The Cliffs of Moher has recently been named winner of ‘Ireland’s Best Visitor Attraction’ in The Irish Independent’s annual Reader Travel Awards for 2023. Standing at an astonishing 702 feet (214m), the Cliffs of Moher offers guests an “unrivalled spectacle” with “stunning views” and “out-of-this-world scenery” that is sure to “always take your breath away, even more so on stormy days”!
“Stunning views” at the Cliffs of Moher
The beautiful Cliffs of Moher are located on the west coast of Ireland in Co. Clare. They are easily accessible from Galway (only 90 minutes by road), Ennis (only 40 minutes), Limerick (75 minutes), and a 4 hour journey from Dublin via Limerick, for anyone travelling from there.
Visitors are recommended to give themselves two hours to visit and fully explore the Cliffs of Moher. Staying overnight in the local towns and villages that surround the Cliffs is also recommended to fully make the most of this natural beauty Ireland has to offer.
It may be hard to imagine, but the Cliffs of Moher were formed over 300 million years ago, during the Carboniferous Period. They are made up of different bands of rock such as sandstone, siltstone, shale, and layers of mud, silt and sand. The sandstone layers are more resistant to erosion, but they cannot support their wait for long, so they eventually crash into the sea below. For this reason, it is important to stand back from the Cliff’s edge.
During the over 300 million years of the formation of the Cliff’s, the rocks were fractured by colliding with another tectonic plate, creating deep vertical fractures. These fractures give the cliffs their vertical appearance.
How to get there
For those travelling to the Cliffs of Moher by car, there is a main car park on the opposite side of the road from the Visitors Centre.
There is also an option to reach the Cliffs of Moher by bus. If you are staying in Galway, Bus Éireann provides a daily bus service that travels along the Wild Atlantic Way. Route 350 is available six times a day during the summer, and you can even download an app that provides audios that can be listened to as you travel along the Wild Atlantic Way to learn all about the Cliffs of Moher.
The option to cycle to the Cliffs is also available to anyone who wishes to do so. In fact, the routes along the Cliffs of Moher and the County Clare Coastline are within the top ten greatest Cycling Routes in Ireland.
There is a bike park available close to the Visitor Centre and free baggage storage in the Shannon Heritage gift shop on the ground floor of the VIsitor Centre for anyone that needs it. And don’t worry if you don’t have a bike and still want to take advantage of the beautiful cycling routes. Touring bikes are available to hire in Lahinch and Doolin, and e-bikes can be hired in Kilfenora. Don’t forget to check out the North Clare cycle routes to plan your routes.
If you’re looking to reach the Cliffs of Moher by coach, this option is also available to visitors. There are a number of services that visit the main attractions in Ireland. You can visit www.itoa-ireland.com for more information.
Myths and Legends
There are a number of captivating myths and legends attached to the Cliffs of Moher that are sure to enchant visitors. One of these myths tells the story of the Witch’s Unrequited Love.
This legend tells the story of a witch named Mal who became infatuated with a valiant warrior, Cú Chulainn. Unfortunately for Mal, these feelings were not reciprocated by the warrior. Undeterred however, the witch followed Cú Chulainn around Ireland in an attempt to capture his affection. The chase led them to the region of the Cliffs of Moher, near the mouth of the River Shannon. Here, the warrior leaped onto an island rock.
Seeing this, Mal attempted the same, and taking this opportunity, Cú Chulainn jumped off, back onto the mainland. Tragically, Mal fell short of the island rock she was aiming to land on and fell into the rocks below. As a result of the fall, Mal stained the rocks with her blood. This resulted in the belief that the bay was named after her, known to this day as Miltown Malbay.
The rocks that can be seen next to the Cliffs, known as Hag’s Head, are said to resemble Mal’s profile, serving as a reminder of the legend.
Experiencing the Cliffs from up close
If you are interested in getting to experience the Cliffs from up close, the Doolin Ferry offers visitors this option. With this choice, you will sail from Doolin to vue the Cliffs from up close and experience the immense beauty that surrounds the natural formations of the Cliffs of Moher.
The boat trip lasts approximately between 45 and 50 minutes. Departing from Doolin and sailing towards the largest seastack, An Bhreannan Mor, the crew on board will point out various sea birds native to the area (such as the Puffins), as well as the famous sea cave that featured in the movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Take this opportunity to sit back, relax, and take in the scenic views that Ireland has to offer. And make sure to pack a raincoat with you, just in case.
Ticket prices for the Doolin Ferry are as follows:
- Adult: €28.00
- Student (16+ with ID): €26.00
- Senior: €26.00
- Child (5-15 years): €15.00
- Child (0-4 years): €0.00
- Family (2 Adults and 2 Children (5-15 years)): €80.00
There are also four time slots that can be selected to depart from Doolin: 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 5.15pm.
Not included in the ticket prices are the cost of parking, where both card and coin payments are available. The pay and display prices are as follows: €1 for 2 hours, €5 for 2-30 hours, and €15 for 30 hours to a week.
You can cancel your trip up to 48 hours in advance and receive your money back. To do this, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your booking details and the money will be safely returned. If the company has to cancel, you will be notified by email as soon as possible and you will be either fully refunded or given the opportunity to pick another time or day to make the trip.
Getting Tickets and Opening Hours for the Visitor Centre
Make sure to book your tickets in advance of arriving at the Cliffs of Moher to ensure your entry.
- January and February: 9am-5pm
- March and April: 8am-7pm
- May to August: 8am-9pm
- September and October: 8am-7pm
- November and December: 9am-5pm
- Adult: from €7.00
- Senior (65+): from €7.00
- Student (13+): from €7.00
- Child (12 years and under, max 4 children per adult booking): Free
- Family Ticket (2 Adults, 2 Children): from €14.00
- Enchanting Evening Experience (Crafted in Clare Gift Box): from €99.00
There are three time slots available to choose from and depending on which one is chosen, the prices of the tickets will change slightly. It is important to note that visitors must arrive within the time slot selected but do not have to arrive exactly at the time slot.
These time slots are the morning visit (8am-10.59am), the afternoon visit (11am-3.59pm), and the evening visit (4pm-9pm). (These times will change according to the time of the year that you wish to visit the Cliffs of Moher).
If you’re looking for a way to explore the beautiful views of the Wild Atlantic Way, why not check out the Cliffs of Moher? With two amazing ways to experience the Cliffs, you are sure to be enchanted by the panoramic views that the Cliffs offer.