The amazing Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s top travel destinations, and for good reason. Here’s how to visit & enjoy these 700-foot tall coastal cliffs.
A cold wind blows as I walk along the legendary Cliffs of Moher. The most famous natural landmark in Ireland rises dramatically out of the ocean, waves crashing into rocks far below.
“Whoever he is, he’s too late. See?! The Cliffs of Insanity!” ~ Vizzini
A favorite childhood movie of mine used the Cliffs of Moher as a backdrop. The 80’s cult classic The Princess Bride is a crazy fairy tale adventure through the mythical kingdom of Florin.
In one scene, Princess Buttercup’s kidnappers are chased across the ocean by the Man in Black before they climb the steep “mile-high” Cliffs of Insanity.
While not quite a mile high, Ireland’s 700-foot tall Cliffs of Moher are certainly imposing enough to feature them in a few movies — Harry Potter is another one.
Now that I’ve finally seen them on my road trip around Ireland, I can assure you they are even more astounding in person!
Here are some useful tips for traveling to the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.
Ireland Cliffs of Moher Travel Guide
Where Are The Cliffs Of Moher?
The Cliffs of Moher are located on the West coast of Ireland near Liscannor village in County Clare. They’re about 90-minutes south of Galway or 3-hours from Dublin by car. The cliffs are the most famous stop on a scenic driving route called the Wild Atlantic Way.
While technically the cliffs are Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction with one million visitors each year, at 5-miles long, there’s plenty of room to explore them without too many people if you enjoy walking.
The Cliffs of Moher visitor’s center was built into the hillside so people can experience the site without intrusive buildings wrecking the view, and a scenic walking path branches out in two directions across the top.
How High Are The Cliffs?
The Cliffs of Moher range in height from 390 feet to 702 feet tall, and are home to over 30,000 birds, including colonies of Atlantic Puffin that usually make an appearance in late March.
Visiting The Cliffs Of Moher
Safety barriers keep you from getting too close to the edge of the cliffs, but only up to a point. If you keep walking away from the the visitor’s center, eventually the barriers end.
Some people risk standing or sitting right on the edge…
I was one of them. However do so at your own risk! There’s often strong winds at the Cliffs of Moher, with freak gusts reportedly blowing people off to their deaths from time to time.
The cliffs are made of Namurian shale & sandstone, which can sometimes crumble without warning due to erosion, creating another danger.
South of the visitor’s center, there’s a beautiful old stone tower from the Napoleonic Wars called Hag’s Head. Walking here from the visitor’s center takes the average person about 1 – 2 hours.
To the north, O’Brien’s Tower marks the highest point of the cliffs. It’s just a short walk away from the visitor’s center, and offers the best views in both directions. You can pay an additional $2 to climb the tower.
Getting To The Cliffs Of Moher
The best site to book your car is with Discover Cars. They search both local and international car rental companies to help you find the best possible price. This is the easiest way to rent a car in Ireland.
GALWAY – The Cliffs of Moher are 76 km (1.5 hours) from Galway by car.
DUBLIN – The Cliffs of Moher are 276 km (3 hours) from Dublin by car.
Bus Éireann has the largest network of routes around the country.
You can also hop on a shuttle bus from Doolin that will stop at the Cliffs of Moher, as well the town of Liscannor.
Rent A Car In Ireland
Search both local and international car rental companies to help you find a good deal.
Best Time To Visit The Cliffs Of Moher
Tourism high-season is usually during the months of July & August making the area quite crowded. However when we visited the cliffs in September, it wasn’t bad at all, especially if you walk out away from the visitor’s center.
Where To Stay Around The Cliffs
The closest towns to Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher are Doolin to the North, and Liscannor to the South. Both are only about 10 minutes away by car. Lahinch is about 15 minutes away.
Here are some suggestions for places to stay around the Cliffs of Moher:
Tips For Visiting Cliffs Of Moher
- The Cliffs of Moher parking lot is located across the road from the Visitors’ Center. The center itself is pretty slick, built to blend into the natural landscape. There’s food, a gift shop, and a movie explaining how the cliffs were formed.
- Weather at the Cliffs of Moher changes quickly! Make sure to pack warm clothing and a rain jacket, just in case. It can get incredibly windy up there (if it is, stay away from the edge).
- You don’t have to walk too far to enjoy some of the best views. O’brien’s tower is only a 10-minute walk away from the visitor’s center. But, if you want to, you can also spend hours walking along the edge. The further you walk, the fewer people you’ll find.
- There’s a wooden blockade that separates the tourist area from the farmer’s fields further on. It is perfectly ok to walk beyond this blockade, just be aware that the trail is no longer maintained, and you’re on your own out there.
Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher are famous for a reason! Walking the winding dirt path on the edge of a precipice, its beautiful Atlantic Ocean views & the rugged coastal landscapes are magical…
It’s a truly amazing travel experience to have on the Emerald Isle. ★
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I hope you enjoyed my guide on Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:
- Visiting Killarney National Park
- Tips For Renting A Car In Ireland
- Finding My Roots In Ireland
- Top Things To Do In Dublin