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North by West Explorer - 7 Day Tour

From the Causeway Coast to The Wild Atlantic Way

The Northern Coast to The Wild West

7 Day Private Escorted Tours of Ireland

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.


Professional Driver Guide  -  Luxury Private Tour Transport - 6 Nights Boutique & Luxury Style Accommodation with full breakfasts - A selection of activities and sightseeing each day - Off the beaten path & away from the crowds.

7 Day Private Tour North Ireland

Distance Travelled:

Approx 1,200km


  • 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 Private Tour of Ireland

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 

Dublin City to Belfast City 

via the Boyne Valley

Today we will begin our adventure North. Our first stop will be at one of the world’s most important prehistoric sites - 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 lightshow 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 visit the quaint town of Hillsborough to wander around the official royal residence of the Monarchy.  A short drive from here will see us arrive into the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast City, where we will complete our day with a comfortable stay in the heart of the city.

Activity Options - Newgrange, Hill of Slane, Hillsborough Castle

Tour Timings - 9.30am - 5:30pm​

Overnight - Belfast City, Northern Ireland


Day 2

Belfast to Derry

via the Causeway Coast

Today we will continue our journey north, this time taking the stunning north-east coastal drive through parts of the nine Glens of Antrim where the mountains meet the sea. This drive offers spectacular views across to our neighbours Scotland on a clear day and through many quaint towns and villages along the way. Your journey will take you into the queen of the glens - Glenariff where you will take a short walk to enjoy the forest and waterfall. Our next retreat is the beautiful fishing harbour 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.  A short drive further west will see us arrive at the old Bushmills Distillery that sits on the River Bush. You will have the option of touring the distillery where you will learn all about the process that makes this whiskey so special and get a chance to sample the local stock.  To end the day  we will drive along the coast, stopping at the crumbling ruins of the incredible Dunluce Castle before making our way to the fascinating walled city of Derry for your overnight within the medieval walls.

Activity Options - Giant's Causeway Exhibition Centre, The Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge, Cliff Walks, Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, Games of Thrones Sightseeing
Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm
Overnight - Derry City


Day 3

Derry City to Donegal

via Glenveagh National Park

Today we will rise to enjoy a morning walking tour of Derry City, the last walled city in Europe.  After which we will head west again across the border into the wild and rugged county of Donegal. This beautiful county hosts some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery on all of the island. 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 then make our way south through the breathtaking country scenery and overnight in the 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

Derry to Donegal Route

Day 4

Exploring Wild Donegal

via Sleive League Cliffs

We will start the morning driving out to the wilds of Donegal where we will arrive at one of the wonders of Ireland - Slieve League Cliffs. Standing nearly 3 times the height of the Cliffs of Moher these majestic cliffs are a highlight of the northwest coast. Here you will have time to walk the cliffs and take in the awesome coastal splendour of the west coast of Ireland. You will also have the option of taking a boat and getting a real perspective of the vastness of the rugged coastline. Our journey then will continue around the peninsula with stops at the quaint villages along the way such as Killybegs, the fishing town, and Ardara. Our day will end arriving back into Donegal town where you will have time to take in some of the wonderful craft and clothes shops on the diamond.

Activity Options - Slieve League Walk, Slieve League Boat Trip, Knocknarea Climb, Carrowkeel, Carrowmore, Foxford Woolen Mills, 
Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm
Overnight - Donegal


Day 5

Donegal to Rural Mayo

via Yeats's County Sligo

We will start the morning with a drive to the beautiful 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 Benbulben mountain. Next we will take a moderate hill walk to the stunning Knocknarea to pay our respects at the 6,000 year old tomb of Queen Maebh. The top of Knocknarea offers some of the best panoramic scenery on the island. We will then continue off the beaten path and away from the crowds to your overnight in the boutique private farm cottage Ireland West Farm Stay. Here you will meet the locals of the village of Carracastle and enjoy traditional music by the fireside in the cottage.  This is truly a unique glance into Ireland’s past. 

Activity Options - Glenariff Horseshoe Drive, Knocknarea Climb, Carrowkeel, Carrowmore, Foxford Woolen Mills, Music by the Fireside
Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm
Overnight - Rural County Mayo - Boutique Farm Cottage Stay -


Donegal to Rural Mayo

Day 6

Rural Mayo to Galway City

via The Connemara Region

Today we will start the morning with a fascinating tour with Eddie Joe through his farm and onto the bogs where you will learn of rural Ireland’s traditions, history and superstitions. After this fascinating tour our drive will take us south into County Galway and the Connemara Region. We will enjoy the stunning mountainous backdrops as we pass through Joyce Country. Here you can enjoy a fascinating sheepdog demonstration with local farmer Joe Joyce before paying a visit to the floating village of Cong where you will be able to walk by the lakes and rivers and explore the exquisite Cong Abbey.  We will then arrive into the bohemian heart of Ireland - Galway City for your final night stay along the wild atlantic way.

Activity Options - Connemara National Park Walk, Kylemore Abbey Tour, Quiet Man Cottage
Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm
Overnight - Galway City

Day 7

Galway City to Dublin

via Ireland's Ancient East

On our final day you will have time in the morning to enjoy Galway City before setting off on our journey back to the east and Dublin City. Our first stop will be off the beaten path and away from the tourist crowds at the working farm of Pat & Eveline Noone. Here you will explore the mysterious rings forts and fairy fields and also hear of the stories of the ancient Tuatha De Denann and faery folk from Pat Noone. This is a unique activity away from the tourist crowds in the heart of rural Galway. We will then continue east taking a stop along the River Shannon to enjoy one of the most important Early Christian Monastic settlements on the island - Clonmacnoise. Finally, we will arrive in the evening into the capital city of Ireland Dublin where we can enjoy the sights and sounds of this thriving, eclectic city.

Activity Options - Clonmacnoise Tour, Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery or Tullamore Dew Distillery, Athlone Shopping, Durrow High Cross, Phoenix Park Drive
Tour Timings - 9:30am to 5:30pm

Accommodation Options 

on the 7 Day Ireland Private Tour

Where would you like to stay?

We offer a varied portfolio of boutique and luxury options of accommodation from the exclusive to the less expensive. We believe variety is the spice of life and we encourage a mix style of accommodations to enhance your private tour experience. All of our partner accommodations are of the highest standard and offer a special, memorable, local experience.


Below you will find some examples of our partner accommodations.

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

Why not add a

Full Package Upgrade?

Why not let Little Gem handle your entire vacation in Ireland! 

Just add an airport to airport upgrade...

We will greet you at the arrivals of whichever airport you arrive into in Ireland and take you to your hotel. We will cover all accommodations during your time  in Ireland and we will drop you back at the airport to wave goodbye at the end of your travels :)

Find out more here

Little Gem Private Tour Full Package


For detailed itineraries and full pricings.

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