Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland

By Land

A trip to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Cliffs of Moher.  The Cliffs are located at the southwestern region of The Burren on the west coast of Ireland in County Clare.  The cliffs are 14 kilometers (8.6 miles) in length and range in height from 120 meters (390 ft) in the north to 214 meters (702 ft) in the south.

CLiffs of Moher North Looking South
Cliffs of Moher, looking South

There is a visitor’s center to view the most expansive range of the cliffs by land.  There is ample parking and definitely bring your walking shoes!  Once you get to the parking lot you’ll pay for parking and admission inclusive at the attendant’s booth.  You can buy tickets online and show your vouchers to the parking attendant to receive admission tickets.  Tickets are no more than €6, free for children under 16 years.

Cliffs of Moher South
Cliffs of Moher, South

Once at the cliffs edge you could seriously spend all day here wandering around.  The cliffs spread out onto the landscape as far as the eye can see.  At the Visitor’s Center, walk south first to get a great look at the cliffs.  Make sure to look at both sides of the cliffs.

CLiffs of Moher other side pastures
Cliffs of Moher, looking South on other side of cliff

On one side of the cliffs there were cows grazing in grassy pastures that led to the beach and on the other side was rock and the sea.  It’s cool to see cows grazing so near the cliffs and the beach.  I was trying to get more photos of the cows, but they kept hiding from me.  I have noticed throughout Ireland that cows graze anywhere they want since they pretty much own the land around them.

Cliffs of Moher North obriens tower
Cliffs of Moher, North, view of O’Brien’s Tower

Once you reach the end of the south viewing point, turn around and go north.  If you keep walking north, stop to see O’Brien’s Tower, built in 1835.

Cliffs of Moher north
Cliffs of Moher, North, over the edge

So, I guess according to Irish standards, this is considered new construction!

Cliffs of Moher walking north toward obriens tower
Cliff of Moher, North, view of O’Brien’s Tower

Keep walking north and you can see the small town of Doolin.  Speaking of Doolin, take a read on how to see the Cliffs of Moher by sea as well for a completely amazing experience.

By Sea

After trekking around the Cliffs of Moher by land, take a quick drive to Doolin to see those cliffs by sea.  There’s a very direct route from the Cliffs of Moher to Doolin.  However, it’s not the most exciting.  When we were leaving the cliffs, I entered the address to the ferry port in Doolin into the GPS.  Well, either the GPS was confused or wanted to play a trick on us because it took us down these winding, hilly one lane roads to the port area.  We laughed the entire way down because these roads were ridiculously narrow.  We saw a few people mowing their lawns and such, and they just waved at us.  They were probably laughing at how we were trying to navigate these roads down a hill in an SUV.

CLiffs of Moher by sea1 - Copy
Cliffs of Moher, by Sea

Once we got to the port it was bustling.  There are many ferries that come in and out of Doolin, so make sure you have your receipt/voucher to determine which ferry company to check in to.  This will determine the area on the dock you need to wait for the ferry.  Ferries go to the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands, so it gets pretty busy down there.

Cliffs of Moher by sea obriens tower
Cliffs of Moher, by sea, view of O’Brien’s Tower

We had some time to wait, so we wandered around the seaside.  It was June and about 75ºF.  Who would’ve thought?  We totally lucked out.  There were a bunch of kids swimming in the sea down near a boat launch area.  Being from a warm climate area, I couldn’t even imagine how cold that water was.  They kept jumping in the sea, as I sat there with my long-sleeved shirt on, shivering just watching them.  I guess I was like that as a kid too….

Cliffs of Moher by sea close up
Cliffs of Moher, by sea, ferry getting closer

Just remember, things move a lot slower in small towns, so if your ferry ticket shows a specific time to board, it is just a suggestion.  I say this because our ferry was very late (hour and a half).  Don’t expect to keep to a very strict schedule, so don’t plan anything in stone after the ferry.

Cliffs of Moher by sea rounding the bend
Cliffs of Moher, by sea, close to cliffs

All that being said, the ferry ride was exquisite.  You can’t fully experience how massive and beautiful the cliffs are until you see them by sea and get right up on them.  The ferry gets really close to the cliffs, really close.  I promise, your neck will hurt from looking up.

Cliffs of Moher by sea close up2
Cliffs of Moher, by sea, very close to cliff’s edge

At one point there were a ton of birds perched in a part of the cliff.  When the ferry went by they all dispersed in different directions.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any photos of the birds because I was protecting my head from flying objects!

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