Featured Trips


We had a wonderful experience with Essential Ireland. Chris and Stephen were very informative, had a great sense of humor,and were looking out for our best interests - we had a 2 year old in the group:) Killarney National Park was lovely, and we appreciated personal time to hike before starting our day. Ashford Castle, the Burren, the beaches, the peat bog, and the Great Blasket Center were fascinating, but the highlight for us was Dingle and our stay at Milltown. From the moment we were greeted by Seamus and our gracious hosts, we felt at home. The delicious breakfasts, the Irish music and dance presentation, the side trips to town and beyond, and most especially the falconry will leave us with lasting memories.
By Sue W for Wild Atlantic Way 7 days (Killarney, Dingle & Galway) on Jun 20, 2024
Many thanks Sue for your kind words and highly positive review of your 'private tour' with Essential Ireland Tours, it was such a pleasure to host you all and tour through our beloved Ireland together. Delighted to read you enjoyed all the Irish activities and cultural highlights and we hope to welcome you again in the near future. Le meas/with respect Stephen Mcphilemy Founder & Chief Tour-Guide Essential Ireland Tours
Our first trip to Ireland. We absolutely loved the tour from Essential Ireland. The accommodations, the experiences (crystal cutting, falconry, sheepdog demo, whiskey tasting, Blasket Island Center, Jaunting car ride through Killarney National Park, and so much more), the wonderful breakfasts at all places, guide Stephen's terrific driving through the narrow roads along the Wild Atlantic Way and his amazing commentary of the history of Ireland and its people as he drove...this trip more than lived up to our expectations. Only downside was the group was a little larger than advertised (21 instead of cap of 15) - but it did not really hinder our experiences. We loved the amount of time spent in the smaller towns of Killarney, Dingle and Galway. We did the Dingle Sea Safari on our 'free day' and it was the highlight of our trip - but we had amazing weather to experience it, so it's a crap shoot. This trip allowed for lots of free time to shop, eat and experience the local vibes as well - Stephen gave great recommendations for local pubs/live music.
By JODY B for Wild Atlantic Way 7 days (Killarney, Dingle & Galway) on Jun 20, 2024
Thank you so much for the lovely positive review Jody, it really helps other travellers decide to tour with us at Essential Ireland Tours. Our tour was such fun and it was a really great group, I loved guiding every minute of it. This particular tour departure had some tour-guests who could not travel on the next open date (which had 12 tour guests) or the previous tour (which only had 6 tour guests on the tour) and trying to make sure they enjoyed an Irish experience on the only possible date, we permitted going over our max on this one occasion, but we have a system in place now to ensure we will always stay at 16 tour-guests or under (our average throughout the year is actually 12 tour-guests. In April 2024 I led this tour with just 2 guests! We have a never-ever-cancel guarantee). But as you kindly pointed out, the group size didn't hinder our experiences and our brand new tour-bus had 30 seats. Still, we wont be going over 16 participants again in future I assure you. Delighted to read you loved the hotels, the experiences and all the great activities we include every day on our Essential Ireland tours. Best wishes from Dingle bay, we hope to tour with you again in the near future. Slainte! Good health! Stephen McPhilemy Founder and chief Tour-Guide Essential Ireland Tours
Wonderful tour with a small group. The tour leader had an extremely in-depth knowledge, but the group was small enough to adapt for individual preferences, and left enough free time for personal choice. Highest recommendation!!
By Anne W for Wild Atlantic Way 7 days (Killarney, Dingle & Galway) on Jun 12, 2024
Thank you sincerely Anne for your kind words, it was a pleasure to guide this tour and introduce our small group of 14 to my beloved Ireland. Im happy to read you enjoyed the relaxed pace of our Essential Ireland Tours and also the way we go in-depth in Irish history and culture. Best wishes to both of you and hope to see you "on the road again" sometime in the near future. Is mise le meas/from me to you with respect Stephen McPhilemy Founder and chief Tour-Guide Essential Ireland Tours