For those looking to get off the beaten track and away from the tourist crowds the 7 day private North & West Explorer Tour is ideal. The tour delves deep into the unique culture and history of Northern Ireland and of course it explores the dramatic scenic coastal drives along the way. It then takes you on an exhilarating drive along the west coast of Ireland discovering it's many hidden gems and great personalities along the way.

The Northern Coast to The Wild West

Escorted Tours of Ireland

The Tour Route

Tour Overview

Distance Travelled:

Approx 1,200km

Highlights:

  • Newgrange & The Boyne Valley

  • The Giants Causeway

  • The North East Coast

  • The Cliffs of Moher

  • Connemara National Park

  • Glenveagh National Park

  • The Burren National Park

  • The Wild Atlantic Way

  • The Midland & Shannon Region

Meet the Locals:

  • Local Sheep Farmer

  • Local Belfast Black Cab Driver

  • Local Small Farmer

Tour Pace: Medium Pace

Choose Your Style...

Remember you can always change this tour to suit your own pace, interests and requirements. Just contact us and tell us what you would like.

North by West Explorer

7 Day Ireland Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Dublin City to Belfast City via The Boyne Valley

Our first day will see us depart from your hotel in Dublin as we make our way north on the start of our adventure. We will begin with a stop at one of the world’s most important prehistoric sites including the UNESCO heritage site, Newgrange. Standing over 5,000 years old, this passage tomb not only predates Stonehenge but also the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Our tour will take you inside this ancient tomb for a recreation of the light show on the winter solstice when the sun shines through lighting up the inner chamber of the tomb. we will also have the option of enjoying the other treats that The Boyne Valley has to offer like The Hill of Slane.  Afterwards we will go through the 'Gap of the North' and across the border into Northern Ireland where we will arrive into the capital, Belfast City. Here in Belfast you will enjoy the brilliant Titanic Belfast Exhibition and learn all about the heroic shipbuilders of Belfast of the 19th century. After this you will be taken by a Belfast local for a tour of his city. This tour will show you the peace wall and murals that are a poignant memorial to Northern Ireland's turbulent recent past. We will then complete our day with a comfortable stay in the heart of Belfast City.

Main Highlights - Newgrange, Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast City, Black Cab Political Taxi Tour

Activity Options - Newgrange, Hill of Slane, Titanic Experience, Black Cab Taxi Tour.

Tour Timings - 8:00am to 4:00pm​

Overnight - Belfast City, Northern Ireland

Day 2 - Belfast City to Derry City via The Causeway Coast

On our second day we will continue our journey north, this time taking the stunning coastal drive on the way to the north-east coast. This journey will take us through the nine Glens of Antrim where the mountains meet the sea. The drive offers spectacular views across to our neighbours Scotland on a clear day and through many quaint towns and villages along the way. Our first activity of the day will be the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge. If you are brave enough you will cross this shaky bridge suspended 30 metres above the waves of the ocean. We will then pop into the beautiful fishing village of Ballintoy before journeying on to the world famous Giant's Causeway, where geology meets mythology. Here you will have plenty of time to enjoy the stones and learn all the myths of Fionn MacCumhaill. We will then continue on our coastal drive this time taking us to some of the islands best beaches before arriving in Derry City where we will spend our second night.

Main Highlights - Causeway Coastal Drive, The Giants Causeway, The North East Coast

Activity Options - Giants Causeway Exhibition Centre, The Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge, Cliff Walks,  Bushmills Whiskey Distillery Tour 

Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm

Overnight - Derry City, Northern Ireland

Day 3 - Derry City to Donegal via Glenveagh National Park

This morning will begin with a walking tour of Derry, the last walled city in Europe.  After which we will head west again across the border into the wild and rugged county of Donegal. Here we will find, Grianan an Aileach, a magnificent stone fort which commands superb views across Lough Swilly and the surrounding mountainous countryside.  We will drive past the looming Mount Errigal as we make our way into Glenveagh National Park, where we can take scenic walks and visit the late 19th century Glenveagh Castle.  We will make our way south through the breathtaking country scenery and overnight on the serene shores of Lough Eske near Donegal Town.

Main Highlights - Glenveagh National Park, Derry City, Donegal Town

Activity Options - Derry City Walking Tour, Grianan an Aileach Walk, Glenveagh Castle & National Park​

Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm

Overnight -  Donegal Town, County Donegal

Day 4 - Donegal to County Mayo via Wild Donegal Coast

We will start the morning driving south into County Sligo where we will visit the grave of the famous poet W.B. Yeats which lies in a small cemetery at the foot of the majestic Benbulbin mountain.  Next we will enjoy a spectacular climb of Knocknarea to pay our respects at the 6,000 year old tomb of Queen Maebh.  The panoramic views from the summit of this serene hill are some of the most dramatic on the island. We can then take some time to explore the working town of Sligo. We also have the option of visiting the incredible ancient farm system called the Ceide Fields The oldest in the world with a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, before making our way back towards the quaint village of Carracastle in County Mayo, for our very own family farm stay experience.

