The stunning Giant’s Causeway, trendy cities and a turbulent history are just some of the reasons to visit Northern Ireland. Game of Thrones® lovers come to explore the real-world Westeros. Find the lush Riverlands that lie side-by-side with the Iron Islands and the Dothraki Sea. Experience life at Winterfell during a visit to Castle Ward and follow the stories of the Seven Kingdoms, in Game of Thrones® territory. Whether you are a fan of the show or a fan of the scenery, you will return home with unforgettable memories of a magical journey.
Flight to Ireland
Embark on your overnight journey to Dublin, capital city of the Republic of Ireland.
Land Tour Start Day: Dublin
Upon your arrival in Dublin, transfer to your hotel in the city and enjoy some time to relax and explore on your own. Perhaps visit Dublin Castle, built in the 13th century, or explore the Guinness Storehouse and Brewer’s Dining Hall for a taste of Guinness straight from the source. Tonight join your tour director and fellow young alumni at a welcome orientation and dinner of local specialties.
• Transfer from airport to hotel included with purchased AESU group airfare
• Welcome orientation and dinner
Dublin | Derry
This morning we start our journey into Northern Ireland. Our destination is Derry/Londonderry, the country’s second largest city, well known for its Jazz Festival and famous Carnival. Guided by a local historian, explore the famous Bogside Murals - striking artworks that have become central to the neighborhood's identity, and discover the site of the Bloody Sunday Massacre. Walk along the medieval Derry Walls, then admire Guildhall, a neo-gothic style building, containing stunning examples of stained glass windows. Tonight consider a walk along Waterloo Street, just outside the city walls, and find some of Derry’s most traditional and popular pubs known for their live music.
• Walking tour of Derry/Londonderry guided by a local historian
• Derry medieval city walls
Derry | Belfast
Our journey to Belfast takes us to a number of amazing places around “Westeros.” Game of Thrones® fans will recognize Cushendun as the cave where Melisandre gave birth to the shadow assassin; Carnlough as the Braavosi canal Arya fell into during her combat; and Ballintoy Harbor as Pyke Harbor, where Theon Greyjoy returns. Although not a filming location, the Giant’s Causeway, which is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland, needs no introduction. It was created 60 million years ago and is renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt. It is also steeped in myth and legend. It is said that the rocks were carved by a giant called Finn McCool. You may also find yourself thinking of Balon Greyjoy if you are bold enough to cross the 65 ft suspended Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge at almost 100 ft above sea level, the bridge was originally built by salmon fishermen 350 years ago. Your reward for crossing will be fantastic views of Rathlin Island, Scotland and the Causeway Coast. Time permitting; we stop in Cairn Castle and Shillanavogy Valley beneath the Slemish Mountains which brings back memories of Khal Drogo riding to meet his new bride, Daenerys Targaryen. We arrive in Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland in the late afternoon.
• Game of Thrones® filming locations: Cushendun, Carnlough, Ballintoy Harbor
• Giant’s Causeway admission
• Carrick-Rede Ropebridge admission
Today we explore the magnificent red woods of Tollymore Forest Park with centuries-old stone structures. Home of the forbidding White Walkers, the park is known to Game of Thrones® fans as the Haunted Forest in Westeros. Visit Inch Abbey, a beautiful Cistercian Abbey founded in 1180, known as the place where the War of the Five Kings began. Continue to ‘Winterfell’ Old Castle Ward and start off at the ‘Archery Range Film Set’ standing in the Winterfell Castle courtyard. We’ll meet the Winterfell's Master-at-Arms, dress up in character costumes from the show, tour the movie set, stand exactly where Jon Snow or Robb & Bran Stark stood and enjoy the thrill of firing live arrows at White Walkers. Discover additional filming locations around Winterfell by bike including King Robert’s Arrival to Winterfell, Bran’s fall from Winterfell Castle, Walder Frey’s ‘The Twins, Ned’s Picnic, Baelor Battlefield, Tree Branch where ‘Brienne confronts the Stark men, Robb’s Camp, Lannister Camp, Whispering Wood and the Red Wedding. If these real life locations don’t have you ready to re-watch all the episodes, just wait until you meet the dire wolves from the series. The production team used Northern Inuit dogs as these are the closest domestic breed to a real wolf. To round off our day, we are invited to a banquet in true Winterfell fashion. Take your place at the banqueting table with dimly lit candles, smoke billowing from the open fire places and traditional music playing. This will be one of the most memorable dining experiences you’ll ever have.
• Game of Thrones® filming locations: Tollymore Forest Park, Inch Abbey, Castle Ward
• Costumes (Game of Thrones® characters)
• Banquet in true Winterfell fashion
The recent anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which was built in Belfast’s dockyards, along with the vibrant atmosphere in the city, has turned Belfast into a hip place to visit. Despite an ever-growing range of places to eat, drink and be entertained, the city has kept its small town feel which makes getting around easy. Why not enjoy an optional ‘Black Cab Tour’ of greater Belfast's historical sites? Let your experienced driver take you on a journey back in time to explore the many places of interest. The political murals of the Falls and the Shankill tell their own graphic story of what has been called "The Troubles" in Ireland's recent history. See the infamous Peace line, a wall built to keep Nationalists and Loyalists apart and, in the process, divided the communities. After a farewell dinner tonight, enjoy the glittering waterfront lined with modern art, a fantastic and fast-expanding foodie scene, and music-filled pubs.
• Belfast city exploration
• Farewell dinner of traditional Irish fare
• Black Cab Tour
Travel home today with plans for your next young alumni adventure.
• Transfer from hotel to airport included with purchased AESU group airfare
Back to all trips