County Antrim is situated in the north-eastern corner of Ireland. What is remarkable about it is that it combines both amazing natural beauties (such as The Giant's Causeway), and impressive urban experiences (including Belfast).
The western part of the county is occupied by Lough Neagh - the largest lake in Ireland and a true paradise for eel-fishing lovers. Toomebridge, at the top right corner of Lough Neagh, is home to the largest eel fishery in Europe. From Lough Neagh itself, on a good night, up to 10 tonne of eels may be collected. Tourists who are not particularly into fishing need not worry, jet skiing, canoeing, windsurfing, and sailing should definitely satisfy their taste in watersports.
The sightseer will be most delighted with the fertile Valley of the Bann (in the western part of the county), as well as with the magnificent eastern coast that stretches north of Larne, and the 9 beautiful Glens of Antrim, which are favourite local spots, cradles of legends, stories and superstitions. A chain of fine holiday resorts also stretches along the eastern coast.
As far as the northern coast is concerned, an otherwordly landscape opens to the visitor's eyes in the form of The Giant's Causeway, a celebrated natural wonder and the best-known attraction in Northern Ireland. The tourist will be most charmed, not only by the array of massive basalt columns, but also by the legends concerning their origins, the stories about how the giant Fionn MacCumhail (Finn MacCool) created the causeway in order to get to Scotland. As a matter of fact, molten rock was forced up through the chalk bed of the central plateau 60 million years ago, and, after hitting the sea and cooling rapidly, it gave birth to spectacular rock formations.
While in the north-east, the visitor should certainly stop at Ballycastle, where he may also have the chance of attending one of Europe's oldest festivals, the Auld lammas fair. And by no means should the Bushmills whisky distillery be overlooked, as it is the oldest in the world. Larne, a large ferry port, is a very popular tourist destination for the region.
The ancient history lover can find, at Carrickfergus, the best preserved Norman castle in the county, and would be well advised to visit Dooey's Cairn, which is about 6000 years old.
The county is one of the best as far as city attractions are concerned, since it is the county of Northern Ireland's capital, Belfast. The city, named by "The Times" as one of the top ten destinations for the year 2000, is one of the hottest nightspots in Europe and it is famous for the friendliness of its people. Possibly due to the effect of the historical two and a half decades of violence, Belfast has always had to work hard to attract tourism, and thus, it is best prepared to make tourists welcome. The cultural life is thriving with theatres, concert halls, galleries and, museums. The city is said to be one of the world's greatest culinary centres. Some of the best pubs in Ireland are here, too. No need to worry about things to see either - there's the Opera House, the Folk and Transport Museum, Belfast Castle, Belfast Zoo - the best in the country, St. Anne's Cathedral, and, among Ireland's biggest shipyards, the one that built the famous "Titanic".