Cliffs of Moher Travel Guide
Are you planning on visiting the Cliffs of Moher, one of the most famous outdoor attractions in Ireland? Then read this guide below with all the information you need to have the best time at the cliffs.
I live here in County Clare, Ireland and the Cliffs of Moher are my backyard tourist attraction so to speak.
I have taken visitors to these cliffs several times, in different seasons and at different times of the day. I have visited it accompany by visitors of different ages and interests, also with children and with a disabled person in a wheelchair.
Because of that I think I have plenty of tips to give you that you might not be able to find elsewhere.
Everything I am writing down here is from my own experience and also information I think will help have the best time at this popular destination.
This comprehensive guide is rather long and has ALL the information you may need for a visit, but please use the table of content below to get to the exact information you are searching.
Click here to see all my Ireland Travel posts.
- Visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
- What are the Cliffs of Moher?
- Why are the cliffs called Moher?
- Where are the Cliffs of Moher?
- Cliffs of Moher Map
- How to get to the Cliffs of Moher?
- What is the cost for visiting the Cliffs of Moher?
- Where to Park in the Cliffs of Moher?
- What to do in the Cliffs of Moher
- What to wear for the cliffs of Moher
- Safety tips for visiting the Cliffs of Moher
- Where to stay when visiting the cliffs of Moher?
- How To Avoid Crowds In The Cliffs Of Moher
- Photography Tips For Visiting The Cliffs
- Other Attractions Near The Cliffs Of Moher
- Other Cliffs In Ireland Other Than Moher
- Castles Near The Cliffs Of Moher
- The Cliffs of Moher In Movies And Shows
- Frequently Asked Questions About The Cliffs
- Can I visit the cliffs for free?
- Are the Cliffs of Moher worth it?
- Are the Cliffs of Moher dangerous?
- When to visit the Cliffs of Moher?
- How long does a visit to the Cliffs of Moher take?
- When and how were the Cliffs of Moher formed?
- Glendalough or Cliffs of Moher?
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Visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
What are the Cliffs of Moher?
These cliffs are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland, attracting over a million visitors each year who come to see this natural wonder.
The cliffs are well known worldwide for its magnificent views of the Atlantic ocean and sunsets, unique geological formation and wildlife habitat (with over 30.000 bird pairs living on the cliffs, including the Atlantic Puffins).
Both the amazing height and views that you get from the top of the Cliffs make this an spectacular place to visit for any visitor but especially for nature lovers and photographers.
- Cliffs of Moher Formation:
The rocks that are the Cliffs of Moher were layers of sand, silt and mud that were dumped and compacted in this region due to heavy rains some 300 million years ago. These layers formed the solid rocks that you see today.
The cliffs are approximately 8 Kms long (5 miles).
They rise 120 metres (390 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head (on its Southern end), reach their maximum height of 214 metres (702 ft) just north of O’Brien’s Tower (an observational tower built in 1835) then continue at lower heights to the Northern end close to Doolin.
Why are the cliffs called Moher?
The Cliffs’ name is taken from the word ‘Mothar’ that in old Gaelic language means ‘the ruin of a fort’.
There was a ruined fort, demolished in the early 1800’s, close to the site where the Moher Tower at Hags Head was built.
So that is where Moher comes from, the ruins of a fort.
- Cliffs of Moher pronunciation:
The word Moher is pronounced as Moh – her, with the strongest intonation on the ‘Mo’ at the beginning.
Where are the Cliffs of Moher?
Cliffs of Moher Location:
The cliffs of Moher are located in the west coast of County Clare, Ireland (NOT in County Galway!) roughly half way between the villages of Liscannor and Doolin.
Cliffs of Moher address for GPS:
How far are the Cliffs of Moher from:
- Dublin: 3 h 15 min (approx. 270km / 167 miles)
- Cork: 2 h 35 min (approx. 175km / 108 miles)
- Galway: 1 h 35 min (approx. 75km / 46 miles)
- Limerick: 1 h 17 min (approx. 80km / 49 miles)
Cliffs of Moher Map
Here is the map of the Cliffs of Moher area:
How to get to the Cliffs of Moher?
