The ultimate guide to exploring the Cliffs of Moher from foot, boat and air 

The Cliffs of Moher stand as one of nature’s most awe-inspiring creations. Stretching for about 8 kilometres along the Atlantic Ocean, these towering cliffs rise to heights of over 200 meters, offering breathtaking panoramic views that captivate your soul.

While many visitors opt for the classic stroll along the cliffside paths from the visitor center, there’s a myriad of ways to experience this natural wonder. This guide will provide you with ways to explore the Cliffs of Moher by foot, boat and air.

Rated as Ireland’s top attraction, the Cliffs of Moher are an absolute must-visit for everyone travelling the Emerald Isle. 

Where are the Cliffs of Moher?

The Cliffs of Moher are located on the west coast of Ireland (along Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way), between Doolin and the village of Liscannor in County Clare.

The Cliffs of Moher are easily accessed by road from Galway (90 minutes), Ennis (40 minutes), Limerick (75 minutes), and from the ferry which sails from Tarbert in Kerry to Killimer in Clare (45 minutes). Dublin is approximately 4 hours via Limerick.

However, to explore this incredible landmark, we highly recommend staying over night in the area.

Why are the Cliffs of Moher famous?

The Cliffs of Moher are entirely vertical and the cliff edge is abrupt – some may also call it the Edge of the World.

The Cliffs reach 214m (702 feet) in height at their highest point and span over 16km (10 miles). In 2011 they became an officially designated part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark by UNESCO. 

Along the cliff-top trail, wildflowers like sea pink and birdsfoot trefoil flourish. On clear days, the views extend from Doolin to the Aran Islands all the way to the Galway Bay. 

The Cliffs of Moher host major colonies of nesting sea birds and are one of the country’s most important bird-breeding sites making them a great spot for bird-watching. Indeed, the area has been designated a Special Protection Area (SPA) for Birds under the EU Birds Directive.

Fun fact – The Cliffs of Moher have made appearances in some well-known movies such as:

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. … 
  • Ryan’s Daughter. …
  • The Princess Bride. … 
  • Leap Year. … 
  • Into the West. … 
  • Hear My Song. … 
  • The Mackintosh Man.

What is the best time to visit the Cliffs of Moher?

The Cliffs of Moher can be visited 24/7 year-round. However, if you are planning to visit the Visitor Center, we recommend doing so outside of peak times – which are between 11 am and 4 pm – for a more pleasant and peaceful experience. Sunrise and sunset visits are very special and memorable.

How many hours do you need at Cliffs of Moher?

It is said you should plan at least 2 hours at the Cliffs of Moher. However, we believe two hours don’t do it justice and you may want to stay longer or even spend a full day exploring the stunning coastline and walking trails. 

Can I visit the Cliffs of Moher for free?

There’s no fee to admire the cliffs themselves or hike along the cliff walk since the Cliffs of Moher are a part of the natural scenery. However, there is an admission fee for the Cliffs of Moher visitor experience which you’ll have to pay to access the designated facilities. While visiting the Cliffs of Moher by foot can be done for free, boat tours and scenic flights always come with a charge.

Is it better to see the Cliffs of Moher from land, sea or air?

This is of course a matter of taste and everyone will have their preference. 

While the Cliffs and the views are stunning from the top, the view from the sea is very impressive and gives you an unforgettable view and a better feeling about how tall the Cliffs are. Viewing the Cliffs of Moher from the air is another incredible way to experience the beauty of our region and will allow you a perspective of the area as most air tours include other landmarks and sights in the area.

How can I visit the Cliffs of Moher by foot/from land?

There are several ways to explore the Cliffs of Moher from land. While most people visit the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience run by Clare County Council, there are other places to access from.

Our favourite option – The Doolin Cliff Walk

This coastal walk allows you to access the Cliffs from Doolin by hiking the stunning Doolin Cliff Walk which starts just outside our lodges and runs all the way along the Cliffs of Moher.

