In addition to our day trip to Northern Ireland, my Mom and I also made a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher when we were in Ireland in January. After researching tour providers, we decided to go on the Cliffs of Moher Day Trip with Irish Day Tours due to their good reputation and affordable day trips.
We set out shortly before 7am from Dublin, passing by the famous Guinness Storehouse and Kilmainham Jail in town before hitting the freeway for Ireland’s west coast. After a short rest stop to stretch our legs and grab some snacks, we headed through the lush green Irish countryside toward the majestic Cliffs of Moher. Our guide let us know that we were lucky to arrive on a clear day; most days the cliffs are shrouded in fog and difficult to see.
The Visitor’s Centre is located roughly in the middle of the Cliffs of Moher and you can either take the path to the left or to the right. Our guide told us that some visitors prefer the view from the left, while others prefer the view from the right. Given that O’Brien’s Tower (a 19th century stone lookout tower) is located on the right, we thought the better view would be from the opposite side, so we set out on the trail to the left. While the view at the beginning was stunning, especially with the rocky little island jutting out from the rough sea, we soon discovered that you couldn’t see past the part of the cliff with the lookout tower. Since we had enough time left, we decided to hike in the opposite direction and I’m glad we did – I think the view was superior. While strolling along the clifftops to the right, you can admire panoramic views out to the ocean and even see the Aran Islands.
The first part of the cliffs are walled off, but after a short distance, they are completely un-walled and at your own risk. I was alarmed at how close the trail actually took you to the edge; I felt that a strong gust of wind could have knocked me over! It only took me a few steps past the safer walled area for me to turn back. My much braver Mom decided to keep going while I had to distract myself from getting too nervous until she returned. I took the photo below in an attempt to keep my mind off the staggering heights!
Seeing the Cliffs of Moher was one of the highlights of our trip to Ireland – I definitely recommend that you see them if you get the chance! If you happen to go on a cloudy day, you can pop in to the fancy Visitor’s Centre, warm up with a cup of tea, and watch some videos about the cliffs. Not as thrilling as seeing them in person, though!
After our invigorating hike along the cliffs, we hopped back on the bus and set out for our lunch stop in Doolin, a charming village not far away. We warmed up with seafood chowder and Irish brown bread before heading toward The Burren.
The Burren is a rocky limestone landscape known for its fertile ecosystem and colourful indigenous plants and flowers. Many of the plants that grow in The Burren find a home in the tiny cracks and crevices of the limestone. We clambered down to the rocks and were met with stunning views of the rugged, rocky landscape.
Onward to the historic 13th-century Corcomroe Abbey. Nestled in the extremely quiet region of County Clare, Corcomroe Abbey is a National Monument of Ireland featuring intricate stone carvings that are still visible today.
Our final stop of the day was at Kinvara, a seaside village on Galway Bay. While we had the option to check out nearby Dunguaire Castle, we opted to head to the nearby Londis grocery shop to stock up on Irish goodies like Barry’s Tea, cheddar cheese, lavender shortbread, and Cadbury Creme Eggs. Hey, when in Ireland, right?
After a long drive home (watching The Crown on Netflix on my tablet!), we arrived back into town around 7pm. The tour was very well organized and our guide was friendly and knowledgeable. I’m really glad we planned in a day for this western Ireland trip; it gave me a different perspective of the country outside of bustling Dublin. If you’re considering seeing some more of Ireland while in Dublin, make time for a trip to the Cliffs of Moher!
Have you been to the Cliffs of Moher? Were you lucky to go on a clear day or were you wandering around in the fog? As a side note, are you a fan of The Crown, too? I can’t wait for season two!
P.S. Looking for another day trip idea from Dublin? Here’s my recap of our day trip to Northern Ireland.