Ireland is a country that is uniquely its own. Saturated with a deep patriotic culture and exemplified by awe-inspiring panoramas, Ireland wonderfully blends the rugged charm of Scandinavia and Iceland’s wilderness with some of the finest poetic rural landscapes in Europe.
This extensive photo tour will take you through all the landmarks of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, between wild coastal scenery, high-reaching lighthouses, gentle hills, fairy-tale castles, picturesque roads, and cozy villages, where we’ll immerse ourselves in the atmosphere and indulge in the call of traditional music echoing from the pubs. From the surreal Giant’s Causeway to the dizzying Cliffs of Moher, we will encounter endless photographic opportunities on our journey.
The journey to Dublin is individual. Right after our arrival at Dublin Airport, we will travel in a comfortable minibus to the beautiful North of Ireland, which we will reach in the late afternoon. The Irish North Coast is unique! There, we experience nature in its most original form – as wild formations that ignite our imagination. It’s no wonder that these places are surrounded by dreamy and imaginative myths.
Especially spectacular is the Giant’s Causeway. The description of the “Giant’s Dam” gives a glimpse of the magic of this place: “A rock gorge in perfect green leads to a collection of volcanic rock formations that seem completely surreal: about 40,000 almost perfect hexagonal basalt columns stand here, one next to the other, like pieces of a puzzle.” It’s no wonder that the Causeway is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. As a unique Irish natural monument, it provides insight into the prehistoric times of our Earth – a magnificent legacy of lava flows that cooled and shrank here 60 million years ago. The light changes here throughout the day: from greens to grays to a warm tobacco brown – an exciting place for landscape photography at sunset on our first evening. After an eventful day in Ireland, we will end the evening in our accommodation right on the North Coast.
Early on, we embark on a tour to the majestic beech tree avenue known as the “Dark Hedges,” aiming to reach it at dawn. Ancient beech trees line the narrow Bregagh Road, creating an impressive sight with their intertwined, gnarled branches. The avenue exudes an extraordinary atmosphere, evoking both reverence and awe, especially in the soft light of the Golden Hour. However, the Dark Hedges are not solely a whim of nature. In the 18th century, the owners of the Georgian estate, Gracehill, decided to offer their visitors a truly special welcome. The Stuart family planted dozens of beech trees along the approach to their magnificent mansion; they have been growing for hundreds of years, developing their fantastic shape. Unbeknownst to them, the lovingly landscaped avenue would later achieve fame – it even made its way into the cult series ‘Game of Thrones’.
We spend the day driving around the picturesque Causeway Coast and its numerous attractions. As the sun sets, the light is perfect. The grass glows refreshingly green, the water shimmers gently turquoise, and the clouds in the sky are already tinged with color. This could appear very idyllic and tranquil, were it not for the roaring waves and rugged cliffs. This contrast immediately sets the “Mussenden Temple,” perched on the edge of a precipitous cliff over the Atlantic, apart as something special. During the Golden Hour, we dedicate ourselves to this historic site, artfully capturing it in the soft, expressive light.
Early on, we set out on a tour to Dunluce Castle, one of the largest ruins of a medieval castle in Ireland, aiming to reach it at dawn. Perched high above the cliffs of the rugged Atlantic, this ancient fortress seems to defy all tides. The picturesque Dunluce Castle is located on an impressive basalt rock on the rugged coast. Even though the imposing castle ruin on the mighty rock conveys an image of idyll, its history is dark, marked by sieges and violence. Today, only old stories give a hint of what once played out within the cold walls of the medieval castle.
After an extensive sunrise session, we now head to another world-renowned location on the windswept Fanad Peninsula in the northeast of Ireland. With every meter we travel northward on the island, we feel farther and farther away from civilization. We enter a world that belongs entirely to its land and its seascapes. Here, the untamed waves of the Atlantic meet the Irish mainland, shaping an impressive coastal scenery. Wild, rugged, and defying the tides, the mighty cliffs of Fanad Head present themselves. And in the midst of this spectacular Atlantic coast stands the Fanad Head Lighthouse, one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Ireland, overlooking the promontory from a small fjord, making it an inspiring location for landscape photography.