You can reach the Cliffs of Moher by car, by foot, by public transport and also see it from the water by boat.
Visiting the Cliffs of Moher by car:
You can drive to the Cliffs of Moher, there is a large parking space that you can safely park your vehicle for a fee close to the visitor centre.
However, the site attracts many visitors and the local roads that lead the visitor’s centre definitely struggle to accommodate the traffic during the high season.
If you are using this alternative to reach the Cliffs of Moher during summer months and during the peak hours you should expect to see queues and traffic delays.
- Directions to Cliffs of Moher from Dublin:
You can take different directions when driving from Dublin to west coast, below is the direction going through Limerick.
Leaving Dublin take the M7 in the detection of Limerick. From Limerick take the N18 towards Shannon and to Ennis. In Ennis take the N85 towards Ennistymon and there take the N67 towards Lahinch. From Lahinch take the R478 towards the Cliffs of Moher.
- Directions from Galway to Cliffs of Moher by car:
Very easy to get to the Cliffs if you are visiting Galway city or staying in county Gaway.
Leaving Galway in the direction to Limerick take R338 and Old Dublin Rd to reach N67. Follow the N67 to county Clare through Kilcolgan, Kinvara and Ballyvaughan. In Lisdoonvarna take the R478 towards the Cliffs of Moher.
Cliff of Moher by Day Tours:
There are several day tour providers that offer excursions to the Cliffs of Moher and other attractions in County Clare.
You can find day trip tours from Dublin, Galway, Limerick or Cork.
- Best tours to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin
- Best Cliffs of Moher tour from Galway
- Best tours to the Cliffs of Moher from Cork and Limerick
Cliffs of Moher by Public transport:
Bus Éireann’s Route 350 will get you to the Cliffs of Moher from Galway and Ennis. However you can reach the Cliffs effectively from all major airports in Ireland by taking a Bus Éireann connection bus to Galway.
The route 350 bus operates 5 times a day during the summer months, you can check the time table here.
Cliffs of Moher by Bicycle:
The views and route leading to the cliffs of Moher are perfect for cyclist enthusiasts. If you prefer this form of the sustainable transport you can definitely bike your way to the cliffs and surrounds area via the Burren way.
Walk to the Cliffs of Moher:
There is a coastal walking path from Doolin to Liscannor that goes through the Cliffs and the visitor centre.
The trail is a great way to appreciate the views of the cliffs, the landscape and to avoid crowds.
However, although considered to be an easy hike, the path can be challenging to some and requires a good level of physical ability. In its full length the Cliffs of Moher walking trail distance
is a 14kms hike that includes exposed cliff-top paths, uneven terrain and parts with no barriers or fencing.
Please note that the walk path goes through local landowners properties. Please respect their properties, fences and livestock by keeping to the trail path, not littering and not parking in unofficial sites.
- Doolin to Cliffs of Moher Walk (Guided tour):
The best way to take the path by foot to the Cliffs of Moher is to have a guided walk. Pat Sweeney offers daily guided walk tours from Doolin, you can find more information in Doolin Cliff Walk.
- Coastal Walk Shuttle Bus:
There is a shuttle bus service from Paddywagon that takes visitors to both ends of the trail so you don’t have to worry about picking up your car or paying for parking.
I suggest that you book this service in advance because it is a mini bus and other visitors who don’t take the walk but just want to take a shuttle from the nearby villages to the visitor centre also use this service.
You can find more information here.
- Cliffs of Moher cliff walk map:
Click here to get the map of the Cliff of Moher coastal path.
See the Cliffs of Moher from a Boat:
You can take the Doolin to Cliffs of Moher ferry and sail to see the cliffs from the sea with Doolin2Aran Ferries.
