The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction. EVER!
Conde Naste Traveller voted these stunning cliffs ‘Best Cliff View in the World’, they’ve been awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status and they also hold TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence so they definitely have plenty of boast about.
Stretching for 5 miles (8km) along the west coast of Ireland these epic natural cliffs reach a staggering 214 metres (702 feet) into the wind-swept sky and descend steeply and unforgivingly back down into the wild Atlantic Ocean.
The Cliffs have also appeared in several music videos, including the utterly dark and epic sea scenes in Maroon 5’s song ‘Runaway’ (click here to watch), and Westlife’s song ‘My Love’ (click here to watch) . Not just that, they’ve been in several films including Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince (2009) and The Princess Bride (1987).
They must be good if they’re getting all of this attention, right? Worth adding to the itinerary?
Because if you pop to TripAdvisor, you’ll likely to come across just as many negative reviews as positive ones which make you wonder whether the trip to the cliffs is actually worth it, or if you’d be better off staying in Dublin, or Galway, or Cork instead.
So what is the truth in all this? Are the Cliffs of Moher just some over-hyped tourist attraction, or is it well worth your hard-earned cash to go and pay them a visit? Let’s find out!
Seeing these cliffs is like taking a slice through geological time and serving it up with the most delicious cream of nature in Ireland that you could possibly imagine.
Think endlessly raging seas, crashing whitewater and that lush Irish landscape you’ve always dreamed of seeing with your own eyes someday….
Think of puffins, puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes, peregrine falcons, basking sharks and dolphins. Think of incredible views across the ocean of places like the Aran islands, Galway Bay, Dingle Peninsula, Blasket Islands and Maum Turk mountains in Connemara if the weather is clear…
I could go on and on with my description here, but you get the idea. The Cliffs of Moher are really something else and they continue to be a place our guests love to visit.
Even if you’ve seen the pics a million times on Instagram, actually standing up there with the wind in your hair and the emerald ocean at your feet is something else. It’s one of those ‘tell the grandchildren’ moments, that’s for sure.
For ultimate experience, take the footpath from Doolin and walk along the old footpath to the cliffs or join ‘The Burren Way’ which is a walking route which snakes towards the cliffs. Do this and you’ll enjoy tons of flowers, sheep, a heart-pounding route and scenery that you’ll never forget. (Just be careful and stay well away from the edge as the cliffs can be dangerous.)
Also try to find that special rock that leans out further over the ocean than the others (but BE CAREFUL!) There’s nothing better than seeing nothing but sea beneath you…
Besides, imagine how you’ll feel if you don’t visit the Cliffs of Moher despite all of the great stuff you’ve heard and then regret it later?
For the sake of being completely transparent with you, some people do come away from the Cliffs of Moher slightly disillusioned with the whole experience. You might have seen reviews like the following on TripAdvisor:
“Absurd tourist nightmare. Tiny path, tons of tourists can barely walk trail let alone enjoy atmosphere. I was hear on a sunny day. I dont want to imagine adding wet muddy puddles to the mix. If it didn’t cost over $200 to rent an automatic car, i would’ve driven to nearby cliffs not this mess. All i got from this was a few good photos. Thats it!”
( Lorraine – appears exactly as written in the review)
Whilst I’m not doubting that Lorraine’s experience really was just as muddy and rural as she complained, it’s important to bear in mind that we are in Ireland. That usually means some rain will fall, paths aren’t as wide as in other places of the world and the addition of eager tourists can make the place at tad on the hectic side at times.
But that’s definitely not a reason to skip visiting this epic landscape. It just depends on what kind of a tourist or traveller you are, what things you love to do, and what you expect from the trip.
If you’re not interested in the great outdoors and a bit of mud on your shoes bother you then perhaps you’d be better staying in one of the cities.
If the wild Atlantic ocean leaves you feeling ‘mheh...’ instead of inspired and invigorated, why not head to the Guinness museum or explore other great places instead?
If you’re worried about messing up your hair, then perhaps castles and foodie places will be more your thing.
And there’s nothing bad in that at all. You get what you put into a trip and there’s no point forcing yourself to do stuff that you know you’re not going to enjoy. So think carefully and then make your decision. Quality travel isn’t just about ticking things off a list…
If you do choose to visit the cliffs, there are a couple of tips we’d like to share that will help improve the experience.
1) Don’t drive if you can help it
The car park charges per person so can work out a little overpriced. Instead find somewhere to park outside and walk in. It’ll be cheaper and you’ll get to enjoy the experience even more.
Otherwise, book yourself onto one of the brilliant coach trips that operate in the area as they really take the hassle out of the trip. Ask at your hostel for advice on how to book- they’ll probably be able to help you do this.
2) Take your own packed lunch
You’ll enjoy the stunning views even more and save money too if you take your own munchies along with you. Besides, the cafe has received mixed reviews with our previous guests….’nuff said.
3) Come in the afternoon
For the best photos, come in the afternoon. As these cliffs face west, the light works better for those Instagram shots in the afternoon.
4) Prepare for wind
The cliffs are high. And the weather is often unpredictable. So be prepared to feel the wind. Bring suitable clothes even if it’s a sunny summer’s day, leave your flipflops at the hostel and know that you can always duck inside for a cuppa if you need to warm up.
Whether or not you decide to visit the Cliffs of Moher is up to you, but don’t believe the complaints you’ve heard. Be prepared for the wind and maybe even a touch of rain, pack those waterproofs, bring your own lunch and enjoy one of the most spectacular views in Ireland.
October 9, 2017
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