The Ultimate Guide to The Cliffs of Moher

It is no secret that I love Ireland. I have been there four times already and I am always looking forward to going back. Luckily, one of my best friends moved there last year so I get to visit more often! The second time I visited Ireland it was with the aforementioned friend while she was still living in France. We both decided to go to Dublin for Halloween and take a few trips to Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway. Needless to say it was a pretty packed 5-day holiday!

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In this article, I will focus on our visit to the Cliffs Of Moher and their surroundings. Hopefully reading it will make you want to go right away! (which you should, seriously, book your ticket now, what are you waiting for? – oh yeah the article, so let’s get to it!)

Why You Should Visit the Cliffs of Moher

Arguably Ireland’s top tourist attraction, the Cliffs of Moher should definitely be one of the reasons you are visiting the Emerald Isle. As one of the highest coastlines in western Europe, the Cliffs of Moher run for 14 kilometers and can rise up to 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Impressive right?

The Cliffs of Moher along with the karst limestone hills of the Burren are UNESCO-recognized Geopark and offer truly stunning landscape and breathtaking panoramic views. I will never forget the moment I looked over the edge and saw these gorgeous cliffs while a salty breeze ruffled my hair – it was truly magical!

The Cliffs offer what Ireland has the best to offer – lush Irish landscape, dramatic scenery, incredible and unspoiled views, amazing wildlife and memories that will last for a lifetime! It’s a truly amazing travel experience to have!

Location: Where Are the Cliffs of Moher Located?

The spectacular rocky sea cliffs are located on the west coast of Ireland. They form the western border of County Clare and begin just north of Liscannor village. The closest cities are Doolin and Galway. The closest airport is Shannon International Airport which is approximately less than an hour’s drive away.

How to Best Experience the Cliffs of Moher

There are two ways of experiencing the Cliffs in my opinion. The first one is to get a ticket at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center and go to the Cliffs through it. The second one is to go by car and park 1 km before or after the center. You can then walk to the Cliffs by yourself using country lanes for free.

We decided to take a ticket and visit the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center. It is worth mentioning that the Center was designed to blend with its environment and the surrounding hills. All the facilities are almost entirely underground making them nearly invisible so people can experience the site without intrusive buildings spoiling the view.

The admission tickets for the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre costs €6 (children under 16 can get in for free and senior citizens and students have a discounted price of €4.50). Parking at the visitor center parking lot is included in the cost of the admission ticket.

I think that going through the center and checking out the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is truly worth it. There is a self-guided tour that features interactive and really interesting educational exhibits. Once you are done with the Visitor Experience, you should head back to the starting point and take the scenic walking path along the Cliffs. The pathway branches out in two directions along the Cliffs.

On the right, a paved walkway with safety barriers leads up to O’Brien’s Tower, which is the highest point of the cliffs. You can pay an additional 2€ to climb the tower. The trails end and there is a warning sign not to go further. However, a lot of people tend to hop the little fence to continue on the pathway that has become rocky and narrower. Do so at your own risks! On a clear day, you can even see the Aran Islands appear on the horizon.

Getting There and Around: How to Visit the Cliffs of Moher

If you are flying to Dublin, getting to the Cliffs as a day trip is a possibility since it is about  3.5-hour drive from the capital. You can also arrive through Shannon International Airport and then it is only less than an hour away.

I would personally recommend using Galway or Doolin as your base and spending a few days there. We decided to go to Galway and we truly loved this charming and colorful city! Huge bonus; the Cliffs are easily accessed from Galway (just a 90-minute drive). You can easily take a bus tour to the Cliffs from Galway too.

Car Rental

If you can manage driving on the left side of the road, you should consider renting a car to explore both the Cliffs of Moher and the Wild Atlantic Way. We didn’t choose this option but from what I could read beforehand and after talking to a few of my friends that have been there also, I would recommend to you renting a vehicle especially to explore the gorgeous Wild Atlantic Way. Rental vehicles can easily be picked up from Shannon Airport or Dublin Airport. Parking is easy in all areas and the roads are generally easy to navigate (however bear in mind that they are really bumpy!)

Public Train & Bus

Train travel is another great way to see Ireland’s countryside. From either Dublin or Galway you can take a train to Ennis and then a public bus to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre. Make sure you check the timetable in advance!

Ferries and Cruises

If you are looking for a more special experience, you can take a one-hour ferry ride to the Cliffs. From Doolin Pier, there is a ferry that departs three times a day from March until October. If you choose this option, some cruises would even sail to both the Cliffs and the Aran Islands.

Tour Buses

It is a super fun and affordable way to travel and it is the option that we choose! The coach took us on a tour along the Wild Atlantic Way while Galway Girl (and no, not the Ed Sheeran version, the Irish one!) and other Irish classics were playing at loud – truly magical! From Galway to the Cliffs of Moher, the coach ride took only less than two hours each way. We had a few briefs stops at the Dunguaire Castle and at the charming village of Doolin. 

Our last stop was along the Wild Atlantic Way itself where we watched the sunset for a brief moment. Watching the sunset on the ocean while feeling the Atlantic breeze… such an unforgettable experience!

What is the Best Time to Visit the Cliffs of Moher?

I went there late October and surprisingly the weather was clear and sunny. The weather is always unpredictable though so don’t wait for good weather to visit the Cliffs (it can be sunny and in the next five minutes raining and so on and so forth for hours!). I recommend visiting during Fall or Spring to avoid Summer crowds. May is probably the best month to visit if you want to see Atlantic puffins and their nests on the cliffs.

Prepare for wind and for bad weather no matter when you are planning on going there. Irish weather is unpredictable and can change from sun to clouds and storms in a few minutes. Even if you visit the Cliffs of Moher during summer, be ready to bring suitable clothes (waterproof clothes, a sweater and walking shoes).

The hour of your visit is also something to think about. I would advise arriving early or late (after 4PM) to avoid the peak hour and the crowds that come with it. You will enjoy a more pleasant time at the Cliffs. You should also plan to visit for at least 2 hours to get the full experience and take it all in!

The only thing I regret is that we didn’t have enough time to visit the Aran Islands. This is a good reason to go back to the Emerald Isle, right? Have you ever been to the Cliffs of Moher? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!

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