The total sail takes about 1 hour. You get to see the Cliffs of Moher from the sea, get close to the large seastack, An Bhreannan Mor, watch sea birds such as Puffins and see the famous sea cave up close.
You can also combine a Bus route 350 and Doolin Ferry boat ticket to the iconic Cliffs of Moher and one of the Aran Islands.
From Doolin you can take the ferry to Inisheer, Inismore and Inismaan (Aran Islands).
What is the cost for visiting the Cliffs of Moher?
There are admission charges for visiting the Cliffs for Moher. The ticket includes entry to the external public areas and viewing platforms, the visitor centre building and its exhibition and unlimited same day parking.
The tour in the O’Brien’s Tower is available for an extra fee (2 euros).
Prices varies depending on the age group (children under 16 are free and senior citizens have a discount), time of arrival (peak hour tickets are more expensive) and whether you book your tickets in advance (online bookings get a discount).
The current price for an adult ticket during peak hours is 8 euros, check all the prices and book your tickets here.
Where to Park in the Cliffs of Moher?
There are a few options for parking to see the Cliffs of Moher.
Please do not park beside the road or in non authorized places. The countryside roads that lead to this natural attraction are small and not designed to deal with the amount of traffic that it gets during the summer months. If you park on a unauthorized area you are just making traffic worse and life harder for the locals that live in the area.
Parking at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre:
This is the largest and closest parking lot to the visitor centre area and O’Brien’s Tower where all the facilities are.
Your parking ticket is included in the Cliffs of Moher admission fee (8 euros per adult – Children are free).
Hag’s Head Cliffs of Moher parking:
The Cliffs of Moher extend for about 8 kms but most visitors only stay around the visitor centre’s area.
The south end of the Cliffs is called Hag’s Head, where the cliffs form an unusual rock formation that resembles a woman’s head looking out to sea (you have to let the imagination go wild here….). In this area you will also find the Moher tower ruins. You can enter the Liscannor to Cliffs of Moher walk path at this point.
A local resident offers a 2 euro car park in his property in Kilconnell that is about 15 minutes walk to the Hags Head. You can only pay in changed cash, make sure to have coins.
In google maps you can see it as Cliffs of Moher Liscannor Walk parking. Click here!
Things to consider if you are parking here:
It is a 4km hike through the cliff-top edge and uneven terrain path to the visitors centre. Obviously you don’t have to go all the way there because the views are amazing from here too.
But in case you do go for the hike be sure to be prepared. It is not advisable to take this hike if it is raining or too windy. Weather changes rapidly and conditions can become unfavorable with strong gusts of wind blowing off the cliffs.
You should know what you are doing when hiking here, be properly dressed, prepared, know the forecast and have a reasonable level of physical ability.
Parking at the Guerin’s Path:
This parking space is on the Guerin’s farm, which is has a quick access through the field to one of the highest points of the Cliffs of Moher. It is much closer to the visitor centre than the parking in Liscannor. It is a great alternative to avoid the crowds and parking queues.
What to do in the Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher visitor center
The Visitor Centre building host a permanent exhibition about the Cliffs, its formation and geological background, the history of the community and wildlife around the area using interactive media. There are some beautiful photographs and a small interactive learning area for kids.
I must admit that I find the centre a bit underwhelming and you definitely don’t need to spend a lot of time there!
Further there is a café in the building, toilet facilities and gift shops.
The O’Brien’s Tower was built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O’Brien to serve as a viewing platform for the many visitors that were already visiting the Cliffs back then. Can you image that tourism here was already so advanced in those times, considering that the area is quite remote and transportation was a challenge?
The tower sits at the highest point of the cliffs so on a clear day, at the top of the tower, you can see as far as the Loop Head peninsula in Clare, then the Kerry Mountains beyond that to the South.
You can see the Aran Islands in the west and the Inisheer lighthouse. To the north you can see as far as the Twelve Pins of Connemara, well beyond the Galway Bay!
You can go up the tower for an extra fee.
