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Ireland's Northwest & Giant's Causeway 2018



This all-inclusive photo tour covers Donegal in the wild northwest of Ireland, while the optional Game of Thrones extension will take you to UNESCO world heritage site Giant's Causeway, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Ballycastle. You will also see the old Ballintoy harbor and the Dark Hedges – both famous filming locations for the Game of Thrones series.

Experience Ireland in microcosm. The locations we will take you to have it all. From stormy cobble beaches to shipwreck sites and ancient ruins, from castles, waterfalls and mountains (yes, Ireland has mountains) to rivers, lakes and secret sea arches.

Donegal has an ancient history with remnants of neolithic culture as well as vestiges from more recent times in the form of castles and old estates. It is a place where people have interacted with the ancient landscapes for millennia and it is this fusion, which creates unique photographic opportunities.



(The itinerary is subject to be adjusted based on weather conditions)

Day 1 - AUG 26 2018

Arrive at Donegal airport (short flight from Dublin airport). This is one of the world's 10 most spectacular airport approaches and will set the mood for the entire week. Transfer to Dunfanaghy in Donegal. This will be our home base for the first part of the photo tour.

Dunfanaghy is a centre for arts, music and outdoor pursuits (golf, horse riding, surfing, hill walking). As a result it has excellent local dining opportunities. The Rusty oven (renowned for its pizzas), Café Arnou (a gourmet burger bar and café), Lizzies diner, Arnolds hotel, Buttermilk café, The Cove and the Olde Glen bar

Overnight at Arnold’s hotel or similar.

Breeches Arch, Donegal

Day 2 - AUG 27 2018

Drive to Dungloe and The Breeches Arch (Crohy Head). This is one of the best sea arches on the west coast of Ireland. It affords the photographer fine views over the Atlantic Coast which is now part of the Wild Atlantic Way. The coastline here is spectacular – a little scrambling may be needed to see the arch clearly. We will have lunch at the famous Nancy's Pub in Ardara before going to the waterfall at Assaranca and Maghery beach if time permits.

Return to Dunfanaghy.

Murderhole Beach

Day 3 - AUG 28 2018

Drive to the Rosguill peninsula to take in the photographic opportunities found along the Atlantic coast. We walk to Murder Hole Beach (Boyeeghter Bay) which is pounded by high energy waves. Following this we have lunch at The Singing Pub and then drive back to Lackagh Bridge and the Owencarrow river and onwards to Lough Salt, with spectacular views of west Donegal, and the remnants of an old Famine village. After this we return to Dunfanaghy.

This may be done in reverse order depending on the times of sunrise/sunset and the tidal regimes.

Shipwrecks, Ireland

Day 4 - AUG 29 2018

Drive to Dunlewy via a scenic route through the Derryveagh mountains – old Irish bridge and ancient ‘roofless’ church. We then proceed to Derrybeg and the wreck of Cara na Mara which lies abandoned on the beach – an iconic photographic location. After this we drive to the Bloody Foreland (huge cobbled storm beaches and sea arch – spectacular in storm conditions) and back along the coast to Magheroarty (a long spit of sand with some wrecked boats on the leeward side).

Overnight in Dunfanaghy

Fanad Lighthouse, Ireland

Day 5 - AUG 30 2018

An early drive out for Sunrise at Fanad lighthouse, to the East, on the shores of Lough Swilly. Overnight in Dunfanaghy. Here, if weather and time permit, we can walk to the Great Pollet sea arch and on return photograph the rocky granite shorelines of the Fanad peninsula. In the afternoon we drive around Horn Head to take in the sights of the cliffs and a short walk to a location tourists don't typically get to see, because it is on private land: the large sea arch (Marble Arch) with good viewpoints from the top of a cliff. There are also very photogenic rock formations there.

Overnight in Dunfanaghy

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Day 6 - AUG 31 2018 - Game of Thrones Extension

Departure day for those not doing the extension to the North Coast of Antrim.

From Dunfanaghy we drive East to Derry via Grianan of Aileach, a ring fort, whose origins date back to 1700BC. We will stop here for the views north over Lough Swilly and to spend a little time at the fort. We then drive to Derry and onwards to the Mussenden Temple at Castlerock. The views from here are impressive, both within the demesne and over the beaches of Benone. Lunch at Harry’s shack in Portstewart. From here we drive to the UNESCO heritage sites along the Causeway Coast. The world famous Giants Causeway is formed of about 40,000 basalt columns and is the best location in the World to see such formations.

