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Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction

Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction

A guide to making the most of your visit to the magnificent Cliffs of Moher

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

 Laura Treacy Bentley
Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction

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 ago 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 Moher

Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction
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, which is one hour away. Shannon Airport has direct connections from the USA and mainland Europe and serves 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 at or near the Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher
Photo from Cliffs of Moher Official Website

1. Once you’re on the cliff, the first thing to do is take pictures. Before you get there, make sure you have plenty of battery life.

2. Take a trip up the 19th-century O’Brien’s Tower for views beyond compare. Nine 50-liter whiskey barrels have been placed in the tower in collaboration with JJ Corry, local whiskey bonders, and the Cliffs of Moher Experience.

3. If you enjoy 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. There is a lot more to what meets the eye.

4. You can download a free app and audio guide if you prefer to do it yourself. More info is below.

5. Take the opportunity to view the cliffs from all three primary viewing platforms, including the interpretive center. Each provides its own unique perspective

6. Go bird-watching. The Cliffs of Moher are 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.  

7. Enjoy a meal at the Cliffs Cafes or picnic on your walk.

8. Find local Irish goods at the Visitor Center gift shops. 

9. If you’re with a guide, visit Doolin Cave; it has free-hanging stalactites. 

9. For a unique, rocky, and breathtaking landscape, visit Burren National Park. It is hard to describe, but it is absolutely beautiful.

Are you considering a trip to Ireland? Check out our Ireland Travel Guide for great tips and essential info.

10. Enjoy the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk, which connects the lively villages of Liscannor and Doolin via the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.

11. Watch the sunset or sunrise.

12. Visit the charming towns near the Cliffs, such as Doolin, Kinarva, and Ennis. Have dinner and enjoy the local hospitality.

13. Take the Cliffs of Moher from the water and visit Inis Oirr and the Aran Islands. Cruises launch from the town of Doolin and provide a very different perspective than from above.

14. 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.”

15. Don’t miss the city of Galway and its Irish landmarks—if there ever were any. The charming and vibrant city is only 90 minutes away.

Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction
The Burren

Tickets are required to visit the Cliffs of Moher

We think booking online is best for receiving the best deals. Visit outside peak times between 11 am – and 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.

Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction
Photo from the official site for Cliffs of Moher

What do The Cliffs of Moher Experiences include?

From the Cliffs of Moher website

  • A fully accessible Visitor Center with a 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 are available 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
Cliffs of Moher
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 are 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, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction

It is informative, educational, and a fantastic way to learn more about the Cliffs of Moher before, during, or after your visit. It also includes tips on planning your visit, including 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.

Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction

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 archeology, botany, geology, and history experts, 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. According to some estimates, more than 30,000 seabirds use these cliffs for 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 tourist site. 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, taking a boat ride, or exploring the Burren.

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

Be Prepared

Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction

It is best to be prepared for weather conditions that can change on a dime. The distance from where you park and walk along the cliffs can be a distance from the Cliffs. Expect the weather to change during your visit, and be prepared, or you may have a long, wet ride back to Galway. Always wear a raincoat and waterproof walking boots or hiking shoes. It’s 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, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction

Before visiting, remember that weather conditions play a significant role here. You can check the weather at the link here. The wind is almost always a factor at the Cliffs of Moher, and since temperatures 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; many tourists are on the cliffs. If you want to avoid the biggest crowds, visiting in the morning or late afternoon is best.

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

Cliffs of Moher

Driving from Galway, follow the N6 to Kilcolgan, the N67, and the 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 offers many views of 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. At the time of your visit, look at Google Maps for options. They provide times of service and the best options.

Hiring a taxi or private car is best if you are traveling with a large group. 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 the Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction
Photo from the official website of the Cliffs of Moher. 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 close to the charming village of Doolin, which is 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.

It is important to price out accommodations on various sites. Expedia is a US-based company, whereas Booking.com is Europe-based. Not all properties appear on both, so it is ideal to check both out. Our personal first choice is Booking.com. If the establishment has a website, check the price there as well. Click the link below to check out hotels and vacation homes in the area. It may be just the motivation you need to start planning that next grand adventure.

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, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction

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, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s Best Natural Attraction
Photo from the Cliffs of Mohr official website

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Some photos are from the Cliffs of Moher Website

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Travel Insurance

Squaremouth.com
Our favorite travel insurance site!

We could not be stronger advocates of being well-insured—not just for the little stuff but for the big things like medical emergencies. We never leave home without it. Our go-to place is Squaremouth.com. It does a fantastic job with its user-friendly interface and uses top-rated and reputable insurance carriers. They also mediate on your behalf if you have problems.

To empower you as a consumer, we suggest you read our blog post on the importance of travel insurance and how to get the best coverage from top-rated companies for an affordable price.

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. A Medjet membership is only for medical transport. Medjet Horizon offers expanded coverage. They have individual trip policies starting at $99 and annual policies for around $300. Most of their policies limit the age to 74.

To learn more about how Medical Evacuation membership with Medjet Assist works, check out our blog post for a more detailed review.  

Accommodations & Experiences

Expedia.com and VRBO
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. Wanderers Compass focuses on independent travel, and using sites like Expedia makes that possible. Every aspect of travel you need, from airfare, accommodations, rental car, and 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. It is our preferred booking site.

Viator
The leading marketplace for travel experiences

Viator believes that making memories is what travel is all about. And with 300,000+ experiences to explore—everything from simple tours to extreme adventures (and all the niche, interesting stuff in between)—making memories that will last a lifetime has never been easier. We use them often during our travels and love their liberal cancellation policy.

Shopping

Wanderers Compass Amazon Storefront
An excellent source for all travel essentials and guides

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

HYDAWAY

This is not your ordinary drinkware company. The HYDAWAY difference is what their products do when you’re not using them. Practical and portable, HYDAWAY doesn’t take up unnecessary space in your already-packed life or pile up in landfills. We have used their collapsible water bottle, carrying case for the water bottle, and collapsible insulated drink tumbler. They are all lightweight and durable. This is a conservation-focused product you can be proud to buy.

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Cliffs of Moher

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