Hag’s Head is the area at the Southern end of the Cliffs of Moher. It is named Hag’s Head because of the rock formation resembles a woman’s head looking out to sea.
Moher Tower in Hag’s Head
In hag’s Head there is also the ruins known as Moher Tower. This tower was build on the site where, until the early 19th century, it was the site of the ruins of a promontory fort. The Cliffs of Moher take its name from this fort as Mothar (or Moher) means ‘ruins of a fort’ in Old Gaelic.
Cliff Path Walk
The Cliffs of Moher Coastal Trail is a 20 km long walk linking the villages of Liscannor and Doolin via the coastal cliff top of the Cliffs of Moher and passing through the Visitor Centre.
This walk rewards you with some of the most amazing views in Ireland but is not without its challenges. The trail features exposed cliff-top paths, steep ascents and descents, rough and uneven terrain requiring a reasonable level of physical ability and hiking experience.
This path is not recommended for children under 12. Goad and bicycles are not allowed.
Enjoy The Views
Perhaps the main reason that visitors come to the Cliffs of Moher is obviously to enjoy the Atlantic views and sunset on this vantage point.
The cliffs are rather long and even on a crowded afternoon you will be able to get a spot around the flagstone fencing where you can simple look out and enjoy it all!
Along the cliffs, on a clear day, you will be able to see Liscannor, the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, the Twelve Bens in Connemara.
The Cliffs of Moher, the cliff-top maritime grassland and heath, and an area of open water directly in front of the cliffs are part of a protected area for birds.
This area is a dream for seabird watching enthusiasts. There are more than 20 species of nesting birds with up to 30,000 seabird breeding pairs found here making the area one of the five largest concentrations in Ireland for a variety of seabird species, including the Atlantic Puffins.
What to wear for the cliffs of Moher
You have probably heard that the weather in Ireland changes considerably, also many times during the day.
That is particularly true in the west where the strong winds move the weather extremely fast.
Cliffs of Moher Weather:
It is rare, even during the summer months, that you will be comfortable just wearing a t-shirt when exposed to the winds of the Atlantic. So whatever the forecast you should always be well prepared for changes in the weather and dress in layers.
Even with sunshine in the summer the wind will make the temperature feel much lower and you will be happy to have packed your fleece and rain jacket!
You should ALWAYS have the following when visiting the cliffs:
- Dress in layers
- Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
- Warm vest/fleece jacket
- Waterproof/windproof jacket preferably with hood
Safety tips for visiting the Cliffs of Moher
Doesn’t matter how many times I visit this place we will ALWAYS find people putting themselves through unnecessary risks.
There are signs all over the place, yet people leave the paths, jump fences, go for the most dramatic selfies which can easily lead to death.
I am local, as I mentioned before, and several times a year we see in the newspaper a little article about a tourist’s body being rescued from the bottom of these cliffs.
It goes without saying that a fall from the cliffs is a guaranteed death.
I don’t mean to scare you here because visiting the cliffs of Moher grounds, in and around the Visitor Centre area is absolutely safe. There are big flagstone fences stopping people from getting to the edge and everything is well signed (with drawings even, to counteract any language barrier).
However, many tourists prefer to not follow these rules, put themselves at risks and give a terrible example to others.
To have the most enjoyable and least risk visit just follow these simple rules:
Be aware of weather conditions and changes during your visit:
In extreme storm weather the cliffs will be closed to the public. It can happen, but it is normally only when we have a code orange or code red weather warning.
But in general the Cliffs are normally windy all year round, being on the edge of the North Atlantic ocean.
Wear appropriate shoes for walk in uneven terrain. Don’t do the Cliff walk path if you have strong rain or strong wind forecast during your visit.
Respect the signs:
If the sign says don’t jump that fence, please, don’t! No selfie is worth it!
The cliffs suffer erosion from the sea and the edge is unstable, the can drop at any time and visitors have seen it bits of it falling.
Also the terrain is uneven and you could slip easily. So always keep on the path and follow the signs.
