In March 2018, Isaac and I spent a weekend away in Ireland for St Patrick’s Day. We based ourselves in Galway and drove down to the Cliffs of Moher for a day trip!
Arguably the country’s most popular tourist attraction, this beautiful natural landscape has become a must-visit destination for tourists in Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher span an area of five miles along the famous Wild Atlantic Way, and range in height from 390 feet to 720 feet tall.
This beautiful attraction is easier than you think to visit! In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know in order to do a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher from Galway.
Galway is a vibrant, exciting city with heaps to see and do – and its close proximity to the West Coast of Ireland means it’s the perfect place to base yourself while visiting the Cliffs of Moher. The city is home to culture, history and lots of friendly Irish people!
Tourists usually decide to visit from the capital city, Dublin, but that means sitting on a packed coach for over three hours each way to see the Cliffs of Moher, or driving that distance themselves.
We booked cheap flights to Shannon on Skyscanner, and then rented a car with AutoEurope in order to drive to Galway. This cost under £100 for our entire four days in Ireland, which worked out cheaper than booking flights directly to Galway! Shannon is only an hour’s drive from Galway so it wasn’t too far to travel.
Having your own wheels means you can explore at leisure. The Cliffs of Moher are a 90 minute drive from Galway, so you can stop off at a few other sights in County Clare en route to the Cliffs or on the way back.
Alternatively you can take the bus from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher, which takes 2 hours 15 mins. Plan your trip with this bus timetable.
Set against the backdrop of Galway Bay, Dunguiare Castle was built in 1520. Although parts of it have been restored, its 75-foot tower and defensive wall make it a truly medieval structure – in fact, it is the most photographed castle in Ireland! The grounds are open to the public and apparently you can go to four-course medieval banquets here! It’s a good place to stretch your legs on the way to or from the Cliffs of Moher.
With its entrance located high on a hill in the heart of County Clare’s Burren, the view from the Aillwee caves is enough reason to visit. A unique and historic attraction, the caves are another worthy stop en route to the Cliffs. Discovered in 1944 by a local farmer, the caves were kept a secret for almost 30 years until they were opened to the public. The caverns are home to stalagmites and stalactites, frozen waterfalls and even animal bones! Tours last 30 minutes and are led by funny, informative guides. The onsite cafe serves a great soup and cakes, and there is also a Bird of Prey Educational Centre here. The company promotes ecotourism, which is a tick in my book!
Cost: 12 euros per person
Just 90 minutes drive from Galway, you’ll know when you’ve arrived at the Cliffs of Moher because there’s a huge car park to your left and the Visitor Centre is on your right. There are large signs advising where to park and you’ll probably see some of the aforementioned coach-loads of tourists when you’re there.
Parking costs 6€ per person and includes admission to the Visitor Centre and Cliffs of Moher. After parking, you can walk across the road to arrive at the Visitor Centre where there are toilets, a cafe, and a whole heap of information about the Cliffs of Moher – it’s a museum too!
If you head towards the right when you leave the Visitor Centre, you can visit O’Brien’s Tower. This is the highest point of the cliffs and provides beautiful views of the landscape. Climbing the tower costs an additional 2€.
Turning left when you leave the visitor centre heads south along the coastline. There are safety barriers along the edge of the cliffs to a point, but they eventually end.
Don’t sit right on the edge of the cliffs! People have fallen and even died in an attempt to get the perfect selfie at the Cliffs of Moher.
On a serious note, it’s very windy and the weather is completely interchangable at the Cliffs of Moher. Do take care when walking near the edge of the cliffs.
Walking for around 1.5 hours towards the south brings you to the old stone tower called the Hag’s Head. If you want a longer hike, you can walk the 12 mile Coastal Walk over the cliffs!
We used AirBnB on our trip to Galway as we booked our flights last minute but we managed to find a cheap deal at only £30 for two nights! Sign up through this link and get £25 to spend on your first booking.
If you prefer a hostel or hotel, use the booking form below for inspiration on where to stay.
Thanks for reading and happy travels!
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