Main Highlights - Slieve League Cliffs, Sligo, Ireland West Farm Stay

Activity Options - Yeats Grave, Knocknarea Walk, Sligo Town, Kesh Mountain & Tombs, The Ceide Fields Tour, The National Museum of Country Life

Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm

Overnight - Ireland West Farm Stay, County Mayo

Day 5 - Mayo to Galway via The Connemara Region

Today’s journey takes us into another National Park, our second of our trip - Connemara. We will take off the beaten track travel through the stunning Delphi Pass and past Killary Fjord, one of only three fjords in Ireland. We will travel deep into Connemara with a visit to the exquisite and romantic Kylemore Abbey with a backdrop of mountains, lakes and rivers. We will then continue into the stunning mountainous backdrops of Maam Cross and visit traditional heritage farms along the way.  We will pay a visit to the floating city of Cong, famous from the Quiet Man before visiting local sheep man, Joe Joyce who will give you an excellent demonstration of how he commands his dogs to round up the sheep on the mountain tops.  We will complete our day with a drive to the vibrant Galway City on the banks of Galway Bay where we will spend the night with lots of bars, live music and good food on offer in the bohemian heart of Ireland.

Main Highlights - Connemara National Park, Cong, Killary Fjord, The Delphi Pass, Wild Atlantic Way

Activity Options - Connemara National Park Walk, James Joyce Sheep Dog Demonstration, Kylemore Abbey Tour, Quiet Man Cottage

Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm

​Overnight - Galway City

Day 6 - Galway City & County Clare via The Cliffs of Moher

Today we will continue our journey along the WIld Atlantic Way. We will discover one of the strangest and most exotic of the 6 national parks of Ireland - The Burren Geopark with stunning coastal drives and opportunities to sample the local delicacies of chocolate, oysters and craft beers. We will then travel on the one of the wonders of Europe - The majestic Cliffs of Moher where we will enjoy beautiful cliff walks at one of the most spectacular sights in Europe. After the cliffs we offer a range of activities that include boat trips, horse riding or guided walks around the County Clare area. After the fun of The Cliffs of Moher we will travel back through the famous corkscrew road on the way back to Galway City enjoying some more tastes and sights along the way. We will spend our second night in The City of Tribes, and soak in the great bohemian atmosphere that makes this city so special.

Main Highlights - The Cliffs of Moher, The Burren National Park, Wild Atlantic Way

Activity Options - Cliffs of Moher Boat Trip, Burren Walk, Burren Chocolatier, Corcomroe Abbey Visit, The Burren Perfumery, Horseriding​​

Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm​​

Overnight - Galway City

Day 7 - Galway City to Dublin Via Ireland's Ancient East

Our final day will see us travel through the midlands of Ireland. We will take a stop along the River Shannon to enjoy one of the most important Early Christian Monastic settlements on the island - Clonmacnoise. We will then continue into Ireland’s Ancient East with options of some of the gems of the East midlands including Trim Castle, Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery, Athlone and the high cross of Durrow. We will then finish our journey with a trip back to Dublin the capital city of Ireland

Main Highlights - Athlone, Clonmacnoise, Seans Bar

Activity Options - Clonmacnoise Tour, Seans Bar, Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery, Tullamore Dew Distillery, Athlone Shopping, Durrow High Cross, Trim Castle Tour, The Hill of Tara

Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm

Overnight - Return to Dublin CIty

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We have contacts in a variety of different options of accommodation from the exclusive to the budget option. Choose the option you would like.

 

5 Star - Castles, luxury hotels & city hotels

4 Star - Manor houses, deluxe hotels and city hotels 

3 Star - Country houses, gourmet hotels & retreats

Speciality Lodgings - B&B's, guesthouses & farmhouses

Others - Hostels, Private Rentals, Camping, Glamping & Quirky

 

We will tailor the tour using your accommodation option.

 

Find full Accommodation Options

Where would you like to stay?

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For detailed itineraries and full pricings.

Little Gem Private Tours of Ireland

Private Tours of Ireland

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Private Irish Tours - T/A - Little Gem Private Tours of Ireland,

Dublin, Ireland.

Providing the best private, Ireland tours with a private driver.

Private day tours from Dublin and private excursions of Ireland.

Tel from USA / Canada           011 353 86 047 4836

Tel from Europe                      353 86 047 4836

Email                                       tours@littlegemtours.com

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