Supervise the children:
If you are visiting with kids make sure you have them close and supervised at all times to avoid any accident.
Where to stay when visiting the cliffs of Moher?
County Clare is so much more than just the Cliffs of Moher. If you are planning to visit this attraction, why not stay and enjoy Clare residents’ hospitality?
This will allow you more time to see some other beautiful attractions and also pick the best time and weather to visit the cliffs.
Also, a visit to the cliffs is more enjoyable when the weather helps. If you stay in Clare you have a large range of time to pick your visit for the best weather and least crowded times.
To visit the Cliffs of Moher with easy you could stay in either Doolin or Liscannor, both are less than 10kms from the visitor centre and the end villages of the cliff walk path.
Doolin is quite touristy though and very small, if you prefer a less touristy but charming village there are other options too all offering cottage, bed and breakfast or hotels within a 30 minutes drive from the cliffs.
Here are some ideas of places to stay close to Cliffs of Moher:
Doolin: This village is the Ireland’s capital of traditional music and the closest to the Cliffs of Moher.
Liscannor: Liscannor is a costal village overlooking the Liscannor Bay, you can also start the Cliff of Moher walking path from here.
Lahinch: The surf city, Lahinch is lively during the summer and a paradise for surfers or golf enthusiasts. Charming with small shops and restaurants it is only 15 minutes’ drive from the Cliffs.
Lisdoonvarna: This village is famous for being the location of Europe’s biggest singles match-making festival during each September.
Ennistymon: beautiful small town with scenic beauty, shops, restaurants and accommodation options.
- Other locations that are a further away from the Cliffs of Moher but that would also be a good base to explore other areas of Clare:
Fanore: a seaside village popular for swimming on the north west coast of Clare.
Ballyvaughan: Ballyvaughan is a small harbour village in County Clare, Ireland. It is located on the N67 road on the south shores of Galway Bay, in the northwest corner of The Burren
Spanish Point: My absolutely favourite beach in the whole of Clare, Spanish point also has a small but high quality and affordable golf course that can be played all year round.
Corofin: Corofin is located on the River Fergus and the hinterland around Corofin is renowned as the Clare Lakelands and Lake Inchiquin.
Kilfenora: Kilfenora is a village in north Clare, located in the Burren, famous for its traditional Irish music staged weekly in the village.
How To Avoid Crowds In The Cliffs Of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are the top natural tourist attraction in Ireland, with around 1.5 million visitors coming every year to see the dramatic landscape and stunning scenery.
If you are visiting during the summer, and on a coach day trip, chances are you won’t be able to avoid the crowds. That is why I recommend staying in county Clare and picking your time and day to visit the cliffs.
The high season is through May and September and the peak hours are from 11:00 to 16:00 (11 am to 4pm) so you will find less people if you visit in any other months or at least outside of the peak hours.
Best time to visit the Cliffs of Moher:
If you ask me the best time to visit the Cliffs of Moher is after 18:00 (6 pm) any time from April to September because the sunset is definitely later than that so you should see the beautiful ski colors.
Ireland’s west coast gets ridiculously long summer days, which is amazing, with some days in the summer getting light still to up 23:00 (11 pm)! You still have light and beautiful skies even after sunset. So if you visit at the peak of summer I would suggest visiting after 20:00 (8 pm) which is still super light.
- Stay in county Clare overnight to pick the best weather and time to visit the cliffs
- If possible arrange your your visit outside the peak hours (that is not normally possible with day trip coach tours)
- Visit during off season months
- Best to visit during early mornings or evenings
- Walk to other part of the cliffs of Moher to avoid the crowds at the Visitor Centre area
Cliffs of Moher after hours:
The only disadvantage of visiting the cliffs after hours is the fact that the Visitors Centre is closed (and the café, shops and toilet facilities).
I am going to be honest with you though, the Visitor’s Centre is not worth the crowd. There is a café and toilets, shops, a small exhibition, an even smaller children interactive area and a 3 minutes 360 degrees video of the cliff area and seaside.
