“Today I had the most profound, mind and body blowing experience during a visit to the Cliffs of Moher.” This was one of a few notes I jotted down while coming back to Dublin after spending a day in Western Ireland. Despite its short message, this sentence instantly takes me back to the peculiar massive cliffs with lush greenery and… the strongest winds.
What is the Cliffs of Moher
Known as the second most visited place on the island, the Cliffs of Moher tops the list of Ireland’s most beautiful natural attractions. These spectacular formations with panoramic vista entice up to million of tourists that visit the Cliffs of Moher every year. To add to this fact, every year the Cliffs keep breaking their own record with the volume of visitors.
To visit the Cliffs of Moher, you need to head to County Clare in the South West Region of Ireland. A close neighbor of the Burren region, the Cliffs spread over eight kilometers or five miles along the Wild Atlantic Way. The highest point of the formations reaches a mark of 214 meters or 702 feet. In fact, every visitor of the Cliffs of Moher can precisely point at it. O’Brien Tower, standing as a white guardian, signifies the highest point of the Cliffs. However, bare in mind that it’s not Ireland’s highest point.
History of Formation
Today’s visit to the Cliffs of Moher can’t even slightly reveal its former nature. About 320 million years ago, a large river, not the Atlantic Ocean, was dominating the area. Its powerful waters were flowing down and bringing mud and sand. The debris eventually settled down. Over a long period of time they created massive rock formations that became known as the Cliffs of Moher, one of the must-visit places in Ireland.
The name of the Cliffs, however, is relatively young compared to its long history of formation. The place takes its name from an old promontory fort “Mothar”. The remains of the ruined fortress were completely destroyed in the beginning of the 19th century during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower.
How to Visit the Cliffs of Moher
You can visit the Cliffs of Moher all year round except for the Christmas holidays. The place is closed from December 24 until December 26. Visiting hours change depending on the season. Generally, during the colder months you should plan your visit to the Cliffs of Moher between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. In spring, summer and early fall the place is open from 8:00 am until 7:00 pm. You can purchase tickets to the Cliffs of Moher online or at the visitor center.
To get to the Cliffs of Moher you can either use public transportation, hike or drive. There is a short summary of other options on how to visit the Cliffs of Moher.
- Public bus. There are direct public bus connections from Ennis and Galway Bus stations. For details on bus services go to buseireann.ie.
- Cliffs of Moher shuttle bus runs from end of May until end of August and serves Ennistymon, Lahinch, Liscannor, Doolin and Lisdoonvarna. Schedule of the shuttle bus is available here.
- If you stay in nearby places such as Lahinch and Doolin, take time to bike or hike to the Cliffs of Moher and enjoy spectacular Irish scenery along the way.
- One of the most popular ways to visit the Cliffs of Moher includes joining guided tours. Day coach trips from Dublin, Ennis, Limerick, Galway and Cork are available all year round. You can book them online on such sites as www.booking.com or www.viator.com or get your tickets at Tourist Information Centers spread all over the cities.
- For some visitors though driving is the most convenient way to get to the Cliffs.
How to Dressed for your Visit of the Cliffs of Moher
Your choices of what to wear during your visit of the Cliffs of Moher has little to do with your preferences (although one might disagree with it). Instead highly unpredictable weather takes charge of your dress code here.
The Cliffs of Moher can have all kinds of weather in one day. Often thick fog covers the Cliffs at one point of time. A few minutes later the sun breaks through bringing sometimes rain showers, other times rainbows or strong gusts of wind. Moreover, late fall and winter winds are so strong that they can literally knock you off.
Therefore, make sure to be prepared for all kinds of weather during your visit to the Cliffs of Moher. Good waterproof walking boots and rain jacket should be part of your attire during any season. A visit to the Cliffs of Moher in fall and winter asks for additional accessories such as scarfs, gloves and warm hats or headbands.
- The Cliffs of Moher are part of the UNESCO Global Geopark.
- The place is regarded as one of the seven wonders of Ireland.
- The closest airport to the Cliffs is Shannon International Airport located about 50 minutes away.
- The Cliffs of Moher have appeared in several movies such as The Princess Bride, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Leap Year.