Visit to the Cliffs of Moher is non-negotiable. The place has to be on your Ireland itinerary whether you like it or not.
Last updated: January 16, 2023
Visit the Cliffs of Moher, one of the Main Landmarks of Ireland
“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.
Even today, this short message instantly takes me back to the peculiar, massive cliffs with lush greenery and the strongest winds I’ve ever experienced.
What are the Cliffs of Moher
Known as the second most visited place in the country, the Cliffs of Moher tops the list of Ireland’s most beautiful natural attractions. These spectacular formations with panoramic vistas entice up to a million of tourists every year. What’s more, every single year the place keeps breaking its own record with the number 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 out over 8 kilometers (5 miles) along the Wild Atlantic Way.
The highest point of the formations reaches a mark of 214 meters (702 feet). And every visitor, including those who visit the Cliffs of Moher for the first time, can precisely point at it. Standing as a white guard, O’Brien’s Tower signifies the highest point of the place. Yet it’s not even Ireland’s highest place.
History of the Cliffs
The Cliffs of Moher area looks differently today. 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 the time, they created the 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, which ruins festooned the area for a while. In Gaelic “Mothar” means “ruined fort“. So the Cliffs of Moher literally means the “cliffs of ruined fort”.
The remains of the ruined fortress were completely destroyed in the beginning of the 19th century during the Napoleonic wars.
How to Visit the Cliffs of Moher
You can visit the Cliffs of Moher all year round except for Christmas. 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 a ticket 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. Here are some other options how you can visit the Cliffs of Moher.
- Public bus. There are direct public bus connections from Ennis and Galway Bus stations. For details about 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 or get your tickets at Tourist Information Centers located all over the cities.
- For most visitors, though, driving is the most convenient way to get to the Cliffs.
Here are some of the best guided tours you may want to use for your trip to the Cliffs of Moher.
Visit to the Cliffs of Moher: How to Dress
Your choices of what to wear during the 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. A few minutes later, the sun breaks through, bringing sometimes rain showers, other times rainbows or strong gusts of wind. Moreover, the late fall and winter winds are so strong that they can literally knock you off your feet.
Therefore, make sure to be prepared for all kinds of weather when visiting the Cliffs of Moher. Good waterproof walking boots and rain jacket should be essential parts of your attire during any season. The trip 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 a part of the UNESCO Global Geopark.
- The place is regarded as one of the seven wonders of Ireland.
- The closest airport is the Shannon International Airport located about 50 minutes away.
- The Cliffs of Moher have been featured in many movies, including The Princess Bride, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Leap Year.