What are the Cliffs of Moher?

The Cliffs of Moher are a series of natural cliffs located in County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland.

They are an area of outstanding natural beauty and one of the top visitor attractions here on the Emerald Isle.

Whether you’re visiting or just curious, let’s dig into some of the key facts and important details around the Cliffs.

What are the Cliffs of Moher?

Often described as Ireland’s natural wonder, the Cliffs of Moher are a series of cliffs that stretch for around 9 miles (14km) and range in height from 120 metres at their southern end to 214 meters at the north. They face into the Atlantic Ocean so as you can imagine they bear the brunt of all the sea has to throw at them…

The Cliffs of Moher were formed approximately 326 million years ago and are predominantly made of Namurian Shale and Sandstone, with the oldest rocks being located at the bottom of the cliffs. As coastal erosion is particularly evident there are many different types of formations such as sea stumps and sea stacks present in the area. 

The Cliffs are home to 35 different species of birds so if birdwatching is an activity you enjoy doing then this is an area you’re going to want to visit.

Whilst at the Cliffs of Moher you could see Puffins as this area holds the largest colony of Puffins in Ireland, Razorbills, Kittiwake, Chough, Skylarks, and many, many more. You are also likely to see lots of marine wildlife such as Seals, Porpoise, Dolphins, Basking Sharks and Minke Whales. 

Cliffs of Moher Facts:

  • They have appeared in several films, including Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Princess Bride
  • They have also been a top choice for music videos for bands such as Maroon 5 and Westlife
  • The Cliffs of Moher are an extremely popular tourist destination here in Ireland, seeing around 1.5 million visitors per year
  • There is a uniquely placed visitor centre hidden underneath the hillside that boasts two cafes, an exhibition space, toilets and other amenities
  • There is an opportunity to walk the Cliffs of Moher coastal walk, which is 18km long. The views are spectacular but anyone attempting this walk should be fit enough to cope with the distance and varying degrees of elevation
  • The Cliffs of Moher offer outstanding views to the West of Ireland, out towards the Atlantic Ocean and the opportunity to see local landmarks along the way such as O’Briens Tower
  • They are Europe’s most Westerly tip

Where are the Cliffs of Moher?

The Cliffs of Moher are situated in a region called County Clare which is to the west of the country. They start at Doolin in the North and end at Hag’s Head in the South. 

They are considered one of, if not the, jewels on the crown of the tourist trail known as the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Cliffs of Moher also form part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, which covers an area of 530 square kilometres. 

How to Get to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin?

It should firstly be pointed out that getting to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin will take around 3 hours due to Dublin being positioned on the East coast, whilst the Cliffs are over on the West. 

If you’re comfortable with driving the route then you’ll be looking at approximately a 180-mile drive that follows the M4 and M18. 

The only feasible public transport method is via train, however you’re looking at around a 10-hour one way trip, so not the best choice for a day trip to see the sea! Unfortunately our public transport links outside the city aren’t the best…

Another option is to book onto a guided tour which goes directly from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher and back again. Whilst you’ll lose out on being able to decide on your own itinerary for the day, you’ll benefit from having stress-free travel and an expert guide to take you to all the best places. 

How to Get to the Cliffs of Moher from Galway

The distance between Galway and the Cliffs of Moher by road is approximately 50 miles and will take around one hour to drive, dependent on traffic conditions at the time. Anyone wishing to undertake this journey should follow. The Cliffs of Moher are south of Galway and can be accessed from the N67 and R478 roads. 

There is a bus service that runs directly from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher, however, this will take nearly 3 hours in one direction which is significantly longer than driving, although it does take the stress out of driving! 

Similar to Dublin there are also numerous guided tours in operation which depart directly from Galway and taken in the Cliffs of Moher and surrounding areas. These include being able to travel by luxury coast and even having the opportunity to include a cruise around the Cliffs of Moher if you want to.  

Should you Visit?

The Cliffs of Moher are absolutely worth visiting if you are here visiting us on the Emerald Isle – 1.5 million people a year can’t be wrong, can they!

Being an outdoor visitor attraction it’s generally better to aim for the summer months, but we all know Irish weather is unsure of itself at the best of times!

If you’re into seeing areas of outstanding natural beauty, which includes spectacular views out to the Atlantic Ocean, across the West coast of Ireland, and to other local landmarks then this opportunity definitely shouldn’t be missed. 

You’ve also got the opportunity to see all the wildlife! Where else are you going to get the opportunity to see such a diverse range of marine and bird wildlife all in one place? 

It’s also an excellent opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city life and enjoy the tranquillity of the area. 

And finally, you’ve got the opportunity to enjoy the coastal walk and visitor centre if this is something that you’d like to do.