You can hike the Doolin Cliff Walk by yourself or take a guided tour from Doolin with local farmer Pat Sweeney (see our Cliff Walk reel at the end of this article for more). 

How long does the Doolin Cliff Walk take?

Depending on how far you want to hike – There are various trails around the Cliffs of Moher Walk. Starting in Doolin, the best options are:

Doolin to Hag’s Head – approx. 13km and takes around 4.5 hours

Doolin o the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre – approx. 8km and takes roughly 3 hours to complete. Allow extra time for all the breathtaking views! The trail compromises a short road stretch, gravel and grass trails along the cliffs, it isn’t a difficult walk, but you should be comfortable with heights. See all trails along the cliffs in this map.

The obvious choice for most visitors – The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience Center

The Visitor Experience Center is located opposite the main car park and roughly in the middle of the Cliffs at O’Briens Tower. 

Remember to book your ticket in advance if you opt for the Experience Center visit. Opening hours vary throughout the year and can be found here.

The local option – Access the Cliffs from a small car park owned by a local farmer

Farmers Mary and Pat Nagle, have a small car park at the Southern end of the Cliffs near Hags Head – allowing you to park your car for a few euro within a short walk to the stunning Cliffs at Hags Head.

Doolin Ferry Cliffs of Moher Tour

How can I visit the Cliffs of Moher by boat/from sea?

While the Cliffs are impressive from the top, a cruise along the cliffs will give you a fantastic view from the water including a close-up of the sea stack and the rock cave featured in Harry Potter. 

If you’re seeking a different view of the Cliffs of Moher and the legendary An Branán Mor sea stack on your Irish itinerary, visit them from the water with Doolin Ferry Co from Doolin Pier or the Aran Islands.

How can I visit the Cliffs of Moher by air?

If you are looking for something intimate or you may be in a rush to visit the Cliffs, then a helicopter or small plane scenic flight may be a great option for you. 

Visiting the cliffs by helicopter

Departing from Spanish Point Airfield, you’ll soar through the skies in a Jet Powered Helicopter. Along the way, feast your eyes on the breathtaking vistas of the Wild Atlantic Way before reaching the majestic Cliffs of Moher. Flight time: 15 min. More information can be found here.

Visiting the cliffs with Aer Arann’s small aircraft

Aer Arann provides a vital airlink between the mainland and the Aran Islands for over 50 years. In addition to scheduled flights, Aer Arann also offers Scenic Flights. Enjoy spectacular aerial views of the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Galway Bay, the rugged Connemara coastline and the Aran islands. Flight times vary, more information can be found here.

The famous Cliffs of Moher, are located close to Liscannor village in County Clare. They stretch for 8km 5 miles as the crow flies and reach 214m 702 feet at their highest point.

Are the Cliffs of Moher worth visiting?

YES! We can’t deny it, you should definitely put the Cliffs of Moher on your itinerary. No matter if you visit them from land, sea or air.

According to a recent international survey conducted by Titan Travel, the Cliffs of Moher have secured a place among the top 10 natural wonders of the world worth visiting. Our local County Clare attraction stands just behind Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Mount Everest on the list. Surpassing renowned sites like Milford Sound in New Zealand and Angel Falls in Venezuela.

Local Insider Tipp from Niall (The Lodges @ Sea View House, Doolin)

The best way to experience the Cliffs of Moher is with a local guide. Our neighbour and local farmer, Pat Sweeney, shares his knowledge with visitors by offering guided walks along the Cliffs of Moher trail. This spectacular walk starts at our lodges and is a must-do when visiting Doolin. Pat is a local historian, walking enthusiast, expert on local history and folklore, and passionate about the preservation of a rural lifestyle. Walks are by prior arrangement only and can be pre-booked here

Ready to go?

We are happy to assist you when planning your trip and provide tips and insights into the most beautiful spots in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark.

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