5 Night Self-Drive Tour
Ireland Tours

5 Night Self-Drive Tour

Ireland’s Heartland; Self-Drive Tour

Overview of the Tour:

Tours of Ireland

Experience the very best of what Ireland has to offer in this compact but comprehensive 5-night self-drive tour around the beautiful coast of Ireland, finishing off the journey through the Midlands.

From the sprawling centre of entertainment and ‘craic’ in Dublin, to the quiet country roads of Kerry, where nothing but the wild beauty and winding roads accompany you, our Ireland Coastal Highlights Self-Drive Tour takes you from ancient to modern, energetic to quiet and everything in between.

This tour is perfect for those who have a limited number of days to travel in Ireland. Get the full Ireland package without compromising on what you can see and do. This tour encompasses a great range of diversity, stunning natural beauty, plenty of fun and adventure, and a unique opportunity to experience traditional Irish culture.

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Follow our meticulously planned route that will take you to the best of what Ireland has to offer, allowing you to take your time, explore your surroundings and get up close and personal with Irish tradition and culture.

Overnight Locations: Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Dublin
Optional extra locations to visit on this tour: Wicklow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Limerick, the Midlands

Arrive to: Dublin Airport
Depart from: Dublin Airport

Prices start from: EURO 369 or $480 per person sharing*

*Prices are based on two adults travelling and sharing one double/twin room. Cost is based on low-season prices and the use of a Group B, Manual transmission economy vehicle. Conversion rate is estimated at $1.3 to each €1.00 – Tour will be charged at conversion rate on date of purchase.


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Summary of the Tour Highlights

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  • Trinity College Dublin
  • The Book of Kells
  • Chester Beatty Library
  • Temple Bar
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Old Jameson Distillery
  • National Museum of Ireland
  • Christchurch Cathedral
  • Kilmainham Gaol


Start your day off with an early-morning visit to the magnificent Trinity College, where busy students scatter the cobblestone courtyards in between classes, and magnificent buildings from the 16th and 17th century adorn the grounds. The Book of Kells, one of the most beautiful and striking medieval manuscripts in Europe, is a must-see during your time in Trinity College.

Why not kick-start your visit to Dublin with a playful and informative tour of the Guinness Storehouse and learn about the production of Irelands most beloved and famous drink. You’ll even get your first sip of ‘the black stuff’ in its original home! Make sure to also check out the amazing 360° views of Dublin city from the top floor of the Storehouse where the Gravity Bar is located. Alternatively, a tour of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery is always worthwhile if the distillery process interests you.

Give your Irish knowledge a kick-start with a trip to Chester Beatty Library museum and the National Museum of Ireland, where you can learn about Irish history, literature and culture is beautiful, peaceful surroundings. For history lovers, the harrowing and compelling Kilmainham Gaol is a must. The jail has years of Irish heartbreak and resilience built into its walls and unfortunately became a temporary home for so many of Ireland’s great leaders for independence.

If you’re still not finished with Dublin, make sure to check out the beautiful Christchurch Cathedral, a behemoth of a building, that’s definitely worth seeing up close and personal. Finish the day off with a stroll through Temple Bar, Ireland’s most famous and popular night-life and entertainment district in the country, where music and ‘craic’ wafts through the narrow,cobblestone streets, as dozens of pubs, bars and restaurants fill the air with an unforgettable buzz of energy and fun.


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Tours of IrelandHighlights


  • Blarney Castle
  • Cobh Heritage Centre
  • Cork City
  • The Old Middleton Whiskey Distillery
  • Drombeg Stone Circle
  • Charles Fort


Cork City is famed for its witty residents, unrivalled patriotism and love of the arts. So whether you want to while away you time in the city, by listening to the local banter in a pub, or you’d rather visit one of the many museums, galleries and theatres that the city is famed for, we’re sure that you’ll become just as enchanted with Cork as the locals are!

Outside of the city, relics of Irish history such as the spectacular Blarney Castle, spark intrigue among guests, as whispers of the old legend of the Blarney Stone emerge. Indeed, it is said that by kissing the stone, which rests over a 100-foot drop, you’ll be blessed with ‘the gift of the gab’. Perhaps this explains why locals here love to chat so much!

Other highlights of your day in Cork include visiting the iconic Blarney Woollen Mills, where you can shop for some of the finest Irish crafts including Waterford Crystal, Aran jumpers, Celtic jewellery and more. There’s no souvenir quite like a handcrafted piece of Irish tradition.

The village of Cobh is quaint, charming and full of character. Make sure to take your time to walk down to the promenade, where dozens of colourful buildings look out over the sea. Pop into the Heritage Centre for some fascinating insight into the strong emigration history of the area, including Cobh’s relationship to the Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage.

Complete your tour in County Cork with a trip to the beautiful small towns of Kinsale and Middleton, the breath-taking site of Charles Fort, and mysterious Drombeg Stone Circle.


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  • The Ring of Kerry
  • Staigue Fort
  • Killarney National Park
  • Muckross House & Gardens
  • Killarney’s Traditional Music Pubs



Without doubt, the Ring of Kerry is one of the most awe-inspiring areas of Ireland, where rolling green hills collide with still, blue lakes and mountains paint the horizon with their rugged, mossy facades. The Ring is ideal for exploration by car, allowing visitors to stop at many of the famous viewpoints along the way, such as Ladies’ View and the Devil’s Punch Hole. Killarney, home to some of the best traditional Irish music sessions in the country, is also a must-see, especially the vast and beautiful Killarney National Park.

