Cliffs of Moher: how to visit Ireland's most famous cliffs

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Aina Martin

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Are you planning a trip to Ireland? You might be interested in these articles of mine:

  • 8 day ontheroad itinerary in Ireland
  • Practical advice for a trip to Ireland

Visit the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

It has been a long time since I wanted to visit theIreland and in particular the Cliffs of Moher. They are part of those places so praised and so particular that they almost represent chimeras. A similar sensation had also occurred to me in France when I visited Mont Saint Michel. Yet, they are places that exist and when you visit them you are amazed.

In this post I want to give you all the useful tips for visiting the Cliffs of Moher. Here is the index of this article that you will need to immediately find the information you are looking for!

Cliffs of Moher: how did they form?

First, let's talk about data: 8 kilometers long e 214 meters high (some claim 217, we are there) the Cliffs of Moher are Ireland's most visited tourist attraction. Their formation dates back to 320 million years ago during the Upper Carboniferous.

Trivially, they were formed by a sedimentation process of sand, mud and debris. In fact, at that time the area of ​​the cliffs was located right near the mouth of a river which, little by little, transported and deposited the various "materials". Over time they have turned into sedimentary rock. If you look closely at the rocks of the cliffs, you will notice the various layers and the different colors between one layer and another, formed over millions of years of history.

Where are the cliffs located?

In County Claire, the same as the charming town of Galway, a few kilometers south of the pleasant village of Doolin (destination where I recommend you to sleep: see end of post). The Cliffs of Moher overlook the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland's far west. If the weather is good and there is little mist, you can see the equally famous Aran Islands on the horizon.

The Cliffs of Moher are located along the Wild Atlantic Way, that coastal road runs from north to south across the west coast of Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher: when to go

The summer months are certainly the best from a weather point of view for a trip to Ireland. So: late spring ed summer. But, yes there is a but. Like all high season months, the cliffs will be particularly crowded and the consequence will be a general loss of pathos. Normal.

That's why I was lucky to have been able to visit in the off season. As you may have read from my articles on Ireland (if you haven't done so yet -> see my articles on Ireland), I was in Gaelic at the beginning of March. I trust you that even today I feel the chills of the cold of that late afternoon at sunset. The whipping wind made the situation even more freezing, but I must admit that the emotion was completely different.

The people who were on the cliffs could be counted on the fingers of one hand, including ourselves. And the choice of sunset time was perfect, the "combo" sunset + cliffs of moher it's really a winner.

Setting sun on the horizon from the Cliffs Of Moher

I told you about late afternoon, but even in the morning is recommended. If you go during high season, it may be a winning choice to visit the cliffs of moher early in the morning or after 16-17pm, when many tourists have already left.

How to get to the Cliffs of Moher?

The best way to get to the Cliffs is by car. As a lover of travel ontheroad I can only support the classic car travel with the possibility of stopping anywhere and photographing whatever catches my attention.

I got to the cliffs this way. I left my car in the parking lot directly in front of the visitor center entrance.

Caution: parking is paid, it costs 8 euros. There are no great alternatives, but what you are going to see is worth the ticket price.

If you are in Ireland now, click HERE and the navigator will open with the destination set on the car park, valid for any place you are, whether you come from Dublin or Galway.

Arriving from Dublin by car or on a tour

If you will be in the car, follow the previous point. It is "useless" to tell you which paths to take because I imagine you have one smartphone e google maps, and thanks to the customs clearance of internet tariffs, just set the destination and it will take you there. From Dubino to the Cliffs of Moher are approx 270 km e just over 3 hours travel (toll motorways planned). So the best way is rent a car. If you have never driven on the left, I will help you with this article: 10 tips for driving on the left and not getting anxious.

From Dublin with daily tours

If you are not going to visit the cliffs by car, but want to visit them on a day tour departing from Dublin, then I recommend two solutions. They will allow you to optimize times, movements e Costi, without even having to worry about the organizational side and driving in the opposite direction.

From Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher by bus or train: I don't recommend it, too many hours wasted traveling.

Arrive from Galway by bus or tour

To arrive from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher it is sufficient to walk the Wild Atlantic Way, or better yet click HERE and be accompanied by the navigator. You will cross the Burren crossing lunar landscapes. In this case there will be no tolls to pay.

I recommend you take the coastal stretch. Keep the Black Head Lighthouse as a point of reference and take that road to the sea: gorgeous. Beware that the lighthouse has no parking and is not much. If you want to take photos, a few kilometers further south there are open spaces where you can stop and take photos like these.

The strange shape of the Burren

If you want to visit the Cliffs of Moher on a 7 hour total day tour from Galway then .

By bus from Galway: you can use the 350 bus and in about 2 hours it will take you to the Cliffs of Moher.

Arrive on foot from Doolin or Liscannor

You got it right! You can reach the Cliffs of Moher directly on foot from the villages of Liscannor (5km south) in 1 hour 10 minutes and Doolin (6km north) in 1 hour 20 minutes.

These trails are part of the Cliffs Coastal Trail, a 20km route that if you have time I recommend you do. On -> Official site -> find the map and other very useful information.

How to visit the Cliffs of Moher?

The main part of the cliffs is located in the stretch between the visitor center and Liscannor. It is on this path that there are the rocks overlooking the sea. But, beware, the word "overhang" should make you think: do not get close for any reason, you can easily take any necessary photograph without having to risk hurting yourself.

The wind is always very intense, the ground could be wet and slippery and the rocks tend to crumble, so much so that landslides often occur. There will just be a reason why it was created a more internal path than the main one, separated from the latter with stone slabs. I advise you not to step over the slabs. I assure you that you will be able to enjoy the show while staying in what we could define as a "comfort zone". Here, this time stay in yours comfort zone.

A detail of the marked path

The paths to discover the Cliffs

From the visitor center continue south and towards the Hag's Head, which is the southernmost area of ​​the Cliffs of Moher. You will be right above the cliffs in perhaps the most photographed place in Ireland. The best perspective, however, will be found north of the visitor center as you approach the O'Brien's Tower (dating back to 1835, admission € 2). From this point you will take memorable photographs and you can wander with the view up to Connemara, Aran islands and southwards to Loop Head.

The classic photo that shows all the cliffs "in series"

Cliffs of Moher: recommended clothing

On the cliffs you will be guests of nature. Point. So there may be rain, wind, full sun as well as wet and slippery ground. It is essential to choose the shoes for use when traveling that are suitable for what you want to do, in this case it is better to choose some trekking shoes. For cold and rain, evaluate according to the season in which you will visit them. Basic a windproof and a k-way they are a good solution.

Opening hours, prices and parking tickets

The cliffs are always open and you can walk them for free. You don't pay to see the Cliffs of Moher. What you pay for is the parking, the entrance to the visitor center and the related services, such as restaurant, bar and toilet. If you want to pay 50% less, you can buy tickets directly on Official site.

Parking and visitor center are open at these times:

  • From November to February -> 9-17
  • March, April, September and October -> 8 am-19pm
  • From May to August -> 8 am-21pm

Doolin: sleep near the Cliffs of Moher

Even before the trip I was informed about which village to stop by visiting the Cliffs of Moher. Everyone spoke great about this small ocean view village that gives you a disarming sense of tranquility. I have to say it was a great choice. Featuring a couple of "old fashioned" pubs this is the ideal place to go sleep nearby. My accommodation was a cute name B&B Glasha Measows B&B (click for hotel) Ample parking, located outside the village, I couldn't have asked for better.

Alternatively if you want to discover all the Doolin hotel / B & B. For dinner I absolutely recommend the McGann's Pub!

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