Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher: More than just a famous film location
All you need to know about touring the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are a top tourist destination in Ireland
These cliffs are accessible and make for a great day trip
Ireland’s iconic Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above sea level and span for about eight miles, are one of the top tourist attractions in the country (second only to Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse in 2018—go figure!). The rugged beauty of these cliffs have been attracting visitors since the 1700s, and they’ve been made even more famous by their appearance in movies like “The Princess Bride” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
The awe-inspiring bluffs, which sit in County Clare on the west coast of Ireland, attracted 1.5 million visitors in 2018. The Cliffs of Moher location make it an ideal day trip multiple cities in Ireland, and they are accessible on your own or as part of a group tour. Here’s what you need to know.
Book a group Cliffs of Moher tour or go on your own
First, let’s get to know the Cliffs of Moher location. Galway and Limerick are the closest cities to make a day trip from, about a 1.5-hour drive away. Dublin is at least 3.5 hours away from the cliffs by car, so you’re in for a long day if you choose that option.
Tour groups offer day tours to the Cliffs of Moher from various cities, including Dublin. These group tours will generally include other stops at tourist sights along the way, which will vary by tour. One popular stop on these tours is Doolin, a village known for its traditional Irish music. Tours from Galway or Limerick will generally last about seven or eight hours.
It’s also possible to do a Cliffs of Moher tour on your own by car. In this case, you might want to reserve your entrance ticket to the Cliffs of Moher in advance online, and you’ll receive a discount. (If you’re going by a group tour, you likely won’t have to worry about this.)
Another option for getting there, if you’re staying in a town nearby during high season, is to take a shuttle bus that runs to and from select local towns, including Doolin. It’s possible to arrive by foot from some of these towns, too, or by public bus. Learn about all of the options for getting there on the Cliffs of Moher website.
If you’re going on your own, try to avoid peak hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the cliffs will be more crowded.
You’ve arrived: What to see and do at the Cliffs of Moher
It is recommended to spend about two hours at the Cliffs of Moher. Check out exhibits at the underground visitor center. Then head to the cliffs, where there are walkways and more viewing platforms, including one at the highest point of the cliffs, called the North Platform. Nearby, you can go up to the observation post, O’Brien’s Tower. From the South Platform, you may be able to see a puffin colony on the rocks below.
The rugged beauty of these cliffs have been attracting visitors since the 1700s, and they’ve been made even more famous by their appearance in movies like “The Princess Bride” or “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
The County Clare Council, which manages the Cliffs of Moher, maintains about a half-mile section of trails along the cliffs. However, there are about 12 miles of trails, called the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk. You can do sections of it, like about three miles to the southern part of the cliffs, Hag’s Head. Or, walk to or from Doolin, which is about five miles, or two hours one-way. (During high season, the shuttle bus stops at towns along the coastal walk.)
If you’re planning to do the coastal trail, keep in mind that there are high-risk areas that are not maintained. It’s not recommended for dogs or children.
When you’re visiting the Cliffs of Moher, and especially if you’re planning to do parts of the coastal walk, ensure to be prepared with food and water, sunscreen, wind and rain jackets, and proper walking shoes.
If you leave the cliffs wanting more, take a boat ride from Doolin to get a view of the cliffs from the bottom!
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