Welcome to our

Our Selection of TOURS

5 & 7, 11 & 14 Day Essential Ireland Tours

Luxury Tours

book your tour now

Your unforgettable adventure starts here. Choose from our selection of tours or get in touch to create your own customised Irish experience

Win a once in a lifetime tour of Ireland

Visit our Facebook or Instagram page to enter the competition. All you have to do is like, share and leave a comment as to what you'd most like to see on your visit to Ireland. Enter before February 1st to be in with a chance of winning a place on our April 2019 Wild Atlantic Tour.

Click Here to Enter

20% off all tours

We have a special discount code for you to celebrate the launch of our new website and VIP tour. It's valid until January 6th. Enter the following code in the checkout when booking your tour to get 20% off


Black Friday special Offer

Get €150 off your next  Wild Atlantic or Castles & Classics Essential Ireland Tours with this Black Friday special offer code: Ireland‍ or €115 of the True North Tours with this code: Ireland-North

Limited places so Book Now! Offer valid until 4 December

Our passion is you meeting the locals. Live like the Irish for a week on an Essential Ireland Tour
7 Day Essential Ireland Tour



Join us for an action-packed week in the beautiful West Coast of Ireland. You’ll enjoy the benefits of a small group with an expert local guide. The ideal tour to experience the Wild Atlantic Way. You’ll stay in the charming and lively towns of Killarney, Dingle and Galway. Dine like royalty, enjoy music-filled pubs, meet the locals (and our Irish Wolfhounds!), sing our songs and learn the lively history of this great land.

This is a very popular tour with glowing reviews, a lifetime experience and the small group size ensures wonderful personalised service

click here to read the up-to-date and detailed 7 Day Essential Ireland tour itinerary


Reserve your space with a small deposit (20% on most tours)

5 day tour of the North of Ireland



We at Essential Ireland are passionate about including the beautiful and fascinating North of Ireland and Donegal in our tours. We highly recommend you visit!

Our tour-guests are fascinated by the story of Historic Derry, the beauty and legends of the Causeway, modern peaceful Belfast and its troubled past, the characters and the communities of this beautiful part of Ireland that only 25 years ago was a no-go zone for tourists and is now one of Europe’s top attractions.

click here to read the up-to-date and detailed 5 Day Northern Ireland tour itinerary

PRICE: ONLY €1,299 - €1,499 PER PERSON

Reserve your space with a small deposit! (20% on most tours)

Our small groups can go places larger ones cant, and experience the local culture
Experience the thrill of staying in a castles that have stood for centuries
7 Day Essential Ireland Tour



You’ll never forget checking into world famous Ashford Castle, a 12th century fortress, and enjoy sleeping in its luxurious bedrooms.

This tour features all the fantastic activities and experiences Essential Ireland Tours are famous for, but the extra magic is the luxury accommodation and the small group size (8 - 16 tour guests only).

You’ll have the travel experience of a lifetime in some of the world’s best hotels and stately homes. We leave nothing out and the attention to detail on this tour is exceptional.Great memories, fun experiences, gourmet food and wine, luxury Castles, an epic VIP tour of Ireland.

click here to read the detailed and up-to-date itinerary for our 'Castles & Classics' Essential Ireland tour

PRICE: ONLY €2,999 - €3,499 PER PERSON

Reserve your space with a small deposit! (20% on most tours)

Create your own tour

PRIVATE TOURS of ireland


North, South or Plan Your Own Tour.
This is one of our most popular options. We have been famous for private tailor-made tours of Ireland for 20 years!

Your group can avail of one of our 7 day Wild Atlantic Tours or 5 day Northern Ireland Tours.Or perhaps you will enjoy combining both into an unforgettable All-Ireland tour for your friends and family to remember forever.

You will have our full professional planning experience to assist you. All tour itineraries are personally designed and advised by both Stephen McPhilemy, Ireland’s most experienced Tour-Guide and Rick Steves' Ireland expert for over 25 years.

Design your own Essential Ireland Tour with our expert travel guides

gift amazing EXPERIENCES

Essential Ireland Tour gift vouchers make ideal gifts for your loved ones
Essential Ireland gift voucher

GIVE the gift of ireland

Treat your loved ones to an unforgettable experience with an Essential Ireland Tour. Give them the choice of exploring the marvelous sites and sounds of Ireland.
Chose from one of our three tour types and let your loved ones chose their ideal trip

WILD ATLANTIC TOUR: €1,799 - €2399

TRUE NORTH TOUR: €1099 - €1499

CASTLES & CLASSICS TOUR: €2,799 - €3,499

USING YOUR GIFT VOUCHER: your voucher may be redeemed against any of our tours


"“Thank you for a great tour of Ireland, we had marvelous experiences, my kid still talks about Seamus the legendary Irish Wolfhound!”

Andrew Neal
Poland and California

"Patrick and Stephen’s hospitality was wonderful, filled history of the towns, we had a visit with a real Druid who did a Celtic ceremony! The culture was great, the music was great and the whiskey was fantastic!"

Jordan & Shauna Cunningham
San Luis Obispo

"I had a fanatic experience with Essential Ireland and my friends Patrick and Stephen. My first time in Ireland. Couldn’t ask for a better experience. Fantastic food, fantastic company. Amazing experience, enjoyed every bit of it."

Assemblyman Vince Fong
California State Legislature


We promise to provide you with the most fun, memorable and exciting Irish experiences at unbeatable prices. We promise to never have you feel like a tourist. We want you to meet our community, our friends and our clans and families; really experience the Irish way of life.

Our small groups  ensure this, we have 16 people max on each tour. When we enter pub in  the  evening, we filter away, we have fun and mingle, we don’t dominate like the big tour groups, they can't help  it. Big tour groups change the dynamic of the quaint pub, charming restaurant or idyllic village that  they arrive into. Essential Ireland Tours are subtle, we blend in easily and you have a much more authentic Irish experience



Stephen McPhilemy and Patrick Wade are the co-founders of Essential Ireland Tours. One Irish and one Irish-American, they met 20 years ago while Patrick was backpacking through Ireland and Stephen was his tour-guide.

Two decades later they (and their Irish Wolfhounds) are experienced and respected figures in the Irish tour and hospitality scene with a passion for providing high quality tours. Authentic Irish experiences for unbeatable value.