We capture all the facets of this breathtaking coastal landscape in the best light and end the evening with a cozy dinner at our hotel.
Today, we set course for the legendary Wild Atlantic Way, the spectacular coastal road that winds along the sea for a length of 2,500 kilometers in the far west of Ireland. Wild, untamed, and windswept! The white spray shoots up meters high as the waves thunder against the cliffs with brute force. There are 4,000 kilometers of water between the American continent and the Irish coast, no landmass and no breakwaters diminish the force of the roaring ocean. The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s counterpart to California’s Pacific Coast Highway and Australia’s Great Ocean Road. Our destination for the day, Dún Briste, is already visible from afar with its nearly 50 meters in height, and it’s one of the most distinctive points along the Wild Atlantic Way. Majestically rising at Downpatrick Head, a gigantic chunk of cool rock emerges from the Atlantic, defying all winds and tides. The sea stack Dún Briste, surrounded by boiling and foaming waves, has perched at the top of this impressive coastal area for many centuries. An unparalleled beauty envelops this place, which holds significant historical importance. We seek out the best lighting and use long and short exposure times to skillfully capture the unique scenery in photos.
Today, we leave Downpatrick Head behind and drive for about 3 hours in the morning to our next destination, Doolin. After a midday refreshment, our flagship tour to one of the highlights of our journey is on the agenda. The Cliffs of Moher are for good reason the most spectacular stretch of coastline that the European continent has to offer. Dark, grass-covered plateaus come to an abrupt end here, plunging almost vertically into the depths, providing an equally fascinating and dizzying view. Between the fragile edge and the roaring sea, there is nothing but air and a 214-meter free fall. Below, the spray splashes, countless seagulls, jackdaws, and guillemots frolic in the rock niches, but storm petrels and puffins also call this place home. Since the sight of the cliffs is truly breathtaking, it’s not surprising that the Cliffs of Moher have served as the filming location for numerous movies, including “Harry Potter,” “Hear my Song,” and “The Princess Bride.” While most tourists stop at the main viewing platform, we will hike a bit further to enjoy the best view of the majestic cliffs and capture them in our pictures.
It’s time to begin the journey back to Dublin. We reach the capital in the early afternoon, just in time for check-in at the hotel. As the sun begins to set, painting the sky with shades of orange and pink, we embark on an enchanting evening stroll in the heart of Dublin. The city, steeped in rich history and culture, comes to life under the gentle glow of street lamps. The cobblestone streets resonate with the melodies of street musicians, while the scent of freshly baked bread and brewed coffee wafts from the local cafes. We pass by the iconic Ha’penny Bridge, its reflection shimmering in the River Liffey, and make our way to the lively Temple Bar district. Here, the lively chatter from the pubs and the clinking of glasses create a symphony of typical Dublin nightlife. As we continue our walk, we are greeted by the illuminated facade of Trinity College, a beacon of knowledge and heritage. This evening stroll in Dublin is not just a journey through the city’s alleys, but also a journey back in time, a narrative of Dublin’s soul, told by the city itself.
Unforgettable mornings, evenings and nights let us tell stories that will be remembered for a long time through our pictures. Today we go home with lots of impressions and photos in the camera.
Note: We reserve the right to adjust the exact daily program at short notice, if necessary, in order to be able to respond to the respective weather and light conditions. With sunrise times around 5 a.m., sunsets around 10 p.m. and many kilometers of driving time, the schedule can be quite exhausting. In order to make the trip less stressful, in the places where it makes sense, we will consider focusing on only one of the two sessions depending on the better lighting conditions.
* (DAY1) Arriving flights must be scheduled in the morning, ideally before 12am, to guarantee enough transferring time to Northern Ireland.
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