7 Night Self-Drive Tour
Ireland Tours

7 Night Self-Drive Tour

Southern Gems – Self-Drive Tour

Overview of the Tour:

Tours of Ireland

‘We want a comprehensive tour of Ireland but we only have 7 nights’! This is the panicked plea we get from many a person wishing to travel to Ireland but little do they know that 7 nights is actually a great amount of time to get so much done in our wonderful little Country. Our 7 Night Hot Spot Tour is planned so that you can extensively cover Southern Ireland at a practical and safe pace. Enjoy green fields, stone walls, ancient monuments, lively cities, quaint little towns, cliffs and caves, this tour has it all!

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

Arrive to: Dublin Airport
Depart from: Dublin Airport

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Prices start from: EURO 499 or $649 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

Tours of IrelandHighlights


  • 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



The capital of Ireland, and one of Europe’s best weekend destinations, Dublin never ceases to amaze and delight. A buzzing metropolis that feels like a small, friendly town, Dublin is jam-packed full of exciting cultural events, world-class attractions and lots of must-see’s. While Dublin may feel small, it is a city that rivals any of the world’s biggest players, and you’ll understand why once you walk the cobblestoned streets of Temple Bar, marvel at the beautiful architecture of Christchurch Cathedral, or enter any of the thousands of pulsating pubs that decorate the streets.

Start your day off with an early-morning visit to the magnificent Trinity College, where busy students jolt around 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.

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 in beautiful, peaceful surroundings.

It’s Guinness Time! Take 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.

Continuing along the theme of Irish alcohol, we can’t forget about Jameson Whisky, another legend among Irish exports. This fascinating tour awaits you in the Old Jameson Distillery, right in the heart of the city.

Who could forget the harrowing and compelling Kilmainham Gaol, a jail with years worth of Irish heartbreak and resilience, wrapped up into a single building, which became a temporary home for so many of Irelands 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 nightlife 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


  • Kilkenny castle
  • Pat tynan walking tour
  • St. Canice’s cathedral
  • Rothe house & gardens




The culture, heritage and history of Kilkenny’s City are steeped in the fine historical buildings, landmarks and winding streets of the city. Once a monastic settlement, the city grew to a flourishing Norman merchant town in the middle ages.

The people of Ireland are fiercely patriotic and no matter where you go, the pride they feel for their Country and County will be one of the first things you notice. Kilkenny is perhaps one of the best illustrations of this. The City bursts with Irish pride with an emphasis on their love of Traditional Irish Music and Dance, sports, their sense of community and the wonderfully warm welcome they extend to visitors to the City from all over the World.

The magnificent Kilkenny Castle dominates the high-town of the City. Enjoy a stroll through Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile marvelling at some of the City’s best known sites with one of Pat Tynan’s Tour Guides. Climb the oldest standing structure in Kilkenny – the Round Tower at St. Canice’s Cathedral City and marvel at the stunning views of the City from a height. This city’s medieval heritage remains firmly rooted in the winding, bustling City streets of modern day Kilkenny.


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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 much 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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Tours of IrelandHighlights


  • The Ring of Kerry
  • Staigue Fort
  • Killarney National Park
  • Muckross House & Gardens
  • Killarney’s Traditional Music Pubs
  • Dingle Peninsula
  • Slea Head Drive


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. County Kerry 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 a must-see, especially the vast and beautiful Killarney National Park.

Further mystique awaits you at the haunting remains of Staigue Fort, where thousands of 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 spectacular structure from hand.

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 creamy pint of Guinness!


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Tours of IrelandHighlights


  • Connemara
  • Kylemore Abbey
  • Galway City





Sparsely touched by the grey bleakness of the modern world, Galway’s Connemara is truly the land that time forgot. With lush green meadows, thatched cottages, stone ruins, weathered mountainsides dotted with sheep, the heart of the west is truly still alive and beating strong. Standing on the shores of Galway, with the fresh ocean spray brushing against your face, breathing in the crisp Atlantic air you will inhale the true essence of Ireland.

The only thing to outshine the rustic beauty of the “Tribal County”, as it is locally known is the spellbinding legend and folklore surrounding the County.  This mystical County is famed for things such as the Claddagh ring, famously worn by John F Kennedy and his wife after they purchased matching rings on their trip to Galway in 1963. Knockma – a large hill encasing a burial mound at its summit is reputed to be the final resting place for the remains of the infamous Queen Maeve of Connacht. Knockma is also said to be the site where the King of the Connacht faeries, Finvarra, holds court.

Galway City offers a wonderfully relaxed yet lively atmosphere – a stark contrast from the constant hum and buzz of Dublin City. The legacy of this city is embedded deep under the cobbled streets, can be heard in the songs and music of the street performers and is lovingly crafted into the home-made produce found in the quirky little markets often found adorning the streets.


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Tours of IrelandHighlights


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





Westmeath is a County close to our hearts here at Irish Essence Tours as it is home to the company founder, Deborah. She grew up in this County and is eager to share her heritage with you. The Lake County offers many great little hidden treasures which are often overlooked. Located in the heart of the Country, everything about the Midlands is quintessentially Irish as you are digging down to the core of our motherland.

The counties of Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath have managed to grow and change with the times yet maintain their authenticity and as the Midlands often gets neglected by other Tour Companies, many of the attractions are not as commercialised as what you may experience in the Coastal Towns and Cities. Westmeath in particular, despite its location just one hour from Dublin City seems as if it could be a World apart from the bustling hub of activity.

Some of the better known popular tourist attractions in the Midlands include Fore Abbey which is an ancient monastery, the Belvedere House and Gardens, Athlone Castle, Clonmacnoise and Locke’s Distillery but we have uncovered wonderful little folk museums, bog centres and farms for you to visit. Westmeath is our home and leaving Ireland, we want you to feel that it is your home away from home too.

Depart Westmeath for your final night in Dublin. Your Travel Advisor can arrange some wonderful Music and Dance entertainment for your final night. We have negotiated discounted rates with these dinners and shows for our clients so let your Travel Advisor know what your interests are and they will help you pick the best show for 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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This website is part funded by Westmeath County Enterprise Board. Co City Enterprise Boards are co funded by the Irish Government and the European Union funded