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Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction

Cliffs of Moher

A guide to making the most of your visit

“The sun is setting in a burnt orange sky; the cliffs are black silhouettes; the sea, liquid silver.”

 Laura Treacy Bentley
Cliffs of Moher

If you want to see Ireland’s best natural sights, visiting the Cliffs of Moher is a must. Our description may come up short when describing this unique and magnificent setting. No pictures truly do it justice, so it must be done in person. Only then can you take in the breathtaking majesty with your own eyes. Standing in awe, on the edge of cliffs almost 700 feet high, at Obrien’s Tower, above the Atlantic Ocean, with views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, and the Twelve Pins mountain range in the distance, you are captivated. Mother nature puts on quite a show here. Welcome to some of the best the Emerald Isle has to offer.

Rising out of the Atlantic waters and running along the coast of Clare for almost 8 miles, the Cliffs of Moher formed over 320 million years and today are part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark. The beauty here has inspired artists, musicians, and poets for generations, as well as stimulating scientists and geologists, all drawn by the unique landscape of the Cliffs of Moher.

For all nature lovers, this is one of those perfect destinations. You will have an awe-inspiring experience; we guarantee it. If you are worried about safety, be reassured it is safe with clearly designated paved pathways to enjoy the spectacular vistas.

Where are the Cliffs of Mohr

Cliffs of Moher
Photo from Cliffs of Moher Official Website

The Cliffs of Moher are located on Ireland’s west coast, close to Liscannor village in County Clare. The closest airport is Shannon International Airport, located one hour away. Shannon Airport has direct connections from the USA and mainland Europe serving the west coast of Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Cliffs of Moher are easily accessed by road from Galway (90 minutes), Ennis (40 minutes), Limerick (75 minutes), and from the ferry, which sails from Tarbert in Kerry to Killimer in Clare (45 minutes). Dublin is approximately 4 hours via Limerick. Directions are lower in the post.

Cliff of Moher Satellite Map

GPS Co-ordinates:
Visitor Centre 52.97201, -9.42592. Car park 52.97256, -9.42170.

Things to Do In or Near the Cliffs of Moher

Photo from Cliffs of Moher Official Website
  • Once you’re on the cliff, the first thing to do is take pictures. 
  • Take a trip up the 19th-century O’Brien’s Tower for views beyond compare. O’Brien’s tower is where nine 50-liter barrels of whiskey have been placed in a collaboration between JJ Corry, local whiskey bonders, and the Cliffs of Moher Experience.
  • If you want educational exhibits, visit the on-site visitor center. Pre-book a 45-minute guided visit with insights into the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and County Clare.
  • If you prefer to do it on your own, there is a free app and audio guide you can download. More info is below.
  • Take the opportunity to view the cliffs from three primary viewing platforms, including the interpretive center.
  • Partake in some bird watching. The Cliffs of Moher is one of the best places in Ireland to watch birds. The magnificent Cliffs on the Wild Atlantic Way host major colonies of nesting sea birds and are one of the country’s most critical bird-breeding sites.  
  • Enjoy a meal at the Cliffs Cafes or have a picnic on your walk.
  • Shop at the Visitor Center gift shops, where you can find local Irish goods. 
  • If you’re with a guide, visit Doolin Cave; it has free-hanging stalactites. 
  • For a unique, rocky, and breathtaking landscape, visit Burren National Park. 
  • Enjoy the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk connects that connects the lively villages of Liscannor and Doolin via the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.
  • Watch the sunset or sunrise.
  • Visit the charming towns near the Cliffs, such as Doolin, Kinarva, and Ennis. Have dinner and enjoy local hospitality.
  • Take in the Cliffs of Moher from the water and include a visit to Inis Oirr and Aran Islands. Cruises commonly launch from the town of Doolin.
  • Stop by Hags Head, the site of an Iron Age fort built in the 1st Century BC. This fort gives the Cliffs their name as the word “Mothar” in ancient Gaeilge means “ruined fort.”
  • Don’t miss the city of Galway and its charms only 90 minutes away.
The Burren
The Burren

Are you planning a trip to Ireland? Check out Ireland Travel Guide for great tips and essential information.

