Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland


The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland should be at the top of your Ireland bucket list. An icon of Ireland, the cliffs have so much to offer visitors. The first time I saw the Cliffs of Moher I was literally speechless. The straight shot down to the ocean was terrifying and I couldn't look away! I was also surprised at how many things there are to do other than the cliffs!
Where are the Cliffs of Moher?
The Cliffs of Moher are in County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland. While many people visit from Dublin, it's actually a 3.5-4 hour drive. Visiting the Cliffs of Moher is easier from Galway or Limerick (about 1.5 hours). While County Clare is famous for the cliffs, there are a lot of places nearby that you can enjoy traditional Irish music and culture.
When should I visit the Cliffs of Moher?
Sunset is an ideal time to visit. There isn't the fog of the morning and you can watch the sun glisten off of the water and cliffs. The day-trippers typically leave around 3 so the crowds thin out.
Visit Hog's Head
This watchtower is located at the Southernmost point of the Cliffs of Moher. Local legend is that a woman killed herself trying to follow her lover across the Cliffs (okay, it's not the happiest tale). The crowds don't seem to make their way to the tower, so it offers you some peace and quiet. The walk is about an hour-long each way, but it includes some impressive views.
Walk the Coastal Trail
Opened in 2013, the Moher Coastal Trail is great for outdoorsy travelers with a full day to explore. The 18km trail stretches from Doolin to Liscannor. If you don't have a full day to spare, you could do parts of it instead. For example, the Cliffs of Moher to Doolin is a two-hour walk each way.
O'Brien's Tower
Designed to look like a mini-medieval castle, O'Briens' tower was actually built in the 19th century. It was built so the Irish could keep an eye out for the French army. Now it gives visitors more of a bird-eye view.O'Brien's Tower is located where Fort Moher was. Moher actually means "ruined fort" so it should be named The Cliffs of the Ruined Fort (doesn't have the same ring to it). The fort stood until around 1780 and in the 19th century, Cornelius O'Brien built a viewing area for visiting tourists to see the cliffs. It's been delighting visitors ever since.
Safety at the Cliffs of Moher
When you combine steep cliffs, high winds, and tourist crowds, you get a recipe for disaster. There is an official path at the cliffs, but if you stray from that you do so at your own risk. People have died taking selfies at the cliffs. You never know when the wind will pick up, or if you'll miss a step - so stay safe. For the photo below, I was army crawling to the cliff - on my stomach and approached very slowly.