Among all the activities and plans to do near Dublin, I never get tired of recommending going to the Cliffs of Moher, one of the main tourist attractions in Ireland. Surely knowing this, you have become curious to know this landscape of nature, heights and sea; the best in that case is to book an organized tour.
There are several alternatives and different types of tours depending on your budget and the type of trip you want to do. Get used to the idea that you will need a full day to go to the cliffs, but that you can extend the trip a few hours (or even a few days) depending on whether you want to add other stops to the visit. As I know that so many options can be overwhelming, I have selected the best ones to make it easier for you to choose.
Visit the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and Galway in one day
Discover this wonder of nature in Ireland and take home the best memories of this excursion. Travel along the coast of the island with stops at Kilmacduagh Abbey and the picturesque city of Galway.
This tour is usually priced at about 76 € and includes the round trip and the entrance to the cliffs (necessary to enter the Park and its Visitor Center); all this accompanied by a guide who will explain everything about Moher and Galway.
Normally, the first destination is the Cliffs of Moher. There you will have about two hours to walk along them. If you have vertigo and its 200 meters high are too imposing, you can stay at the Visitor Center and learn about its history. You will then stop at Kilmacduagh Abbey and continue on to Galway, where you can take a break for a snack and a stroll through the colorful streets, orget close to the mouth of the river.
In total, the tour lasts about 12 hours, so you will also have time to explore at your leisure.
Visiting the Cliffs of Moher on your own from Dublin
The route from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher is neither direct nor the smoothest, so I recommend that the first option you consider is to hire a tour. But if you like to do the trips at your own pace and prefer to manage it on your own, I will tell you the options that you can evaluate:
Unfortunately there is no direct public transport from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher. So if you decide to undertake the journey by this route, you will have to make combinations, the simplest, a transfer in Galway.
You must first take the bus X20 to Galway and then from there, the bus 350 that will leave you at the entrance of the Cliffs of Moher. The transfer will take you about 5 hours, but keep in mind that there are not many frequencies per day so this estimate can be extended.
The total price of both journeys is around 30 € - 40 €, depending on the time you travel, but it can be a good option if your idea is to spend the night in Galway and visit the city.
If you decide for this option, I recommend you to visit the website of the bus company, to check schedules, organize your itinerary and do not get any surprises.
Renting a car
Another recommended option if you want to go on your own to the Cliffs of Moher, is to rent a car. If you go from Dublin, it will take you about 3 hours approximately without counting extra stops.
The car will allow you not only to do the route at your own time, but also to visit the cliffs calmly and without being aware of the schedules stipulated by an excursion.
However, if your idea for this plan is to do it in one day, it is not worth it. In this case, do not hesitate to book an excursion to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin, and forget about stories and unforeseen events.
Also, remember that in Ireland you drive in the other direction, so the narrow and winding roads that reach the cliffs, may be more complicated and therefore, take longer to arrive.
Excursion from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher along the Atlantic Coast
Although the cliffs are the destination, I'm sure you've read that the drive is well worth it. If you want to take advantage of the drive to see those places in between, my advice is to book a tour that includes stops along the Atlantic coast. You will travel along the Wild Atlantic Way, being able to see historic sites such as Dunguaire Castle, Kilmacduagh Monastery or the countryside of western Ireland.
The great advantage is that, when you go with a guide, he will explain the villages or places you pass through, something that is impossible to control if you go alone by public transport.
Of course, these tours are not so direct, as you will be making stops along the way. If you are interested in this, it is your best option, but keep in mind that the three-hour bus ride will turn into four or five hours (one way) and it can be very long and heavy if you want to get to the cliffs as soon as possible.
Main stops on this type of tour
It is clear that the main stop and the one where you will spend the most time will be the Cliffs of Moher. Not only because the spectacular scenery deserves it, but also because the entrance fee is included. Of course, before arriving you will have had the opportunity to take some pictures of Bunratty Castle, which was occupied by Vikings and kings.
On the cliffs you can take a walk, learn about the history and nature of this place through the Visitor Center or take the opportunity to eat something in one of the nearby restaurants.