Tickets are required to visit the Cliffs of Moher

We think booking online is best to receive the best deals. Visit outside peak times between 11 am – 4 pm for a more pleasant and peaceful experience. Hours are Off-Peak AM: 8 am -11 am
Peak times: 11 am – 4 pm Off-Peak PM: 4 pm – Close. Sunrise and sunset visits are extraordinary and memorable. Children under 12 are FREE when accompanied by a parent/guardian to a maximum of 4. Dogs are welcome. Entry fees range based on the time of entry between 7-10 euros. To reach the official online ticket site, click here.

What does The Cliffs of Moher Experiences include?

From the Cliffs of Moher website

Visitor Center Cliffs of Moher
Photo from the official site for Cliffs of Moher
  • A fully accessible Visitor Center with self-guided Cliffs exhibition and on-site theatre with an exhilarating virtual reality cliff-face adventure
  • 800m of safe paved pathways and fantastic viewing areas, including access to O’Brien’s Tower and rooftop viewing where one can see five counties on a clear day
  • Audio Guide and App – free to download with audio tracks from the locals, information on all aspects of the Cliffs, maps, and all information to make your trip to the Cliffs of Moher memorable
  • Restrooms/toilet facilities
  • WiFi
  • Secure unlimited parking
  • Accessibility for all
  • Complimentary services such as binoculars and picnic blankets on loan
  • Picnic areas and an internal dining area for those who wish to bring snacks
  • Water refill station
  • Phone charging and luggage storage, First Aid room, and meditation room
  • “Lifts of Moher” electric mobility vehicle driven by experienced guides to ensure visitors with mobility issues do not miss out on the beautiful views and experience
Photo from Cliffs of Moher’s official website

Free Audio Guide and App – Download before you go

The Cliffs of Moher app and audio tour is your essential guide to the Cliffs of Moher Experience. The App aims to educate, enthrall, entertain, and ensure you get the most from your visit, with audio tracks from locals, information on all aspects of the Cliffs, maps, a route calculator, and photographs. You will have everything you need to know to make your trip to the Cliffs of Moher memorable. We wish that were available during our visit.

Cliffs of Moher

It is informative, educational, and a fantastic way to learn more about the Cliffs of Moher before, during, or after your visit. There are also tips on planning your visit: the best time to arrive and other places and things to explore in County Clare.

The easy-to-navigate English Audio Guide and the map are packed with features that take you through the Cliffs of Moher in 13 chapters.

The key areas of interest include the main viewing areas: O’Brien’s Tower, the Visitor Centre, and UNESCO Global Geopark.

OBrien's Tower

Cliffs of Moher – Interesting Facts

  • UNESCO recognizes these cliffs as a Global Geopark. This is why they are now designated as a geological area of ​​interest at the international level. According to many scientists, this place still holds the answers to thousands of questions. 
  • It is often visited by experts in archeology, botany, geology, and history as it is more than 320 million years old. People visit these cliffs for their beauty, but experts say they hold ancient secrets that could benefit humanity’s future. 
  • The Cliffs of Moher are also excellent breeding grounds for birds. By some estimates, more than 30,000 types of seabirds use these cliffs for their settlement. If you are a bird watcher, you can see incredible seabirds here.
  • It is a recognized landmark on the big screen, and you have probably already seen it in movies and music videos. Some scenes from Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince were shot here. These cliffs have a celebrity status among production houses, too, as every angle is photogenic and complements the feel of the big screen.
  • In Ireland, it is the second most popular fee-paying site for tourists. You will find all types of people, families, nature lovers, and photographers. If this is your first time, you can expect many visitors. It can be a bit difficult to have some privacy.
  • It is one of the few places in the world where tourism began centuries ago. In fact, there is evidence that people visited this place around the 1st century B.C. to fish, collect bird eggs, have fun with their friends, etc. 
  • The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking, but two hours is enough to explore the entire area. Therefore, if you plan to spend the day on the cliffs, consider doing other activities, such as canoeing, visiting nearby villages, a boat ride, or exploring the Burren.

Check out the official website for the Cliffs of Moher for more information.

Be Prepared

Local farm animals grazing

It is best to be prepared for the weather conditions that can change on a dime. The distance from where you park and walk along the cliffs can be quite far. Expect the weather to change during your visit, and be prepared, or you may have a long wet ride back to Galway. Always have a raincoat and even waterproof walking boots or hiking shoes. Even better if you have waterproof resistant pants. The wind is always a factor, too; hold on to that hat. Umbrellas are worthless due to the wind; they will be in the ocean before you know it.

