Vertigo is what you feel when you’re short on money until the end of the month. Despite any current situation, when you see the world from the Cliffs of Moher, you can only feel happiness.
Ireland has so much to be proud of; their coffee is great and Bono is simply magnificent, but neither are as beautiful as the cliffs.
To do a little justice, the Cliffs of Moher is like a U2 symphony, and the ocean is playing bass.
When you’re up on the Cliffs of Moher, you feel powerful. It is a generous gift from nature, offering us the best it has: reefs, the horizon, the wind, cirrus and meadows. It’s no wonder why it’s been a top tourist destination, ever since the eighteenth century, even though back then getting there was not an easy task. But today, things are different.
The cliffs are at just 3 hours from Dublin, an hour and 15 minutes from Galway, 10 minutes from Doolin, 45 minutes from Ennis, 15 minutes from Lahinch and just 5 minutes from Liscannor.
Once there, here are 6 suggestions to enjoy the views:
1. The Sunset
It’s always better enjoyed in company, but if not, it’s their loss. During the month of March it begins around 6:30 pm (before the clocks go forward).
It is best to enjoy it from the central section. There you will find a huge flat rock where you can sit and take in the view. Access is forbidden, but…who’s going to know? From that point, the sunset is breathtaking.
2. Home to the Puffin
As the cliffs are a bird sanctuary, you will find the largest colony of seabirds in Ireland (20 different species, with 30,000 breeding pairs).
At a 10 minute walk from the Visitors Centre, you can see the flocks of Puffins, or clowns of the sea, which nest on Goat Island every Spring and return at the end of July.
Puffins © Luis David Fernández
In order to see them, you’ll have to wake up at the crack of dawn because their workday ends in the early morning, after have been fishing all night long in high seas.
You´ll also have a great opportunity to see them at sunset, which is when they begin their fishing expeditions. It’s a wonderful sight to see thousands of them leave their den in the rock together and watch them get lost in the Atlantic horizon.
It is also home to other seabirds such as fulmars, which are located at the upper ledges of the cliffs, as well as the Peregrine falcons and the Red-billed Chough.
3. Aran Islands, Galway Bay, Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara
O’Brien’s Tower which was built in 1835 by Cornelius O’Brien can be found just 15 minutes north of the Visitor’s Centre.
On a clear day you can see up to 5 counties from that point. You can see across to the Aran Islands (Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr), the Twelve Pins and Galway Bay.
You will also see the sea stack (An Branán Mór), where the Black Guillemots and the Razorbills nest on the flat stone at its foot.
4. Waves and Cetaceans
The largest wave in Ireland, known as Aileen’s among surfers, is found at the base of the cliffs, in Aill na Searrach, under O’Brien’s Tower.
Even though this wave does not have the stardom of Julia Roberts, it has made its little cameos in surf themed films such as Sea Fever and Waveriders.
From here, if you are attentive enough and with a bit of luck, you can see Dolphins or Seals, maybe even a Basking Shark, a Minke Whale or a Humpback Whale.
5. Southern Loop Head
Loop Head is a less popular choice and much less visited than the Cliffs of Moher route. It might be because this wild spot in Ireland challenges even the most fearless visitors.
The road literally goes along the very edge of the cliffs.
A walk over the natural bridge of Ross, and a visit to the lighthouses of Kilbaha and of Loop Head cape, are not to be missed. The views are just astonishing.
The most wild part of the Atlantic is at your feet, the delta of the Shannon River is at your back and the non-stop bustle of marine birds around these abrupt cliffs, makes this spot one of the most unique places in all of Ireland.
6. The Beach
On the right side of O’Brien’s Tower there is a path from where you can see a beach. It is the result of the erosion of the cliff caused by the force of the impact of the waves in this area.
You will have to be especially careful here because it is outside of the protected area of the centre and falling rocks may occur.
This is because the cliffs are the lucky outcome of a settlement of mud and sand brought together by a river, whose mouth was on this very spot some 320 million years ago.
All of these details can be found at the Visitor’s Centre. Its building has been fully integrated into the landscape as the focal point for visitors. It has a cave-like design with a roof that is covered in the same grass which covers the hillside where it is located. All of this helps to minimize the visual impact.
How far away are they from you right now? It doesn’t really matter. Wherever you are, come and visit. Because these cliffs, being as they are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction, have a well deserved reputation. They are 8 kilometres of beauty made of stone, sea and air, stretching along the west coast of Clare County.
While at the Cliffs of Moher, if you let yourself go, you can feel as if you could fly.
Being there is the closest thing to flying without lifting a single inch off the ground. We hope you have a nice flight!