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The Emerald Route 7-Day Self-Driving Tour of Ireland

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Book with Confidence

  • Guaranteed Departures
  • 5 Star Rated on TripAdvisor
  • Small Groups
  • Can be booked as a private tour
  • Local Irish Guides

Self Drive Tours

  • Expertly Designed Itineraries
  • Support Concierge Service
  • Overland Ireland Virtual Tour Guide
  • Fully Comprehensive Insurance

  • Self-Drive
  • 7 Days
  • 1-4 people (Get in touch for groups of 5+)

Your expertly planned 7-day self-drive Ireland trip

We promise that your 7 day driving tour of Ireland will bring you on an unforgettable journey, encapsulating and exploring Ireland with a diverse range of scenery, castles, adventure, history, heritage, culture, and wildlife along the way. Enjoy some exciting experiences, yet feel as though you’re gliding through the days at a smooth pace.

Start by leaving the bustling streets of Dublin behind for the stunning, awe-inspiring Wild Atlantic Way. On this world-famous route, you will cover more than 1,100 km of the ruggedly beautiful Irish coastline, from Connemara to Kinsale.

Our team of expert local guides and trip planners have crafted an Ireland driving tour over 7 days that is packed with memorable experiences, allowing you to discover the best our country has to offer. Some of the highlights include breathtaking sights on the Ring of Kerry, amazing hidden gems like Moll’s Gap and Torc Waterfall, as well as the natural wonderland of Killarney National Park.

You will visit Ireland’s most famous landmark — The Cliffs of Moher — and quite possibly fall in love with the bustling bohemian city of Galway and the ancient charm of the Aran Islands. Let us plan your journey from start to finish and leave you to create memories to last a lifetime.

Book with Confidence

  • Expertly Designed Itineraries
  • Support Concierge Service
  • Overland Ireland Virtual Tour Guide
  • Fully Comprehensive Insurance

Due to our tours’ remote, off-the-beaten-path locations, and the fact that we cannot guarantee that all accommodation partners have ramps and/or elevators, unfortunately, our tours are not wheelchair accessible.

Keep scrolling and reading to learn more about this 7-day self-drive Ireland tour. But if you’d like a little more information and inspiration before you book, consider our much-loved Small Group Tours of Ireland and perhaps even one of our Tailor-made Tours of Ireland.

Paddy - The Pocket Pilot

Paddy the Pocket Pilot App

Every Self-Drive Tour booked with Overland Ireland comes with exceptional service, guided itinerary and extras, such as our Paddy the Pocket Pilot App, as standard. So, if you’re looking for an independent way to see Ireland with all the benefits and surprises of a guided tour with pre-booked “tried & loved” accommodation, you’re in good hands. But don’t take our word for it, check out our tour group reviews here.

Cartoon character named "Paddy the Pocket Pilot," with aviator glasses, a pilot hat, and specializing in Private Tours.

What's included and excluded on your 7-day driving tour of Ireland?

We are one of the only Ireland tour companies to include as much as we can in the price of your tour. Nobody likes hidden surprises and unexpected charges while on holiday, so we do whatever we can to avoid them.

Our mission is simple: keep costs down and experiences up! We have worked really hard to find you the best deals across the country.

Do you have special dietary requirements or preferences? Please let us know as we can cater this tour to vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians.


  • Paddy the Pocket Pilot App
  • Top class accommodation in carefully chosen locally run guesthouses. We also have options of hotels and castle experiences
  • A hearty breakfast each morning to set you up for the day
  • Detailed and easy to follow daily itineraries
  • Simple maps and instructions on how to navigate your way around our beautiful country
  • All entrance fees to all national parks on your itinerary
  • Tour support throughout your journey. We are always available for a chat should you need us
  • Daily hidden gem locations revealed by our expert guides
  • Daily food and entertainment recommendations
  • Kylemore Abbey
  • Aran Island Ferry
  • Galway Walking Tour
  • Sheepdog Demonstration
  • Dingle Kayaking
  • Kinsale Walking Tour
  • Blarney Castle


