5 tips for visiting Cliffs of Moher

5 tips for visiting Cliffs of Moher

THE CLIFFS of Moher are Ireland’s most popular natural tourist attraction. Around 1.5 million people visit each year to marvel at the breathtaking landscape and spectacular scenery.
How can you explore this part of the Clare coast and not be crowded? Martina McCarthy from Moher Tours was born in the area. Now, she guides visitors on guided walks around Liscannor’s famous cliffs.

5 tips for visiting Cliffs of Moher
5 tips for visiting Cliffs of Moher

Which time is best to visit?

McCarthy advises that it is best to visit Cliffs of Moher in the early morning or late afternoon as there are large numbers of visitors, particularly during peak summer season.

Not only should you choose a good time but you may also want to check the weather conditions before you go. “The cliffs can be spectacular at any season. However, you need to be careful in winter as the paths can get slippery if it’s icy and it’s possible to be very exposed if it’s windy.

Pro tip: For a more relaxed Cliffs of Moher Experience, visit in the evening. It’s amazing to see the pink glowing light on the Cliffs of Moher at sunset. It’s so peaceful compared with going in the middle.

Which are the best places to eat lunch at?

You can find a café and a restaurant in the visitor centre. If you want to take your lunch outside, there are picnic tables.

McCarthy suggests visiting Liscannor, Doolin or Doolin for a more relaxed experience. They have many restaurants, bars and cafes. You can find them at the Rock Shop and Doolin Cafe as well as McHugh’s, Egan’s Vaughan’s, Gus O’Connor’s, McHugh’s, McHugh’s and Egan’s.

Pro tip: Moher cottage on the road into Liscannor was voted the ‘best coffee’ in Ireland in a Today FM survey. “It’s a wonderful place to get coffee and a scone. Caitriona Considine converted it into a gorgeous gift and coffee shop. McCarthy adds that Considine’s Bar is across the street and serves delicious pizza on weekends.

Where can I park my car safely?

A large car park is available at the Cliffs of Moher visitors centre. The price for a ticket to the visitor center is EUR8 per adult (children are admitted free), or EUR4 per person if you purchase an off-peak online ticket.

Guerin’s Path can also be found about 1km from our visitor centre. This path costs EUR5 per person. You can also leave your car at the Liscannor, Doolin and Doolin nearby villages if you’re up for a longer walk.

Pro tip: Park near Hag’s Head. It is the most southerly point on the cliffs. McCarthy explains that McCarthy has found a parking spot with a EUR2 honesty mailbox. From there, it is only 10 minutes walk to the cliffs.

What are the top places to visit?

Many tourists will drive straight to the visitor centre which is built into the hillside above the cliffs. You will find videos and interactive exhibitions inside. Outside, there are paths and viewing platforms. O’Brien’s Tower can be climbed for an additional EUR2 and is the highest point of the cliffs. It has been there since the 19th Century.

You can also enjoy the scenery at no cost, including the view of the coastal erosion-caves and sea archways, as well wildlife like puffins or dolphins.

It’s lovely to gaze at the beautiful flowers, the birds, and the stone. McCarthy said that it is quite fresh up there, and that you can see everything on clear days.

“To the north and west you can see the Galway mountains and the Aran Islands. You can also see to the south Liscannor Bay. Loop Head and Kerry Mountains are just a few steps away.

Pro tip: Take a while to really appreciate the scenery and the cliffs. Some people have only an hour to spare, which allows you to take the iconic photo. McCarthy suggests that for those who have more time, it is worth getting out and walking around.

How can I escape the crowds on the cliffs and their noise?

Cliffs of Moher is the perfect coastal walk if you want the best views, but aren’t interested in crowds at the tourist centre. The 20 km long walking trail takes you along the coast from Hag’s Head up to Doolin and through local farms.

McCarthy says, “The coastal walk offers a totally different experience. You might not see any other tourists.”

“You can start in either direction. But if your fitness allows, I suggest starting at Doolin in a morning and walking the 8km to Hag’s Head.

It is a narrow path that runs along an exposed cliff edge. You need to be careful with small children. You won’t be lost, it is a straight path.

Pro tip: The coastal walk shuttle bus runs from Doolin to Hag’s Head to Liscannor. McCarthy says that it runs the entire circuit from 9am until the evening. This allows you to do a section of your walk, and then get back on the bus to your car.

Are there hidden gems I should keep an eye out for?

A trip to the beach is a must when you are exploring Clare’s coastline. While there are many places near the Cliffs of Moher that offer watersports and swimming, Fanore, Spanish Point, and Lahinch are all popular. Clahane is an alternative.

McCarthy said that Clahane is a lovely little beach that gets very busy in Lahinch.

“It’s a wonderful shore beach, it is not sandy so you can jump in the sea, and there are lots of little rock pools that children can explore. There is car parking and you can walk around Clahane watching the sunset.

Pro tip: The Wild Atlantic Seaweed Baths regularly deliver mini ‘hot tubs’ made from old barrels in Clahane. “The heated seaweed barrels will accommodate two people, and you can just sit under fairy lights and enjoy the view of the world. McCarthy agrees that this is probably the most beautiful experience.

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