Further enchantment awaits you at the haunting remains of Staigue Fort, where many thousand years worth of history is revealed. Finish the day off by taking a peaceful evening stroll around Muckross House & Gardens, with its magnificent sprawling gardens and interior décor that would impress any bygone Kings of old.

However you choose to spend your time in the Kingdom of Kerry, you’ll experience a part of Ireland like no other, where tradition and Irish culture is lovingly preserved through music, language, art and more. You may even get the chance to put your Irish language skills to the test with a native speaker, so start practising!


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Tours of IrelandHighlights


  • Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • The Poulnabrone Dolmen
  • The Burren
  • Jane O’Brien’s Ennis Walking Tour
  • Doolin Village


Tour your way around the southwest coast of Ireland, heading towards the picture-perfect lands of County Clare, where the Cliffs of Moher loom large against the wild crashing waves of the Atlantic. Shrouded in mist, or bathed in sunlight, this is one place in Ireland where the weather cannot subtract from the beauty, and where you’ll really appreciate the power of Mother Nature in all her glory.

Bunratty Castle, with all its elegance and medieval charm, is the perfect spot for some photography. Just don’t forget to take a peek inside, before you lose yourself in the beauty of the grounds and the Folk Park. Just when you thought you had seen all that Clare has to offer,you’ll discover the vast, sprawling rocky desert of The Burren. A unique landscape of karst limestone, The Burren feels as barren and out of this world as the name might suggest. Move onto the fascinating Ailwee caves next, where a series of underground tunnels and caverns reveal the extent of the dissolving limestone landscape. Gaze in awe at the Poulnabrone Dolmen, as you ponder on the strength and resilience of the ancient Irish inhabitants, for creating such a spectacular structure from hand.

Round off the evening with a pleasant stroll in one of Jane O’Brien’s highly regarded Ennis Walking Tours, taking you through the lovely town of Ennis on a variety of themed tours. Later, ‘hit the town’ for an explosion of Irish music, song and dance in one of the many great pubs of Doolin. You may even get to experience a fascinating Irish recitation, which is often hilarious, usually recited by memory and should always be accompanied by a pint of Guinness!


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  • Clonmacnoise Monastic Site
  • Fore Monastic Site
  • Belvedere House & Gardens



As you make your way back through the midlands, in the direction of Dublin, you’ll notice the land flatten, as mountains turn to soft green hills like a rippling ribbon in the wind. County Westmeath, lovingly known as ‘The Lake County’, is dotted with numerous,expansive lakes such as Derravaragh, Ennell, Lene, Owel and Ree. Beside most lakes lie silent forests, inhabited by foxes, badgers, squirrels and birds. Westmeath is a land of scenic beauty, and is yours for the taking as you explore her hidden gems by car.

From the amazing monastic site of Clonmacnoise and Fore, with their crumbling walls representing thousands of years of Irish history, to the stunning Belvedere House and Gardens, an old Georgian mansion with perfectly groomed gardens; discover an ancient chapter of Ireland during your exploration of County Westmeath.

When you’re ready to hit the open road again, just head straight for Dublin, where you’ll spend your final night in Ireland. We can arrange some wonderful entertainment for your final night in the big City. Just ask your Travel Advisor about the shows we have contracted excellent rates with and they will happily arrange something to suit your tastes.


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What Our Customers Say
This truly was a trip of a lifetime for us. I find myself looking at it and sighing, wishing we could be back there! We couldn’t have asked for a better trip and we’re already planning our return for 2015. The level of personal attention you devoted to every little detail will never be forgotten – we raised many pints of Guinness to Irish Essence Tours and to you Deborah on our trip!
─ Martha & Jim Foster and Bitsy & Bob Morales, Texas
Working with you, Deborah, to create our journey was a pleasure. From the start, you were knowledgeable and returned inquiries in a timely manner. Your insight of Ireland travel also directed us extremely well with our sightseeing choices. It was important to me to be able to speak with a live person. Otherwise, I would not have had the opportunity to meet such a wonderful person, an outstanding representative of your company.
─ Franny Kreisberg, New York
I had to write to you on this, our last day of our trip as I want to express how happy we are with everything you prepared for us. Irish Essence Tours has blown away all of our expectations for our trip to Ireland.
─ Cadence & Nicholas Sanders, Georgia, U.S.A.
Dear Deborah, We are sending this message to you, hoping that you can post it on your website so that other travellers may know what a terrific job you did for us in planning our recent trip to Ireland. In every respect, we loved the tour you planned for us. We loved where it took us; we loved what we saw, the beauty, the tranquillity, and the history of your magical country. We loved the accommodations, the B&Bs, which you thoughtfully arranged for us. We enjoyed the restaurants and pubs, many of which you recommended. Lastly, we loved the people we met. In all our travels, we have never visited a country full of warmer, more polite, welcoming people. And, you Deborah, represent Ireland, and its' people, at its' finest. Our dealings with you, your willingness & patience to listen to what we wanted, and your prompt responses, could not have been better. It was a real pleasure doing business with you. Thank you so much Deborah for the trip of a lifetime. Allen & Marilyn Herman Cincinnati, Ohio, USA September 2014
─ Allen & Marilyn Herman
I have never thought I could see so much from just a week. Thanks to Irish Essence that was made possible. Not only did we see so many exciting and beautiful places, it was also affordable. This company is extremely professional, helpful, and also and friendly. three characteristics one would certainly look for when booking for a holiday. Most importantly, it is a reliable company. thanks and kind regards, Natalino Malta, Spain
─ Natalino Meli
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