  • Parking and motorway toll fees
  • Fuel - for you car and of course your body! Petrol, lunch and dinner are on your own!
  • Clonmacnoise
  • Dún Aonghasa
  • Shannon ferry
  • Ross Castle
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Aran Island bike hire
  • A driver guide (check out our fully-guided tours)
  • The self-control to leave stunning locations and be brave enough to discover all the other wonderful places on your itinerary
  • Some suggested activities and experiencesWe can arrange these for you, but you may be making payment directly to the activity/experience provider i.e. horse-riding, jaunting (horse drawn carriage)
  • Airfare to Ireland
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Private room upgrade for solo travellersMandatory

Are there 5 or more people in your group?

Get in touch to enquire about booking a larger vehicle



The Emerald Route 7-Day Tour of Ireland

Itinerary — The Emerald Way 7-day Self-Drive Ireland Tour

A stylized illustration of a blue minivan with "Overland Ireland: Small Group Tours" written on the side, featuring simple representations of passengers wearing sunglasses.

Day 1:Clonmacnoise – Connemara

Total driving distance & time: 310 km – 4 hours 10 minutes, excluding stops

Switch on Paddy the Pocket Pilot app and start your self-drive tour crafted by expert local trip planners. Leave Dublin behind for Clonmacnoise, a beautiful 6th-century monastery on the banks of the River Shannon. This remarkable place was a centre of excellence for learning and saw scholars create some of the finest Celtic art and manuscripts for over 600 years.

With a whetted appetite, you will cross the country into County Galway. Your next stop is Kylemore Abbey in the heart of Connemara. The rugged landscape of Connemara come hail rain or shine is guaranteed to take your breath away. Spend time roaming the abbey and Victorian walled garden on this 1000-acre estate overlooking Kylemore Lake and the majestic Connemara National Park.

At the end of a busy day, stay in Clifden surrounded by the Twelve Bens mountain range. Discover some great bars, restaurants, and nightly music, and have a chat with the locals over a pint of the Black Stuff!

We have added the option of staying in an exquisite castle so you can embrace your inner Prince(ss)!

Day 2:The Aran Islands

Total driving distance & time: 100 km – 1 hour 40 minutes, excluding stops

A short drive brings you to Rossaveal Pier on Galway Bay. Here, you board the ferry to the Aran Islands. You’ll land on the largest of the three islands: Inishmore. Explore this rugged island by bicycle or by special request jaunting cart.

The route will take in Dún Aonghasa, a stone fort that lies 100m over the ocean, before circling back to the mainland. While on Inishmore, you might pick up a few words of “Gaelic” from the locals. And why not treat yourself to an authentic Aran Sweater?

Your departure from Rossaveal is the start of our Galway adventure. Hug the coastline into bustling, bohemian Galway. Expect a great atmosphere, entertaining street performers and plenty of craic in this much-celebrated town.

Day 3:Galway – The Cliffs of Moher

Total driving distance & time: 90 km – 1 hour 45 minutes, excluding stops

Galway is a city that has its Medieval history at its very heart. Our local guide will take you down the narrow streets where you can duck in and out of brightly coloured shops.

Try on Claddagh Rings, Galway Shawls and pass through The Spanish Arch to take in the famous Claddagh fishing village.

This day just keeps on giving. You will now travel south west towards The Burren National Park and the jaw-dropping Cliffs of Moher. On this adventure you will visit Corcomroe Abbey, a 13th century Cistercian Monstary and the 16th century Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara.

The cliffs experience will take you by foot across its stunning natural features with the powerful Atlantic Ocean waves crashing in below. The cliffs are one of the most spectacular natural features in Ireland and are sure to leave you lost for words. The evening is spent in the hometown of traditional Irish music – Doolin.