Overnight at the Fullerton Arms, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Ballintoy Church, Northern Ireland

Day 7 - SEP 01 2018 - Game of Thrones Extension

An early morning start to visit Ballintoy harbour. The village was used for the fictional town of Lordsport in the Isle of Pyke in the second season of Game of Thrones. The harbour is surrounded by distinctive rock formations, which are great to photograph when there are large waves. Then on to the Dark Hedges in Armoy, Co.Antrim, which was also featured as the Kingsroad in Game of Thrones. A rural road with ancient beech trees creating an ethereal and moody tunnel. This is a photographic location of value as the trees create an old enclosed driveway. Lunch at Red Door Cottage or Fullerton Arms. Carrick a Rede rope bridge links the mainland to the small island of Carrickkarede. The interesting coastal landforms with chalk and basalt rocks create distinctive contrasts.

Overnight at the Fullerton Arms, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Day 8 - SEP 02 2018

Breakfast with the group, drive back to Dunfanaghy and onward travel.


Title: Ireland's Northwest & Giant's Causeway 2018
Start: Aug 26 2018
Duration: 5 days + 2 optional days
Location: Ireland
Language(s): English, German
Host(s): Chris Marquardt, Trevor Cole, Ashley Kydd
Experience required: none
Price: from 2950 EUR

Shoe rating:
(click for details)

How physical is this workshop/tour?

Rating for Ireland's Northwest & Giant's Causeway 2018:

This tour will bring you to very special places that are not widely known, thus some of the places we visit will not be directly beside the road and might require a short hike across Irish fields. Shoes with good soles are definitely recommended.

easy (mostly in and around the classroom)
light (some walks, mostly easy terrain, no flip-flops please)
moderate (includes usually optional walks over mixed terrain, suitable shoes and clothing required if not mentioned otherwise)
heavy (includes trekking, hiking boots, altitude under about 10,000 ft)
very heavy (think trekking at altitude, Himalayan tours)

If you have questions about details, please don't hesitate to contact me any time via email at, on Twitter @chrismarquardt or on Facebook
This workshop is currently closed for registration.

This photo tour is in the planning stage. Please expect a few minor changes when we release the final itinerary.

Tour structure

For this tour you can book the base tour only (days 1-5) or the base tour plus the Game of Thrones extension.

The base tour price is € 2950 including accommodation and all meals (details see below in the sidebar), the extension is € 950. All rooms are single rooms unless you wish a double room for you and your partner.


You can bring your non-photographer partner/spouse at a discount of 20%.


Email me
or Tweet @chrismarquardt
or find me on Facebook.

(receive sporadic emails with workshop updates)

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Find out more:
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  • Photo tour and workshop
  • Three instructors (best participant/instructor ratio in the market!)
  • All meals
  • 5 nights in Dunfanaghy in a single room
  • Transfer from and to Donegal Airport
  • Transportation during the tour
  • All entrance fees

In addition during the 2-day Game of Thrones Extension:

  • 2 nights in Fullerton in a single room

Not Included

  • Your airfare & transportation to Donegal Airport (CFN)
  • Drinks for lunch and dinner, alcohol
  • Anything that's not explicitly mentioned above

Limited to nine participants

The tour is strictly limited to 9 participants. We offer a 20% discount if you want to bring a non-photographer partner/spouse.


  • Main tour: € 2950
  • Game of Thrones extension: € 950

You can reserve your spot on the tour with a non-refundable deposit of € 1000. The balance payment is due 4 months before the start of the tour.

Payments accepted via SEPA, Paypal or major credit cards.

Getting there

The best way to get to Donegal Airport (CFN) is via Dublin. There flight from Dublin to CFN is a short 55-minute hop and is best booked directly at Aer Lingus.

We will take care of your transfer from Donegal Airport to our home base in Dunfanaghy.

Donegal Airport has been voted one of the 10 world’s most scenic airport landings.


Accommodation is included:

  • 5 nights at Arnold's Hotel in Dunfanaghy
  • 2 nights at the Fullerton Arms House (during optional extension)

Expected Weather

August/September are often Ireland’s driest months but this is Ireland, so rain is always a possibility. Temperatures of around 15-20° Celsius (60-68° Fahrenheit) are the norm but always expect the unexpected. Sometimes it is the westerly low pressure systems that bring the sunshine and showers which characterise Irish weather creating the variations in light that excite us photographers.

Expected Light

The light in Ireland, due to its latitude, is always low and this is to the photographer's advantage. Low light creates contrasts and shadows and at this time of year the golden hours are long with soft warm hues which bring out the greens of Ireland and reflect beautifully on water surfaces and rocks.











Author: Chris Marquardt

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Shoe pictograms 1 and 2 by Alex Podolsky under a CC BY 3.0 US license