the first time it is mind blowing. Trying to comprehend how the stones were formed is an experience in itself. Some believe it was the giant Finn MacCool and others think it was lava but that is up to you to decided. Getting to walk across the stones is definitely a once in a lifetime chance to explore 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.
With getting to do a private tour the family was able to decide if they wanted to skip any locations (the Dark Hedges) in order to spend more time at another, they could ask for bathroom and coffee stops, and overall were much less stressed about about times and where the next bathroom would be. They could ask any and as many questions as they wanted to the driver who was more than happy to answer them to the best of his ability. Being someone who has done both private and bus day tours if you are the type of person who likes to be comfortable and on your own schedule instead of an itinerary, then private tours are the way to go. Go through City Break Apartments for one like I went on and so many more.
By Madison Doerr