Day 4:Doolin to Dingle

Total driving distance & time: 240 km – 3 hours 30 minutes, excluding stops

A trip to Ireland is not complete without seeing all the ancient structures. Drive to the most famous Dolmen at Poulnabrone. These Neolithic monuments are scattered throughout the country marking burial sites and passageways dating back to 3000 BC.

A short journey from the Dolmen, the farmers at Caherconnell will treat you to a spectacular sheepdog trial. Prepared to be awestruck by the skill of the farmer and his furry friend as they gather up their flock of sheep. Cross the border by ferry to County Kerry and leave the west behind. It is time to get excited about your next destination – Dingle.

The evening in Dingle is yours to absorb the town’s renowned atmosphere, from its famous quirky pubs to the restaurants serving mouthwatering dishes. Why not sit in Foxy John’s hardware store, order yourself a drink, and strike up a conversation with a friendly local? Rest your head at your fantastic guesthouse handpicked by our team.

Day 5:The Dingle Peninsula

Total driving distance & time: 50 km – 2 hour 30 minutes, excluding stops

Today your morning begins out on Dingle Bay where you will explore caves and inlets by kayak. And if kayaking isn’t your thing, you can enjoy a pleasurable hike up Eask Tower. At the top, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Dingle Bay.

If you just want to stroll around Dingle itself, exploring the colourful buildings, cute craft shops, and cafes, go ahead and enjoy yourself! This is your holiday – Do it your way.

In the afternoon, return to your car and take a trip along The Slea Head Drive, one of Ireland’s most scenic and impressive roads. You spend another night in the buzzing town of Dingle, so you’re free to relax and enjoy however you please.

Day 6:Sites on the Ring of Kerry

Total driving distance & time: 200 km – 3 hours 30 minutes, excluding stops

Say your fond farewells to Dingle and journey towards the Ring of Kerry. The first stop takes you to Killarney. The Ring of Kerry is the very definition of the word scenic and you will discover many hidden gems including Moll’s Gap, Torc Waterfall and Ross Castle in Killarney National Park. We will arrange a guided tour of Ross Castle where you will learn what life was really like behind the stone walls.

Stop for some shopping and lunch in the beautiful heritage town of Kenmare. For your last night on tour, we are excited to send you to coastal Kinsale which is famed for its culinary culture, delivered by its many award-winning restaurants.

The town also has a wonderful tradition for poetry, as well as gold, silver, and glassware manufacturing. You can see the fruits of these throughout Kinsale’s local shops and galleries that boast the works of local talented artists.

Day 7:Cork – Kiss the Blarney Stone

Total driving distance & time: 320 km – 3 hours 30 minutes, excluding stops

Wake up refreshed and ready to be taken on a guided walking tour through the narrow streets of Kinsale with one of Ireland’s greatest guides, Barry.

Your self-drive App Paddy will lead you on to Blarney because you simply cannot leave Cork without visiting Blarney Castle and Gardens and giving the Blarney Stone a big fat kiss!

Your final stop before driving back to Dublin is the Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel is over 1000 years old and you will get to see its medieval round tower, chapel, cathedral and castle. A fantastic end to your trip.

And that’s the end of your unforgettable Irish road trip! Turn off the engine, dry your tears, and reminisce about all the experiences you’ve enjoyed over the last 7 days. If you plan to spend some time in Dublin and the surrounding areas before leaving the Emerald Isle, we can share plenty of amazing recommendations for things to do, eat, and keep you entertained. Or why not link up with another self-drive itinerary? The possibilities are endless at Overland!

Note: To confirm your booking, you are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €300 per person for Self-Drive tours.

Due to our tours’ remote, off-the-beaten-path locations, and the fact that we cannot guarantee that all accommodation partners have ramps and/or elevators, unfortunately, our tours are not wheelchair accessible.

Download this itinerary as a PDF

    Note: This is our current itinerary for this year. If you’re booking for next year, the plan could change slightly. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about this or our other tours!