Ireland is a very beautiful place with lots of wonders to be explored. Be it Blarney, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ring of Kerry, Burren, everything about Ireland is breathtaking and incredible to behold. The Cliffs of Moher is another great place where standing on the edge is a breathtaking experience. It takes about three hours to reach Cliffs of Moher from Dublin and it is completely worth the drive. Driving along the beautiful Irish countryside is a sight to behold. It is definitely not to be missed. There are certain tips that should definitely keep in mind when planning for Ireland trip or visiting the Cliffs of Moher.
Staying close to the Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher is one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland. Even during the off-season, it is very popular and busy. Tourists pour in to visit this breath-taking place from all over the world. Here either you can stay away from the Cliffs, or close to the Cliffs. There are various small towns which are located very close to the Cliffs which provides sleeping options. It is an amazing option as you can be surrounded by cows, sheep and green pastures.
The place is prone to the beauty of fog or rain. So, if you stay close by, you can enjoy this surreal beauty. Also, you can explore the various quaint shops and restaurants all around the place. Traveling from Dublin to the Cliffs is not only very scenic as the castles and the green pastures will definitely attract your attention.
How to get to the Cliffs of Moher?
Although it can be a daunting task, it is very easy if you can drive by yourself or just rent a car. Going on your own will help you to avoid the crowd. Renting a car is actually not an expensive option. There are various car rentals offering services at very competitive prices. If you have driven on a left-hand side road, it will be even easier for you or else just brush up the signs and traffic rules before venturing.
The sights from Dublin to the Cliffs are just picture perfect with tons of beautiful scenery. The Irish countryside simply looks spectacular. It usually remains windy all around the Cliffs so the weather forecast should always be taken into consideration. You should definitely carry a few items along with you, like, a pair of water-resistant shoes, a scarf, a water-resistant windbreaker and a pair of gloves.
What to carry?
Even if it is warm, you should definitely carry a windbreaker as it always remains windy and cold, most commonly when it rains. The water-resistant windbreaker will also help you to save yourself from the rains, as it will also act like a raincoat.
Water resistant shoes are very essential to save yourself from the muddy puddles. On the south end, you can easily get puddles.
It is also recommended to take a scarf as it is very windy throughout the day. You can protect your neck from the cold weather and you can even use it to shield your face from the cold wind.
As it gets extremely cold at times, it is always advisable to protect your fingers. So gloves are a must. Although during the warmer months, you won’t need them, it is very advisable to carry them during the cold months.
1. Do your research before you go
It is always advisable to do your google search before going to the place. Some interesting shots are very advisable. The background and the camera angles are important to take the pictures. One can even recreate some of the places when they visit the place. It is always best to purchase an actual camera while visiting the place to take loads of pictures. When you are clicking pictures using your mobile phone camera, the zoom angle should be really good. This way you can actually take pictures in the most perfect manner without any trouble.
2. Play with the perspective of the place
Though you can click loads of pictures here, you need to actually play with loads of perspective over here. To get the amazing pictures of the Cliffs, you should capture them without any people in it. It is always best to have a picture in the foreground.
3. Visitor’s Centre
It costs very less and you should definitely start for it. You can learn about the Cliffs of Moher from this centre. You can even experience the beautiful picturesque countryside from Visitor’s Centre.
4. The Cliffs are steep
The Cliffs have a 700-foot drop so while standing on the edge, you have to be very careful. The water below is completely freezing and so if you fall from such a great height, you are sure to meet your death. But do not let the steepness thwart you, at the same time you should be very careful about the edge.
5. Might see the puffins
While looking at the sea, you might even spot the puffins. You can mainly see it when you look towards the Pinnacle Rock. You can even spot various Little Rocks all around. You can get a closer look when you go up to the place on a boat.
6. Ignoring the Blockade
If you want to experience the real wild Cliffs of Moher, you can simply walk past the wooden arm and arrive at the end of the trail. This way it will separate you from the cow fields. You can just cross the barricade and reach the farmland. You can even follow the cow path to reach the edge and you can literally walk the edge over here.
7. Exploring the area
After exploring the Cliffs, you can also explore the County Clare. You can visit the Bunratty Castle and the Doolin Cave which is just 20 mins away. You can see various well-preserved villages and ancient buildings. You can even take a ferry ride to reach the Aran Islands. There are lot of interesting activities which you can indulge in Aran Islands apart from sightseeing and exploration.