But one goes to the cliffs for the views of the Atlantic, for the sunset, for the natural wonder. Not for the Visitor Centre. So don’t worry about skipping it….
On the plus side you basically visit the cliffs for free after hours. The parking space is open so you can’t pay for your ticket there.
Walkers and cyclists are supposed to get their admission tickets from the reception in the Visitor Centre but if it is closed how can you pay for that? I recommend you then purchase online.
How to avoid crowds during peak hour and high season months:
The Cliffs of Moher are 8 kms long however most visitors only stay around the Visitor Centre grounds!
So while traveling with the coach or visiting during peak season and peak hours the best thing you can do to avoid the crowds is to walk on the coastal walk away from the Visitor Centre.
Be aware though that depending on the weather conditions it might not be advisable to go through this area for safety reasons. Read more information about the Coastal Walk and the safety rules for visiting the cliffs.
Alternatively, if you are driving yourself, you can park in one of the alternative parking spaces which will give you quicker access to less crowded areas within the Coastal Walk path. Check my section on places to park for more information.
Photography Tips For Visiting The Cliffs
Even though its natural beauty make this a Instagram worthy spot, the Cliffs of Moher are actually one of the trickiest landmarks to photograph in Europe.
As the second most visited place in Ireland it is mostly crowded, which adds to the challenge of good landscape images.
But one other important aspect is the weather.
You can have the best photography gear, the best intentions, check in early or late to avoid the crowds but if the weather doesn’t cooperate you won’t see a thing in the Cliffs of Moher let alone capture good pictures.
That is why it is better if you can stay in county Clare a few days, check the forecast and pick the best day to visit the Cliffs for instagram worthy images!
So let’s consider that the weather is good, and that you did everything above to avoid crowds too, what are other good things you can do to get beautiful images:
Go at sunset hours
No brainer here, the sunset in the west Clare is amazing. And sometimes it might be a bit cloudy but it can still be beautiful and dramatic!
The winds move the clouds very fast so you might end up with the perfect sunset weather even though the forecast didn’t say so.
Take a workshop
If you truly want to learn the best way to photograph this scenic location you could take a one-to-one or small group Cliffs of Moher sunset photography experience.
It is designed to help both beginners or advanced amateur photographers with the art of composition, working with natural light, reading lighting and weather and more.
Get a different perspective
As I stated before most visitors will stay around the Visitor Centre and therefore the majority of the images that you see are taken from this side of the cliffs.
if you can walk along the coastal path this will provide you with different photo perspectives. Also if you see the cliffs from the the sea by taking a ferry to the Cliffs.
Do Not ignore the safety signs
Whatever the weather, your photography skills and gear or however high is your ambition to take a good picture at the cliffs, please, please, do not ignore safety signs.
I am always mesmerized at the amount of tourists that are so driven on taking the most dope selfie that they ignore a deadly 200 meters drop-off!
I dare you to visit this place and don’t see
an idiot someone doing some funny stunt to get a picture.
I mentioned this already but I feel compiled to repeat. I live here and we see in the news that tourists’ body have been recovered from the bottom of the cliffs all the time! Many people die taking selfies or just being careless. Don’t be that person!
Other Attractions Near The Cliffs Of Moher
County Clare has so much to offer on the west coast besides the Cliffs of Moher. You can enjoy many natural sites here or in the neighbour county Galway.
Check out below other attractions that you can visit in the area of The Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark and places close by.
Many of the attractions below are members of the Burren Ecotourism Network meaning that they are focused on developing this region as a sustainable tourism destinations, ensuring good practices for environment, economic and community growth.
Here is what to do near Cliffs of Moher:
The Burren is one of Ireland’s National Parks that spreads over 250 squared kilometers. It is internationally famous for its landscape and flora, it is like no other place in Ireland.
With the largest limestone areas in Europe (a moon-like type of landscape), the Burren is an environment region that is the habitat of 1,100 species of plants and a variety of unusual wildflowers. The region is known as the fertile rock because, despite the lack of soil, this large amount of flora can be found here.
