A Local’s Guide to The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher tops the list as the most popular place to visit in Ireland. With over 1 million visitors each year, you won’t want to miss seeing these larger than life cliffs. Standing from 400-700 feet tall and stretching over 5 miles long, these cliffs take you right to the edge of the ocean. Visiting this cultural beauty in County Clare is a must-see for any traveler to Ireland. However, the Cliffs of Moher is best experienced with these local tips.
Things To Know Before Visiting The Cliffs of Moher
1. How much will this cost me?
Sure there is an admission fee, but as an insider tip: They aren’t too strict about it. To be politically correct there is a small admission charge for tourists. This includes entry to all public areas of the visitor center building. Also, to all pathways and platforms of the Cliffs, a map offered in 14 languages, and unlimited parking. Children under the age of 16 are free while adults are €6.00 each and senior citizens are €4.00. You can also pay €2.00 for an adult to get to the top of the O’Brien’s Tower and only €1.00 for a child. From this rooftop, you can get the best VIP view of the Cliffs. This option is only open, however, when weather permits.
Back to the free admission thing… Once you get dropped off in a car or pay to take a bus and get off you are virtually free to roam in any direction. There are many workers on the premises, and they are allowed to ask you to present your admission ticket but it’s not often this happens.
2. When do I plan my trip?
The busiest months are said to be anywhere from April- September. If you’re trying to avoid the masses the month does not matter much when planning this trip. What matters is the weather conditions and the time. The rare, but beautiful clear summer days will be more crowded. In general, it’s busiest from 11am-3pm, so these are the times to avoid.
3. What is there to do here besides walk?
For the low (or free) price of admission, guests can walk alongside the walls looking down at the Cliffs to its entirety or they can opt to walk the Cliffs Coastal Trail with no fences where travelers can literally hike on the edge of the countryside. The site also offers a guided tour by the local Pat Sweeney, bird watching, or a cruise in the Atlantic Ocean at the bottom of the Cliffs. There are also options for traveler’s to take ferries to the Aran Islands which passes the famous Cliffs and gives you a new view of the site. You will find a nice little strip of stores that sell Celtic and traditional Irish trinkets. There is also a restaurant, café, and welcome center with interactive activities.
4. You need to walk the Cliffs Coastal Trail- if you’re not afraid of heights
The Cliffs Coastal Trail is a once in a lifetime opportunity to walk on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher. However, this is also taken very seriously with plenty of safety warnings of precautions to take to ensure your safety. Aside from the obvious suggestions such as “keep to the official path” and to “always supervise children”, the professionals say to wear strong footgear with good grips and ankle support in the event of unpredictable gusts of winds and bad weather. They also suggest taking warm clothing, water, snacks, and a mobile phone just in case. Mother Nature changes her mind quite often particularly in Ireland and you do not want to be caught trying to get an epic selfie on the edge of the Cliff when the weather takes a turn for the worst such as strong winds or extreme fog which makes for poor visibility. However, if you decide to tackle this beautiful walk you’ll never feel more alive.
5. Stay in Lahinch overnight because the Cliffs do not take all day to view
Seeing the Cliffs is not an all-day event. Even for the serious hikers and cycles, the 20-kilometer journey will only take a few hours, therefore staying in the nearby village of Lahinch is the best option for some fun afterward. Lahinch is a smaller Irish village that sits about 10 minutes away from the Cliffs which offers the best surf break in the whole country and there are classes all throughout the day to learn to do so. There are multiple buses a day that run from here to the Cliffs including cheap transportation. (The busses offer a student discount).
Besides surfing, Lahinch offers a nice home town feel for travelers. With more pubs than stores, the town is always a good time. They also offer live music more often than not which is a good way to end the evening. Some travelers opt to pitch a tent, while others can rent a mobile or a room in a local family ran B&B. From some spots in Lahinch, you can get a clear view of the O’Brien’s Tower.