When to visit the Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Before visiting, remember that weather conditions play a significant role here. You check the weather at this link http://www.met.ie/. The wind is almost always a factor at the Cliffs of Moher, and since temps are always mild, it can be pretty chilly as a result. If you have a choice of days to go, choose a day when the weather is clear and fog-free but keep in mind you are in Ireland, which can be a challenge. Sunny days are rare.

The sunny summer months are your best chance for ideal viewing conditions. June and July are the months with the most chance of sunny weather and less rain. It is when you will have the greatest likelihood of good visibility and the opportunity to take great pics. But they are also the busiest; you will find many tourists on the cliffs. If you want to avoid the biggest crowds, it is best to visit in the morning or late afternoon.

We visited the Cliffs of Moher in April and got super lucky with partly sunny skies, no rain, and lots of wind. There were a few tourists, so it was wonderful! We know people who went in July, and it was pouring. You never know, so go for it.

In the winter, foggy conditions can significantly affect visibility, and you won’t be able to take good pictures either. That does not mean you should avoid going; it is still magnificent and worth the trip.

TIP

Cliffs of Moher has a cafe and restaurant serving a wide selection of delicious food for everyone. If you want to save money and don’t want to pay above-average prices, bring ready-made products to enjoy with your travel mates at one of the many picnic tables available or pack a blanket for a picnic on your walk.

How to get to Cliffs of Moher

Driving from Galway, follow the N6 from Galway to Kilcolgan, the N67 and R478 to The Cliffs of Moher.

Driving from Limerick, take the N18/M18 towards Ennis. From the M18, take the N85 exit marked Ennis/Ennistymon. (Junction 12) then make a left turn onto N67. Take a right turn onto the R478 (signposted Cliffs of Moher).

If driving from Ballyuvaughan, Take R477. This is a very scenic route that gives lots of views of the Burren and Galway Bay.  Join the R479 and then the R478 near Doolin. Stay on the R478 till you reach the Cliffs of Moher.

Public transportation is available. Look at Google Maps for options at the time of your visit. They provide times of service and the best options.

If you are traveling with a large group, hiring a taxi or private car is best as this will make your trip more manageable, and you can spend time in “special” scenic spots too.

Many local companies offer round-trip transportation for tourists, as they estimate 2-3 hours is enough to spend on the Cliffs of Moher. Many tour companies will stop at other attractions along the way so you can experience the true spirit of Irish culture and add to your memories of the day.

Where to stay when visiting

Cliffs of Moher Flora Photo from Official Cliffs of Moher site
Photo from the Cliffs of Moher official website. Flora from the Cliffs

There are many unique award-winning places to stay in County Clare on the west coast of Ireland near the cliffs. Galway is the largest city near the Cliffs but is 90 minutes away. The ideal location is closely located in the charming village of Doolin, about 6 miles away. Hotel Doolin, Doolin Inn, and The Lodges @ Sea View House Doolin are well-rated accommodations.

Within 12 miles are the towns of Ennis, Ballina, Lahinch, Spanish Point, and Lisdoonvarna. All have lovely accommodations you can choose from; there is no shortage of options.

Check out the links below for accommodations for your visit to the Cliffs of Moher. Expedia is U.S. based on Booking.com is European based, so prices and options may vary.

Expedia

Booking.com

Booking.com

Make the most of your visit and spend time enjoying the local culture and traditional Irish music. Learn more by visiting www.clare.ie

Final thoughts

Cliffs of Moher

Visually spectacular, the Cliffs of Moher sit between the striking landscape of the Burren and the Wild Atlantic Ocean. It is a sight that will boggle the mind. The moment you first take in the setting, you will understand why it draws one million visitors a year. Ireland is a bucket list destination, and you have not done the Emerald Isle until you have spent time at the magical Cliffs Of Moher on the rugged Clare County coast.

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Cliffs of Moher Official site photo
Photo from the Cliffs of Mohr official website

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Photos 1,3,4,7, and 22 are from the Cliffs of Moher’s Official website.

Squaremouth.com

Our favorite travel insurance site!