For more information read my post on how to visit the Burren.
If you are looking to see some ancients sites in Ireland, then Co. Clare has a fine example of a Neolithic portal tomb in the Burren area. This tomb dates back to 4200 BC and 2900 BC and is located 150 meter above sea level.
This tomb had a great significance for the community that lived here some 5000 years ago and was used to burial the dead.
Aillwee Cave is a 3300 feet cave system of passages in the karst landscape of the Burren in County Clare.
The Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre offer underground guided cave tours, bird display, cheese-making demonstrations, one to one hawk walks, bush-craft camps and masterclasses.
Check their website for more information.
The Doolin Cave is another cave in the Burren area, it was formed during warmer periods previous to the last ice age.
It contains the longest free-hanging stalactite in Europe, at 7,3 meters (23 feet), and one of the longest stalactites in the world that is accessible to public visitors.
This Great Stalactite in Doolin cave took over 70.000 years to form. Check out more information at their website here.
The Aran Islands:
The Aran Islands are a group of 3 Irish-speaking Islands (Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer) located just off Galway and Doolin, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
They are famous for their wild landscape, Celtic churches, traditional Irish thatched cottages and dry-stone walls. A visit to one (or all) of these islands is a true experience of the Irish culture.
Galway city, in County Galway, is not that far away from the Cliffs of Moher. In fact on a clear day you can see Galway bay from the Cliffs.
Galway is an lively and engaging city with lots to offer. From live music and street performer, colourful shopfronts and pubs to a beautiful promenade and seaside area, Galway city never disappoints.
Check out my post on best things to do in Galway.
Kilkee Cliffs and Coastal Walk:
Though the Cliffs of Moher are internationally famous, many locals will tell you that the gem of County Clare are actually the Cliffs of Kilkee.
Kilkee is a seasonal village in the Southwest of Co. Clare, about 1 hour’s drive from the Cliffs of Moher. Kilkee has cliff paths on both sides of the village.
This gorgeous stretch on County Clare offers a coastal cliff path that is easier and more accessible to walk than the one at the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs aren’t as high as the Moher Cliffs but spectacular regardless.
The most accessible and popular path is the one starting at the Pollock Holes, which are natural swimming pools formed by the waves over thousands of years. However you can also walk the cliffs on the North side of the village starting at the Kilkee Links Golf Course. Parking at both location is free.
I highly recommend you to drive during your trip to Ireland. A great advantage on ten Cliffs in Kilkee compared to the ones in Moher is that you can drive the coastal road with spectacular views on the North Atlantic and cliff-side.
Other Cliffs In Ireland Other Than Moher
The Cliffs of Moher get most of the credit with tourists but Ireland has several beautiful cliffs with amazing views, some of them not far away from the Moher cliffs actually, like Kilkee Cliffs that I just mentioned above.
If you want to see other, in many case less touristy, cliffs in Ireland, check a few of them out from the list below.
Inismore cliffs at Dun Aonghasa:
Inismore is the largest of the Aran Islands, in county Galway. Here you will find some breathtaking limestone sea cliffs that attracts many tourists, rock-climbers and divers at the Dun Aonghasa fort.
Loop Head Cliffs:
The Loop Head is a peninsula situated in West county Clare. Apart from stunning cliffs and a coastal path you can also visit and climb the lighthouse that has been at Loop Head since 1670.
Kilkee in county Clare has cliffs on both sides of the village where you can walk the cliff path. You can also drive the cliff side road on the south.
It’s Ireland’s highest sea cliffs in Southwest county Donegal.
Old Head of Kinsale Cliffs:
The Old Head is a headland extending 3km into the Atlantic ocean near Kinsale in county Cork offering incredible views.
Aughris Head in county Sligo are smaller cliffs, reaching maximum 20 meters of altitude, but breathtaking nevertheless with a gentle coastal walk.