Already in County Galway, you will appreciate stopping at Kilmacduagh Monastery, which is actually a monastic complex whose visit is free. Its more than a thousand years of history can be breathed as soon as you set foot in these ruins. Although everything is striking, if anything, it is especially its tower, which is leaning and one of the tallest in Ireland!
Another must-see stop on most tours is Dunguaire Castle, which is right on the border between County Clare (where Burren and Moher are located) and Galway and is one of the most photographed places in Ireland.
Excursion to the Cliffs of Moher and Ailwee Caves
You might think that spending three hours on a bus to the Cliffs of Moher is more cost effective if you also include the Ailwee Caves in the tour.
This is always a possibility and a good way to see two of the most beautiful places in Ireland, as well as the surrounding area. In total it will be about fourteen hours of visit, 7-8 of which you will be on the bus.
The first stop is usually the Ailwee Caves. You may be familiar with the name, as it is the largest and most famous cave system in the country. Remember to bring a jacket because, in this subway paradise of stalagmites and stalactites, it gets chilly. Going with a specialized guide will give you first-hand information about the geology of the area.
Before going to the Cliffs of Moher, you will have time to refuel at a restaurant in Doolin, which is halfway.
However, by including the two visits, you may have a little less time to stay in each of them. My advice is to listen well to the guide's indications so that you can make the most of the time you spend there.
Combined tour to the Cliffs of Moher and Burren National Park
Do you feel like getting close to Ireland's nature? Then book one of the combined tours to the Cliffs of Moher and Burren National Park. Here you will find approximately 70% of the plant species found in Ireland.
While at the cliffs you will enjoy the views, the waves crashing against the rocky walls and the many birds flying overhead, in the Burren you will have the opportunity to contemplate a totally different and unique landscape. Why? Because its limestone and gray soil, but close to the Atlantic, allows species of all kinds to coexist in it, from native plants to others originating from arctic or Mediterranean climates.
Be careful, the Burren Park is a protected area, so it keeps respect for the flora and fauna, but also for the ancient monuments that are there. For example, you will see Celtic crosses and megalithic tombs; if you don't know their meaning, don't worry because the guide will give you a historical introduction.
Cliffs of Moher tour with a visit to the village of Doolin
When you head towards the Cliffs of Moher, you will surely realize that you are leaving behind a big city like Dublin to enter a much more rustic and traditional area of Ireland.
To get closer to this world, I recommend going to Doolin, a fishing village and home of Irish music. Some excursions include this stop in the day tour.
And although discovering a city like Dublin is a great plan, my advice is always to get to know the more "indigenous" part of a country, so I recommend you to go to Moher and then to Doolin. In the cliffs you will have time to go hiking along some of its routes and bird watching, while in Doolin you can stroll among its colorful houses and thatched roofs, so typical of the Irish countryside.
One of the plans that you have to do in Doolin, and that will be great to rest after the route along the cliffs, is to go to eat and have a beer in a pub. This town is famous for its music, so if you are lucky the menu will be accompanied by the songs of a local band.
Train trip to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin with stop in Limerick
If you have considered going by train to the Cliffs of Moher, you should know that there is no direct route, so you will have to go to Limerick and then take a bus (or several) to get to the cliffs or move around the area. My advice is to save time (and money) by booking a tour where they provide you with train tickets (with assured seating) and then a private bus to get you from one point to another.
Besides the fact that the value for money is better by going with a tour, the good thing is that they usually also include a tour guide, who will accompany you on the trip to the train and during the stop in Limerick. This city, which is located on the banks of the Shannon River, has a lot of history and artistic life.
Private and customized tour to the Cliffs of Moher
Are you an independent traveler? In that case you may not feel like a group tour because you have to adjust to joint departures and times. However, you always have the possibility to book a private tour, just for you.
The price is obviously a bit higher but your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Dublin and take you straight to the Cliffs of Moher, unless you want to make a stop in between. In that case, just let us know and we will tailor the route to suit you. In total, it will be 12 hours for you to explore at your own pace.