If you are booking a trip, don’t forget to get travel insurance within 14 days of your first booking. We could not be stronger advocates of being well insured. Not for the little stuff but the big stuff like medical emergencies. We never leave home without it. Over the years, we have used many sites but have now found our go-to place. Squaremouth.com does a fantastic job; it has a user-friendly interface, they use top-rated and reputable insurance carriers, and most policies cover Covid medical issues and cancellations. They also mediate on your behalf if you have problems with your policy.

MedjetAssist

Medical transport back home from anywhere in the world

They are the premier global air medical transport. One caveat to travel insurance is that medical evacuation usually gets you to the closest facility to care for you. Medjet gets you back to the U.S. to the hospital of your choice once you are stable enough to fly. They cover Covid-related transports as well.

Medjet carries its own policies. The policy is only for transport and no other aspects of travel insurance. They have individual trip policies starting at $99 and annual policies for $295. Most of their policies limit the age to 74 and younger. Prices are not based on age below that.

Expedia.com 

Hotels, home rentals, BNBs, flights, and other transportation & tours 

Expedia is a US-based company whose mission is to power global travel for everyone and everywhere. Whether planning a family vacation, booking for business, or organizing the trip of a lifetime, they are a fantastic resource. Wanderers Compass focuses on independent travel, and using sites like Expedia makes that possible. Every aspect of travel you would need, from airfare, accommodations, rental car, cruises, to activities to do at your destination, can be booked on Expedia.  

Booking.com

Hotels, Home rentals, BNBs, Flights, and other Transportation & Tours 

Booking.com connects millions of travelers to memorable experiences, various transportation options, and incredible places to stay – from homes to hotels and much more. It is one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes.

We always start with Expedia to check prices, but it sometimes says it is sold out. We then try Booking.com, and we find it lists plenty of rooms. It could be they are a Europe-based company. Try both before booking accommodations.

Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO)

Are you traveling with a family or having an extended stay at your destination?

With over 2 million bookable vacation rentals, VRBO connects homeowners with families and vacationers looking for something more than a hotel for their trip. The VRBO community offers families or groups various rental property types such as condos, cabins, lake rentals, beach houses, etc.

VRBO is under the Expedia group ownership now, which many were worried about, but it hasn’t panned out to be a concern. It is a massive network that also has access to all forms of lodging should issues arise. Joelle has used VRBO for many years with her family, with no problems to date.

Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travelers, from planning to booking to taking a trip. Travelers around the world use the Tripadvisor site and App to discover where to stay, what to do, and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before.

With more than 1 billion reviews and opinions from nearly 8 million businesses, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodations, book experiences, reserve tables at delicious restaurants and discover great places to see nearby. We use them for guidance and research on every trip, it is a valuable app for the independent traveler.

Rail Europe

Discover Europe by Train

Rail Europe sells train and bus tickets for travel across Europe. They cover 24 countries, 105 rail operations, and 20,000 stations. They are the official rail and bus operations agents in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Rail Europe continues to add coverage all the time.

It is a fast, easy and economical way to purchase train and bus tickets for Europe. Eurail passes are also available to buy through their site.

Amazon.com

An excellent source for travel essentials and guides

Amazon is one of the most extensive shopping online sources in the world. On behalf of their customers, teams worldwide provide lower prices, better selection, and rapid delivery. They offer a vast inventory, and it is their 1.7 million small and medium businesses worldwide selling on Amazon.com that provide extensive options for customers.

We buy most of our travel books, accessories, and luggage from Amazon. We have ordered up to two days before travel and get what we need.

Travelpro Luggage

Thoughtfully Designed | Meticulously Constructed | Quality Guaranteed.

We have used this luggage for years, left briefly to try others, and returned to Travelpro. Travelpro luggage is carried by crews from over 90 airlines worldwide.

Travelpro takes the time to learn what travelers want and need, then builds it. The key factor for us is that it must be lightweight upfront and very resistant to rough handling. Their luggage is the best, and we could not recommend it enough. It is our go-to luggage.

iVisa

Travel documentation made more accessible

iVisa.com is dedicated to providing customers with a simple, fast, and reliable way to get travel documentation for their journey. Their online application process makes getting visas, health declarations, or passport photos a breeze, all from your home’s comfort. As a leading independent company in the travel documentation industry, they take pride in making global travel more accessible for everyone. In the end, it is a simple and affordable travel resource to get the necessary entry documents complete for your international travel.

This section contains affiliate links. If you use these links (the ads with photos are NOT affiliate links) to buy something, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

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