Castles Near The Cliffs Of Moher
A trip to Ireland is a great opportunity to see castles. There are many castles close to the cliffs of Moher; some are open to visitors and other are in ruins.
Doonagore is a private owned castle close to Doolin with some amazing views of the Atlantic. You can’t visit it but there is a small scenic road overlooking the ocean that is a perfect place to take beautiful images on the way to Doolin from the Cliffs of Moher.
Dunguaire Castle in county Galway was build in 1520 by the O’Hynes. It is one of the most visited castles in the west coast of Ireland.
This is a ruined tower house from the early 14th century in Lahinch. You can see it as you drive through the village in the way to the Cliffs. It doesn’t necessary require a stop but if you take a stroll through Lahinch beach you can get closer to where the castle is located.
Looking for a castle close to the Cliffs of Moher to stay in? Then you should check out the Ballynagowan Smithstown Castle that has been restored to make you feel like a king!
Large ruins of a castle in Kilnaboy, between the villages of Corofin and Kilfenora. If you driving around the Burren you might see this 15th-century tower house and a 17th-century mansion ruins on the road.
The Cliffs of Moher In Movies And Shows
This natural backdrop has been the location of scenes in several movies and shows. Below is a few famous media where you can see the Cliffs of Moher on screen.
- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)
- Princess Bride (The Cliffs of Insanity) (1987)
- Ryan’s Daughter (1970)
- Father Ted (series)
Frequently Asked Questions About The Cliffs
Can I visit the cliffs for free?
You can visit the Cliffs of Moher for free after hours or if you walk a part of the cliffs start from either end of the coastal walk path in Doolin or Liscannor in County Clare.
Visitors coming by foot to the Visitor Centre during open hours are expected to purchase their tickets upon arrival.
Are the Cliffs of Moher worth it?
The Cliffs of Moher attract over 1,5 million visitors per year. It is a very busy tourist attraction but one that is worth visiting IF you have the time to come and enjoy the west of Ireland.
If you are just visiting Dublin for a weekend then this is not a day trip that you should take, instead visit other amazing attractions closer to the capital such as the Wicklow Mountains. Check this out for more ideas of day trips from Dublin.
Are the Cliffs of Moher dangerous?
The Cliffs of Moher grounds around the Visitor Centre are not dangerous, provided that you do not jump fences and put yourself through unnecessary risks for a photograph.
The cliff walk though can be dangerous if the weather is unfavorable and if you don’t follow the safety rules.
When to visit the Cliffs of Moher?
The Cliffs of Moher are open all year round for visit. The Visitor Centre facilities are closed for 3 days at Christmas time and they might close the grounds for the public if there is a extreme weather condition forecast that can put visitors at risk.
The best way to avoid crowds though is to visit outside of peak hours (11am to 4pm).
How long does a visit to the Cliffs of Moher take?
If you are not going through the Cliffs of Moher coastal path then a planned 2 hours visit should be enough to enjoy the Visitor Centre and wander around the grounds.
The coastal walk in its full length from the centre of the village Liscannor to Doolin (or vice versa) is 18kms takes about 4 hours to walk.
When and how were the Cliffs of Moher formed?
The Cliffs of Moher were formed over 300 million years ago, during the Upper Carboniferous period. They are composed of layers of Namurian sandstone, siltstone and shale, a great example of a sedimentary basin which is normally only visible under the sea.
At that time heavy rainfall on the land washed sand and mud into this area that used to be ancient rivers flowing to the sea. The sand and mud were deposited at the mouth of of this great delta. The sediments compacted over millions of years to form the solid rocks that you see today.
Glendalough or Cliffs of Moher?
This is a common question travelers with limited time in Ireland have as both destinations make wonderful day trips. Both are beautiful, scenic and photography worthy and you really can’t go wrong visiting either of them.
I suggest you visiting the destination that you are closest to; so go to Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains if you are planning on a day trip from Dublin, and go to the Cliffs of Moher if you want to take a day trip from Galway, Limerick, or Clare.
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