Not sure where you want to stop? Don't worry, as you will travel with a guide this person can advise you on where to stop. The best thing is that you do not have to worry about schedules or moving from one place to another, as the car will always be at your disposal, whether you want to spend two hours on the cliffs, as is normal, or extend your visit and go from Dublin to Galway, for example.
Two day tour to the Cliffs of Moher
I'm not going to fool you, the three hours that separate Dublin from the Cliffs of Moher can be long, especially if you want to make more than one stop in between. If that's your case and you're worried that the lack of time will make you see everything quickly, I recommend you sign up for a tour of more than one day, so you won't feel like you spend all day on the bus.
The great advantage is that once you have extended your stay, there will be more time to visit the Cliffs of Moher, but also to see other places, such as Cork city (where you can shop at the local markets) and the Atlantic beaches.
Excursion to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin with boat tour
The views from the Cliffs of Moher are quite impressive, but if you want to get a panoramic view of them and how they cut the coastline, nothing like a boat ride. Some excursions from Dublin include this cruise option.
What is so special about seeing the cliffs from the water? Think that although from above you can see the birds that inhabit the place and the natural landscape they form, with the cruise tour you will be able to appreciate much better its immensity.
In total, there are about 8 kilometers of large and high rock walls on which the waves break. You will be able to contemplate such a spectacle from the immensity of the ocean. You will not regret it!
The boat usually leaves from the pier of Doolin, the closest town to the cliffs. If you are lucky, maybe you will have a dolphin as a companion. In any case, what will be on board is a guide explaining how they were formed and the value of the unspoiled landscape of the Atlantic coast of Ireland.
Harry Potter fans may be familiar with one of the sea caves seen on the tour, as it is where scenes from The Half-Blood Prince movie were filmed.
Excursion to the Cliffs of Moher with a visit to the Aran Islands included
From the top of the Cliffs of Moher you will see, in the distance, an archipelago formed by the famous three Aran Islands. Many travelers are content with that, but the beauty of these islands is well worth a visit.
Luckily, there are excursions that include them in their routes from Dublin. Even if you don't have time to disembark on all three Aran Islands, you will disembark on one of them (it depends on the excursion, so check beforehand). In any case, you will skirt all of them and the guide accompanying the tour will explain what you will see. For example, from the water you can see ruins and the Dún Aonghasa, an ancient stone fortress. Also from there, turning the view, you can see the Cliffs of Moher.
We compare the different ways to go to the Cliffs of Moher
- Cliffs of Moher tour with stopover in Galway
- Duration: about 12 hours
- Price: about £76
- Please note: includes guided tour of Galway and Kilmacduagh Abbey.
- Public transport
- Duration: from 5 hours
- Price: approximately €40 both ways
- Please note: The route is not direct and you have to combine buses: Dublin-Galway/Galway-Antilles.
- Rent a car
- Duration: about 3 hours without stops
- Price: from 100 € per day
- Please note: in Dublin you drive on the left and there are narrow roads.
Tips for visiting the Cliffs of Moher
It is clear that there are many options for going to the Cliffs of Moher and enjoying a tour there. Whichever type of tour you choose, there are a number of tips I'd like to give you so that nothing ruins the experience. Do you take note?
- Take a jacket or raincoat: the Cliffs are hundreds of meters above the sea and in the middle of the Atlantic coast, so it is windy and cool. You can always check the weather forecast before you go.
- Avoid going on windy days: the best season is spring or summer for this very reason; in the colder months the gusts of wind come suddenly and can be dangerous, so do not walk on the edge or carelessly.
- Respect the marked path: when you enter the Cliffs you can start the path to the left or to the right, whichever side you choose, follow the signs and do not cross the protective fences.
- Don't forget some food: restaurants are generally expensive in the area, so if you can, bring your own food.
- Enter the Visitor Center: don't think that the only interesting thing is the Cliffs and that, once you have seen them, you can leave. In the Center there are beautiful and very interesting photographs to understand how the landscape has changed over the years.
- Wear appropriate footwear: remember that the trails are made of dirt and stone, so going with the wrong shoes can jeopardize your tour.
Do you already know what you are going to see at the Cliffs of Moher? Make the most of your trip and come back with many adventures to tell.