Home Uncategorized Ultimate Guide to Cliffs of Moher

Ultimate Guide to Cliffs of Moher

by Roberto
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No visit to Ireland is complete without a stop at the Cliffs of Moher!  Known as one of the 7 wonders of Ireland, the Cliffs are one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland.

The cliffs are located in County Claire, stand up to 214 metres tall, and run about 14 kilometres down the coast.  Most photographs don’t do them justice.  The second you visit, they will LITERALLY take your breath away (especially if you have a fear of heights).

For any of you movie buffs out there, these were also in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as well as The Princess Bride (inconceivable!).

Many visitors are surprised by how few fences they find at the cliffs.  Essentially, visitors are responsible for their own safety, so be VERY careful on wet or windy days.  I tend to stay FAR away from the edge (as you can see from my photo below). 

A foggy and misty day at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

When to Go to the Cliffs of Moher

ANYTIME! The cliffs are right on the water and get pummeled by the Atlantic weather so it is very hard to predict when you will have great weather. Most days, you will have wind, mist, and a bit of fog, but in my opinion, those are the days you get the best pictures! Just make sure you properly pack for the weather – LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS! (Check out my perfect packing list below).

The cliffs are open all year long. The only time they will close are if there is dangerous storm and it is unsafe for visitors to wander. I’ve really only heard of trips being cancelled maybe twice in my five years of living in Ireland!

How to Get There From:

Dublin

Living in Dublin, I have taken many a trip to the cliffs and go nearly anytime someone visits.  To be 100% honest, I usually don’t recommend trying to get to the cliffs from Dublin unless you only have a few days in Ireland or your itinerary doesn’t include another city more west (i.e. closer to the cliffs).

If this is the case for you, I HIGHLY recommend doing a guided bus tour.  There are plenty that leave from Dublin (in the WEE hours of the morning), stop in a few places on your way, and take you back to Dublin in the evening.  If you take one of these, you’ll be one of those lucky travelers who get to visit the Barack Obama Visitor Centre! It’s located inside a gas station, so you can get a coke and an Obama coffee mug at the same time! 

Displays at the Barack Obama Plaza gas station in Ireland

If you do choose to do a bus tour from Dublin, and you have Galway on your itinerary, choose a tour that goes through Galway as a last stop on the tour (like the Wild Rover one below).  Take your bag with you. Then tell the tour guide you will be staying in Galway for the night.  That way, you skip the 2 hour ride back to Dublin and get your transportation to Galway included in the bus tour.  It’s a little sneaky, but it works!!

Overall, here are some of the tours I recommend: 

Wild Rover – Cliffs of Moher, Atlantic Ocean Ocean Walk & Galway City Day Tour from Dublin

Paddywagon – Cliffs of Moher Day Tour From Dublin

Galway

If you have the option, I recommend visiting the Cliffs of Moher from Galway.  It’s much closer and not spend all day in a bus.  I’ve used The Galway Tour Company before, and you stop at a few other really cool places on your way.

The Galway Tour Company – Cliffs of Moher & The Burren

If you don’t want to use a coach or have a guided tour, there are a few other options for transport:

  • public busses that go to the cliffs from Galway (which have a few different departure times per day)
  • direct shuttle services (usually with one departure time per day)
  • drive on your own if you plan to have a rental car

If you are not visiting via a tour, you will need to purchase your own Visitor Center ticket at least a day in advance.

If you take a bus, pay attention to the bus times as they change often. 

These options are great if you want to avoid the tour crowds and go during an off-peak time. They are also good options if you plan to do a longer hike along the cliff (the tours usually only allow 1.5-2 hours at the cliffs).

Public Bus – Bus Eireann Route 350

Shuttle Bus – Lally Tours

Cork

Heading from Cork is similar to heading from Dublin, only being about 1-2 hours shorter.  I’ve personally never gone from Cork, but Paddywagon also offer a day tour from here (which I’m sure is just as great!). 

Paddywagon – Cliffs of Moher Day Tour from Cork

There are no shuttle busses to the cliffs from Cork. Public busses are the only non-tour option and take approximately 5 hours.  I would recommend going on a guided bus tour instead of trying to do this on public transport.

View of O'Brien Tower at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center
View of O’Brien Tower at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center

What to Wear

Regardless of how you are getting there, you’ll need to make sure you are well prepared in all the right gear!

Most days, the cliffs will be either rainy, overcast, or incredibly windy (or a combination of all those at once).  So you will DEFINITELY, need to dress in layers that are also waterproof or that you don’t mind getting wet.  The last time I went I wore a leather jacket and no hood.  Do as I say and not as I do (that guy laughing at me below had the right idea). 

Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting a bit muddy, but have enough traction so you can walk along the paths during your visit without slipping.  Umbrellas? Don’t bother… it gets so windy that you will just Mary Poppins it off the edge.  So, just make sure you have a good waterproof windbreaker. 

Girl getting blown by wind at the Cliffs of Moher
A lot of wind at O’Brien’s Tower at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center

Once in while, you may be one of those lucky people who get’s a rare sunny, clear day.  It’s really hard to tell in advance what weather you’ll get, so wear lighter layers underneath in case the sun does come out. 

  • waterproof windbreaker like this one I have!
  • shoes with traction
  • lot of layers to keep you warm or cool depending on the day (t-shirts, sweater, scarf, etc.)
  • NO UMBRELLA 
  • extra socks (to change into once you get back on the bus)
The Cliffs of Moher

That’s all folks! I hope you enjoy your trip to the Cliffs of Moher and I hope you found this useful in your planning! If you are in Dublin for your trip but don’t have time for the cliffs, there are also a few great places just outside Dublin to get you that ‘real Irish adventure’ you’re looking for.

If you’ve been before, comment below on how you liked it! 

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