While many fascinating historic sites and beautiful natural features characterize the Irish countryside and landscapes, there is one particular one that stands out from the rest. Visiting the Cliffs of Moher is one of the things that any visitor to Ireland simply has to do—other major highlights include Dublin (of course), the Ring of Kerry and Kilkenny.
Located on the west coast in County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher are a wall of rock that rises steeply out of the wild North Atlantic Ocean. The highest point is 214 meters (702 feet) high, while the cliffs extend for about 8 kilometers (5 miles). The views on a clear day reach as far as the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the Dingle Peninsula and even a couple of mountains in Connemara.
This spectacular—there really isn’t a better word to describe it—natural attraction attracts almost a million people each year, making it effectively the most visited attraction in Ireland. The cliffs are protected and are a part of the larger Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.
Visiting the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher make up one of the most awe-inspiring coastlines in the world and are an absolute must-see when visiting Ireland. First-time visitors are advised to stop by the award-winning visitor center, the so-called Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, which is located partially underground and is eco-friendly. It has been referred to as one of the best visitor facilities in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This visitor center has a wealth of information about the cliff’s history, geology and fauna and flora. Maps are, of course, available as well.
When visiting the Cliffs of Moher, make sure to wear comfortable shoes. The cliffs are best viewed from one of the hiking trails that run along the ridge—these trails are made up of gravel and can be muddy. Trails lead to viewpoints and to O’Brien’s Tower, the top of which offers arguably the greatest coastal panorama anywhere in Ireland. Trails extend to the north and south of the cliffs, being a part of a much longer coastal hiking trail.
The Cliffs of Moher are open to visitors every single day of the year. The visitor center is open year-round as well, except on December 24, 25 and 26. Tickets cost €6 for adults and €4 for seniors, students and disabled visitors. Children younger than 16 years of age can enter for free. Visitors should count on at least three hours to fully explore this amazing attraction. Accommodation is available in Doolin, a nearby town that happens to be one of Ireland’s traditional “trad” towns.