8. Walking over the sea
There are various safety measures which will not let you very close to the Cliffs, especially to the edge of it. When you go towards the Visitor’s Centre, gradually the barriers will come to an end. Often you can feel various strong winds blowing on the cliffs of Moher. It can even blow off people from their deaths. They are made up of sandstone and Namurian shale. It can crumble because of erosion or of any other danger.
There is also a beautiful stone tower known as the Hag’s Head. It takes about 1-2 hours. The O’Brien Tower is the highest point over here, which is to the north. It is located at a very short distance from the Visitor’s Centre. If you reach this place, you can get some of the best views which you can see in both the directions. You can even go hiking if you wish to walk the 20 kilometers of the coastal walk. You can explore the entire place on a ferry boat too.
9. The parking lot
It is located across the street close to the Visitor’s centre. It is a very slick place which has been set in such a manner that it can easily blend in the natural landscape. Here, you can enjoy a movie which will show you about the history of the entire place. You can also do shopping at the gift shops and taste delicious foods.
10. Should not rush
If you visit the Cliffs of Moher, you should definitely not rush to explore the place in a very hurried manner. The great weather of the place adds a lot to the majestic views all around. It is an impressive place where you can just wander around or stick around the place. If you love photography you will surely love the coastal walk and the other vintage places.
11. Walk by the Coastal Walk
It is one of the most outstanding landscapes of Ireland that stretches up to 20 kilometers. From the Liscannor and the Hag’s End you can go along the cliffs all the way to Doolin. From there you can see the beautiful views of the Aill Na Searrach, the Galway Beach and the Aran Islands. There are various narrow steep ascents and steps which makes it even more challenging but the journey is completely worth it.
12. Hit the Beach
There are various beaches that attract you with several adventurous activities. White strand, Lahinch, Blue Flag beaches, Fanore, and Spanish Point are the most common ones. There are various beach activities as well as water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing at Lahinch, reef breaks, beach breaks and lots more. You can even hire surfing equipment from the local shops. The beaches are famous as it offers the best cold water diving experience in the world.
13. Enjoy golf
There are various parkland courses and other internationally renowned links. It includes Castle Course and Old Course at Lahinch, designed links course of Greg Norman at Doonbeg, the Dromoland Castle Golf rolling Greens, the Country Club, East Clare Golf Club, Shannon Swimming and Leisure Centre, Woodstock, Golf and Country Club, Spanish Point, Kilrush, Kilkee Golf Club and Ennis Golf Club. The looped walks and the finest walking trails offer best golf experience with the great local guides.
14. Land Adventure
Some interesting land adventure activities you can indulge are caving, horse riding and rock climbing. If you love cycling, there are 10 cycling routes here. There are also dolphin watching cruises available at Carrigaholt. It is located at the base of the Cliffs of Moher. Here one can see the wonder of nature and the freedom of the open seas. It is an excellent way where you can see various seabirds especially during the bird nesting. You can even spot the unique bottlenose dolphins around Shannon Estuary as well as at Kilrush. The cruises are from Liscannor and Doolin. The land cruises are from Killaloe.
The dolphin watching cruise is from the Kilrush and Carrigaholt. Even ferry crossings are done till the Aran Islands. It is from Killimer to Tarbert and then also from Ballyvaughan to the Galway. By hiring boats in various places like docks and lakes, you can try deep sea fishing and the rock fishing. Equipment and boat hire is easily available in the rivers and lakes. These are some of the great options available for passionate anglers.
15. Enlight your creative side
You can even indulge in cookery, pottery, painting, and a wonderful musical festival. It develops your heritage of creativity. You can also learn about the old stories about the families living here. There are various genealogical sources from where you can learn about them. A medieval banquet or the traditional ceili help you to connect with their past. Various leisure centres and spas are also present, which helps you to relax, refresh and restore. Since County Clare has some great food options, you can also register for cookery lessons.
Since the trail is outside the managed site area, it is recommended for experienced walkers. If your children are under 12, the walk is strictly not recommended. Even if they do, they have to be constantly supervised. Dogs and bicycles are strictly prohibited and before venturing, one should read the Cliff Path Safety code.
You should always keep to the official path which is away from the overhangs and the cliff edges. Wearing strong footwear with a good grip is always advisable as the walking surfaces usually vary with the weather. Carry fluid, snacks, cellphone and sunscreen too.
Weather conditions can change rapidly so you should always be careful about it. Extremely poor visibility can also be caused due to the heavy fog. The principles of Leave No Trace should be applied which will make you prepared for the walk. Follow the rules and take care of the environment too.