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Best Way to See Cliffs of Moher and the Walking trails


Cliffs of Moher, a trip to Ireland will be incomplete without visiting Ireland's top tourist attraction. Cliffs of Moher was one of the places I was so much looking forward to visiting. Over 1.5 million people visit every year so expect this place to be super busy especially in good weather. 

The cliffs of Moher are in County Clare, rising over the Atlantic ocean, reaching their maximum height of 214meters on the north end near O'Brien's tower and on the southern end near Hag's Head 120meters above the Atlantic ocean. In good weather conditions, the Aran Islands in Galway Bay are visible from the cliffs.   

Weather in Ireland is very unpredictable, I had 3 days in a row terrible Windstorm and rain but the night I reached Doolin weather got better, expected to be Sunny and less windy the next day. 

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How to visit the Cliffs of Moher

There are few options on how you can visit the cliffs depending on how much time you have got and whether you are interested to walk along the cliffs. The easiest option would be to drive to the visitor's centre and park your car there.  

To visit and walk along the cliffs is free and there is no entrance fee. The entrance to the Visitor's centre costs 8€ per person and to climb O'Brien's tower costs additional 2€. As of April 2019, O'Brien tower was under construction. You can book the tickets online for Visitor Centre (costs 4€ on their website)

The views of the cliffs near to Visitor's centre are absolutely stunning but also the most crowded part of the cliffs. Walking a few hundred meters to the south direction will reward you with even better views with fewer crowds. 

Warning Sign at Cliffs of Moher

Walking at Cliffs of Moher is safe as long as you keep on the trail. Getting close to the cliffs is dangerous and over the years many people have fallen off the cliffs. There is a warning sign and recommended to walk on the trails with children over 12 years. Take extra care if you are travelling with children. 


Walking trails options 


Hag's Head to Visitor's Center 

This is probably the best option to see the Cliffs of Moher. To get to the start of the trail you have the option to either drive up to Liscannor car park, a small privately-owned car park follow the above map to see the location or you can take the coastal walk shuttle Bus (see the website for actual timings) from Doolin

The walk to the visitor's centre from Liscannor car park is 5km and takes around 1½ hours. It is an easy hike with almost no elevation gained along the way. The trail follows along the cliffs. Walking from Hag's head means fewer tourists on the trail which you will notice as you reach near the crowded visitor's centre. If you have time and energy walk up to O'Brian's tower

The same bus stops near Visitor's centre which will take you back to either Doolin or Liscannor car park where you can pick up your car. 

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Hag's Head to Doolin 

​From Hag's Head, you can actually walk all the way down to Doolin by taking the same above described trail continuing walking past the visitor's centre. O'Briens Tower is the highest point on the trail and from there it slowly goes down and takes another hour to reach Doolin. The total distance is around 10km and plan 4-5 hours. 

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My experience 

I arrived in Doolin from Galway and stayed the night in Doolin Hostel. It is one of the best places to stay in Doolin, the staff were very friendly. Next day at around 9 am I drove to Liscannor Car Park but the upper parts of the cliffs were covered in thick fog and I couldn't see anything. I decided to go back to Doolin and visit the cliffs later during the day by taking bus. 

In the afternoon I took the bus to Liscannor car park and started the walk along the cliffs from Hag's Head to the visitor's centre. Weather was perfect, mixed clouds and sunshine, perfect weather conditions for photography. I hardly saw anyone on the trail, only a few tourists sitting on the cliffs enjoying the sunset. I walked passed the visitor's centre and O'Brien tower before arriving back in Doolin.

The whole walk from Hag's Head to Doolin was very comfortable with incredible views of the cliffs. It took me 5 hours to complete the trail but I was constantly stopping along the way to take pictures and fly the drone over the cliffs.  

While walking the trail keep an eye for Puffins along the cliffs.

Here are some of the pictures from the trail of the cliffs

Insane colours at sunset
Trying to spot puffins on the cliffs
Sunset at Cliffs of Moher was breathtaking
The small cliff standing alone
Cliffs of Moher at Sunset
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How to Get to Cliffs of Moher from Galway

From Galway, there are a few options to reach Cliffs of Moher. If you are not driving then you have two options. 

  • Take the bus from Galway to Doolin (link to the website) and from Doolin take the coastal walk shuttle bus (link to their website) to the cliffs
  • Another option is to combine it with a trip of Aran Islands. Take the ferry from Galway to Inishmore, the biggest of the Aran Islands (link to website) and from Inishmore take the ferry to Doolin (link to website)

Best time for Photography

Arguably the sunset is the best time to take pictures, the light and the colours are amazing in good weather conditions. I think sunrise will be good to take pictures especially in the early morning, there is often fog which will help to create a better composition. I was too tired to wake up for sunrise.

Sunset is the best time to for photography at Cliffs of Moher

Where to Stay 

 I stayed in Doolin Hostel, one of the best hostel I stayed in Ireland with very lively atmosphere. The staff was very friendly and helped me with all the information I needed during my stay.

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Find out: Are the Mizen head Cliffs better than Cliffs of Moher? 

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Wednesday, 12 June 2024

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