Updated: Jul 4, 2019
There’s nothing more thrilling than a motorbike tour, especially if you’re the kind of traveller who wants to explore everything at your own pace. Ireland and Northern Ireland are two of the most picturesque countries in Europe, and we have created a 5-7 day route that will take you around the main sights. Learn about Belfast’s history
It is best to start in the capital of Ireland, Dublin, and we recommend spending a few days there if possible. When you’re ready, head up the east coast to Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast. The Telegraph recommends the Titanic Belfast, the Parliament buildings, St. George’s Market, and the Cathedral Quarter. The Albert Clock, which is Belfast’s own version of the leaning tower of Pisa, is also worth a visit. Take in the breathtaking view along Antrim coast road
Head north out of Larne on the A2 so you can take in the magnificent Antrim Coast and Glens, which is known as an area of outstanding natural beauty. According to The Guardian, it’s 60 miles long and is considered one of the best biking roads in the world. It twists in and out of picturesque fishing villages.
Visit Game of Thrones filming locations in Ballycastle
What makes Ballycastle so famous is The Dark Hedges. It's an avenue of beech trees with twisted branches that form an arch over the road. It was famously used as a location for the HBO series Game of Thrones, and has since become so popular that it turned the area into Northern Ireland’s most photographed spot.
The series' has become a defining part of 21st-century culture, which has significantly increased the number of tourists visiting the filming sites in Northern Ireland. In Ballycastle there are private tours that take fans around the film locations. In fact, GoT related material can be found everywhere, from outdoor film sets to online material. Gaming company Slingo is known for its thematic slot titles including two games dedicated to the franchise, Game of Thrones 15 Lines and Game of Thrones 243 Ways to Win, that extended the show’s reach to the online market. The show’s makers have made sure that GoT fans with different interests are catered for, whether they are the outdoors or indoors type. This is one reason why GoT is so popular, and tourism in Northern Ireland has benefited by around £30 million (€33 million) a year. Explore the Giant’s Causeway
It’s considered one of Europe’s most magnificent coastlines because of its unique rock formations. The area features over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns—a result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. When you arrive, you will be greeted by near-perfect hexagon tubes stacked neatly next to each other. There’s an interactive exhibit onsite that you can check out. Go back in time at Londonderry
The 17th-century walled city will take you back in time. It boasts seven ornate gates and is known as the last completely walled city in Ireland. The walls were built during 1613-18 by the Honourable Irish Society to defend the city against 17th-century settlers from England and Scotland. Derry also has beautiful museums, galleries, and markets. Feel closer to nature at County Donegal
If you have time to spare for hiking, don’t miss the chance to stop by Glenveagh National Park. It has stunning scenery and a notable Gaelic heritage. You can stop by Mount Errigal, too, and there are camping sites in the area, where you can rest with the Derryveagh Mountains in the background. The Glenveagh Castle Garden is also worth a visit as it’s known to be a place to retreat where you can unplug and get away from the noise of the modern world. Stop by the set of The Quiet Man
After passing through Connemara, you will see the town of Cong. It has a museum dedicated to the movie The Quiet Man, as the area served as the film’s main setting. After that, you can check out the magnificent 12th century Cong Abbey. You can then head south to Galway and take the M6 back to Dublin. Apart from Ireland, Siima recommends other European motorcycle routes like the National Park of Stelvio, Agiofarago Gorge Crete, and the Long Hill Route in Derbyshire.