St. Patrick, so legend goes, saw the Irish countryside on foot. That's still a good way to tour Ireland, but there are other possibilities, too:
* On foot: This walking and minibus tour promises "an Irishman's Ireland" of "quiet country towns, wild moors and lonely coastal cliffs." Eighteen days along the southern coast between Galway and Dublin. Land cost, including meals and lodging in small hotels, $1,695 per person. Departures May 18, Aug. 24. Mountain Travel, 1398 Solano Ave., Albany, Calif. 94706, (800) 227-2384.
* The "Grand Tour": Fifteen days by motorcoach on a circle tour of the Irish coast. Land cost of $728 per person includes lodging in first-class hotels and two meals daily. Departures weekly, May through October. Brendan Tours. Consult a travel agent.
* Trekking by horseback: A seven-day ride around the Dingle Peninsula from Tralee, staying in first-class country inns. July and August, from $555 per person for land costs. Hamilton Travel & Incentive Corp., 3 East 54th St., New York, N.Y. 10022, (212) 751-9360.
* By horse-drawn caravan: The pace is leisurely as you explore County Cork and County Kerry aboard a covered wagon. These campers sleep four, or you can stay in bed-and-breakfast inns. A one-week rental costs from $150 to $250. For information sheet: Irish Tourist Board, 590 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10036, (212) 869-5500.
* A fly-drive package: Set your own pace. Rent a car for a week (beginning at $159) and stay in selected country homes (about $26 a night per person, including breakfast and taxes) or farmhouses (about $21 per person). Hertz, (800) 223-6472.
* On a do-it-yourself inland cruise: Several companies offer large motor-powered boats for use on the inland waterways of the Shannon and Erne Rivers. The largest can sleep eight people, and the galleys are fully equipped. A one-week charter begins at $250. For information: Irish Tourist Board.
* By 10-speed bicycle: A leisurely (about 20 to 30 miles daily) eight-day tour of southern Ireland for adults only. A van carries the luggage, and cyclers stay in top-class lodging, including the final night at County Clare's turreted Dromoland Castle. Land costs: $1,190 per person, including lodging, most meals, use of cycle. Departures July 7, Aug. 11. Butterfield & Robinson Travel, 330 Bay St., Suite 1604, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2S8, Canada, (416) 864-1354.